Now, you’ve already heard one example of creative partnering from Sam, so I won’t belabor that point right now, but sleep-overs seem to do especially well with natural history museums--several out there have very successful programs. Internet strategies actually cover a range of activities, from offering retail, admissions, membership and donation activities on your website to engaging in social media and social networking sites in order to develop new audiences. This is something that I know the Science Museum of Minnesota does really well, even if Paul didn’t talk about it. Retail strategies, like Internet strategies, encompasses a number of different activities, from making use of the organization’s intellectual property, be it collections or exhibits for merchandising efforts such as cellphone downloadables or print-on-demand photos and posters or limited edition collectors’ pieces. For those of you who are thinking that it’s harder for science centers without collections to engage in these kind of strategies, I would like to point out that I personally would be really excited to have desktop-sized Newton’s Dream at home and I think kids would be really excited to be able to download games based on their favorite science center interactives straight to their cellphones or iPods or computers. But another retail strategy that has nothing to do with merchandising or what you have on display is large annual shopping events. Especially around the holidays these can be successful. In terms of reorganization, I’m referring specifically to two things: the first is consolidating business units in order to streamline and cut costs. So for example, having a business manager oversee retail and concessions rather than keeping them separate. Included with consolidating business units is making sure that the business manager is in the loop with the rest of the organization, ensuring that all business enterprises are in line with the mission and with what’s going on in the rest of the organization. The second is restructuring how the organization gets financial support, specifically by founding a friends-group or a foundation that is charged with fundraising for the organization. We’ve already heard from Sam a little bit about a business run by the Exploratorium, but other museums and science centers also run businesses--some are mission-driven and others are unrelated to the mission of the organization--but you have to be careful when you run an unrelated business to make sure that you understand the tax ramifications. Finally, if you aren’t already building or renting traveling exhibits and you’ve never before thought about it, think about it now because there are a lot of examples out there of how they can be financially rewarding. I hate to get into strategies to avoid because, even though from the research I’ve done there are some strategies that definitely seem to be reported as less successful, they still may work in some situations so with a big caveat--and no slide--I will mention that car donations, specialty license plate programs, calendars and cookbooks and buy-a-brick or adopt-an-exhibit programs all tended to have lower rates of success. But again, there were some people who were having success with them, so just bear that in mind if your heart is set on trying one of those strategies.
Alternative Revenue Generation Strategies Fit for the Public Eye
Alternative Revenue Generation Strategies Fit for the Public Eye Allyson Lazar October 18, 2008 [email_address]
Four Tips for Revenue Generation Strategies <ul><li>Diversify strategies--don’t assume there is one “magic bullet” </li></ul><ul><li>Be scientific: use metrics and benchmarks </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t abandon old strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it mission-driven </li></ul>
Three Mission-Based Strategies to Try <ul><li>Creative Partnering </li></ul><ul><li>Internet Strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Use of Collections/Intellectual Property </li></ul>
Example Mid-sized, multi-discipline museum in a mid-sized city <ul><li>Strategies Employed: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative Partnering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet Strategies </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Result: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Membership levels maintained during construction </li></ul></ul>
Online Resources <ul><li>2007 Museum Revenue Generation Survey Results </li></ul><ul><li>http://orindagroup.com/OGBlog/Museum_Revenue_Generation_Survey.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>2007 Museum Revenue Generation and Fundraising Study </li></ul><ul><li>http://orindagroup.com/testing/MRGFS-electronic.pdf </li></ul>