Children's Museums in a Pandemic: Financial Impacts by Mid-May 2020

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Sharing ACM Trends Reports 4.2 from the Association of Children’s Museums and Knology

“While children’s museums initially saw success in obtaining short-term funding to cover operational expenses, these fund did not replace revenue. This research highlights the costs of long-term disruption in our field.”

The Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) and Knology shared Volume 4.2 of the ACM Trends Reports series, “Museums in a Pandemic: Financial Impacts by Mid-May 2020.” This report delves into sources of relief funding for the children’s museums field in the first two months of the COVID-19 crisis.

“Children’s museums urgently need financial relief to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said ACM Executive Director Laura Huerta Migus. “While children’s museums initially saw success in obtaining short-term funding to cover operational expenses, these fund did not replace revenue. This research highlights the costs of long-term disruption in our field.”

The data draws from a survey from 115 ACM member museums conducted in May 2020. Key findings include:

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – Of those surveyed, 95 US children’s museums cumulatively received $29.34 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds to cover eight weeks of operational disruption.
  • Private Foundations – 34 out of 55 children’s museums surveyed received support from private foundations.
  • Experimenting with Funding Sources – Museums sought additional funds by soliciting donations, hosting fundraising events such as online galas, selling products through online gift shops, revising existing funds, as well as pursuing fiscally conservative strategies such as postponing capital projects.

ACM will continue to explore data about children’s museums’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in future reports in Volume 4 of the ACM Trends Reports series, forthcoming in summer 2020.

Read the full text of ACM Trends 4.2 here.

About ACM Trends Reports
Launched in Fall 2017, the ACM Trends Reports series draws from more than a decade of ACM member data to reveal trends in the children’s museum field. This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

About Association of Children’s Museums (ACM)
The Association of Children's Museums (ACM) champions children's museums worldwide. With more than 460 members in 50 states and 19 countries, ACM leverages the collective knowledge of children's museums through convening, sharing, and dissemination. Learn more at http://www.ChildrensMuseums.org.

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