Marketing Museum

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Earned Revenue *Earned revenue* is *revenue* created by the business operations of the facility. Sources that contribute to museums’ earned revenue include admissions, gift shops, food and beverage sales, memberships, facility rentals, and fees for research services. Essentially, any product or service that is offered by the museum and generates income is considered earned income. *Unearned revenue* is money that is not generated by the business operations of the facility, but is provided by others. The main sources of unearned revenue are fundraising and grants. Fundraising to increase unearned revenue includes both internal and external activities. Internal activities include such actions as special events, garage sales, and auctions. External activities include tactics such as soliciting sponsorships and developing partnerships, plus such activities as establishing foundations and/or ‘friends of’ societies. Grants are the other type of unearned revenue. Grants are funds given to tax-exempt non-profit organizations or local governments by foundations, corporations, governments, businesses and individual donors. {draw:rect} 0 © British Columbia Museums Association, 2007 Suite 204, 26 Bastion Square, Victoria, B.C. V8W 1H9 BCMA / Best Practices Modules Page 5. *In order for a museum* to remain financially viable, increasing earned revenues should be a fundamental part of the budget planning process. With government funding decreasing, generating increased earned revenue will likely be the tactic chosen by museum boards of directors and their finance committees. The following list offers some ideas and suggestions for increasing earned revenues: Instituting or raising an admission fee is a realistic option for increasing earned revenue. Prior to any implementation of an admission fee, it is key that market research takes place to set a price point fee structure. If a product or service has enough interest to visitors, having an admission fee should not deter customers. Ideally, a fee should be seen as ‘money well spent.’ Offering memberships or increasing memberships can provide a regular source of revenue. Offering memberships for patrons, will give a museum a stable source of income that is collected membership benefits may bolster membership. museum shops provide an outlet for educational material relating to the museum theme, which can contribute to a visitor’s enjoyment of the facility. Successful gift shops also retail higher margin consumer items such as apparel and souvenir items that can be ‘logo-ed’ with the museum name. Develop a school program in which the museum offers a discounted admission price for classes that attend the museum. Tailor the program to specific curriculum subject areas that are depicted by the museum theme or collection. When marketing the program, not only focus on schools within your community, but other schools within the district and in adjoining districts. Offer an altered admission plan for a scheduled duration. For instance, if a museum currently charges a fee for admission, advertise that admission will be by donation only for a specified time period. The intent here is to create awareness and interest by generating a sense of value and to develop new audiences. The effect is intended to be an increase in attendance and a resulting increase in revenue. Secure travelling exhibits as a means of attracting local visitors. As smaller museums tend to display static, unchanging exhibits and artifacts, it is difficult to get locals to attend a museum on a regular basis. If special exhibitions can be brought in, with local marketing museums may be able to increase their revenues gained from the resident market. {draw:rect} 0 © British Columbia Museums Association, 2007 Suite 204, 26 Bastion Square, Victoria, B.C. V8W 1H9 BCMA / Best Practices Modules Page 6. *Generating Earned Revenue*,...
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