How Museums Can Partner with Donors and K12 Schools to Drive Impact and Generate Revenue with Digital Programming
November 21, 2022

Like the proverbial “horse and carriage,” museums and K12 school are a match made in heaven. Nothing enhances the K12 experience like a field trip to a museum. Additionally, museums are often the most important provider of localized history and learning — for adults and children alike.

But a class can only take so many field trips — they’re resource-intensive, and schools have limited resources. And fewer class visits means less revenue for the museum.

So museums and K12 schools, despite being natural partners, often remain at arm’s length from each other. Students have fewer opportunities to learn from them, and museums have fewer opportunities to monetize their offering. 

Digital programming has the power to bridge that gap. By converting its IRL (“in real life”) offerings into digital offerings, a museum acquires the superpower to leave the four walls of the museum itself and create revenue streams that don’t depend on in-person field trips.

Museums should partner with donors, K12 schools, and digital service providers to develop digital programming — to drive revenue, expand reach, and strengthen its partnerships with local educational institutions.

1. The Importance of Museums

We depend on museums to teach and interpret history, especially local history. A study by the American Association of State and Local History discovered that museums were considered the most trustworthy source of historical information.

81% of survey respondents reported absolute or significant trust in the accuracy of museums — ahead of university professors (54%), grandparents (69%), even eyewitness accounts (64%) [1].

According to The University of Toronto, “Local history contains a wealth of details and stories that help reveal how societal changes impacted the lives of ordinary people. It can be seen as a ‘microcosm’ or representation of large patterns on a small scale [2].”

2. The Power of Digital

Digital education technology (“edtech”) has exploded in relevance since the COVID-19 pandemic. According to research by EY-Parthenon:

  • 60% of educators continue to use pandemic-era digital teaching tools.
  • Daily usage of digital teaching materials has nearly doubled from 27% pre-pandemic, to 52% currently [3].

Additionally, through its blend of visual, auditory, and interactive experience, digital learning materials closely resemble the hands-on, multi-disciplinary approach to learning exemplified by the most sophisticated and well-funded museums.

3. Critical Partnerships

There exists, therefore, a thriving niche that a museum can fulfill to expand its reach and revenue base — digitizing the museum experience and offering it to K12 schools to enhance their on-site learning experience. Essentially, bringing the museum to them instead of bringing students to the museum.

To implement this, museums need to consider three critical partnerships:

  • The K12 Schools themselves, who have the best idea of their tech capacity, budget, and student learning needs.
  • Donors, who can fund the creation of customized digital programming.
  • SaaS “Educational Tech” (EdTech) Experience Developers, who make this digital programming a reality. For example, Amesite helped the EWIE Group of Companies design 50 courses in 4 days, with employee development scores reaching 91% after a quarter, well in excess of the company’s 70% goal.

Grand View Research predicts a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.5% from 2022 to 2030 — in other words, on track to more than triple within the decade [4]. With the right SaaS partner, museums are in prime position to participate in this growth in a big way.

Amesite is a true SaaS Partner that helps museums turn their resources into world-class digital programming — suitable for sale, subscription, and distribution to K12 schools and other educational institutions. Our partners include Conner Prairie, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, and the Innovation Foundation.

Want to strengthen partnerships and create revenue for your museum through digital programming? Click here to schedule a free demo, and we’ll show you what we can do!





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