How Museums Can Use Grants to Create Digital Offerings That Generate Revenue
November 15, 2022

There are roughly 35,000 museums of all kinds in the U.S. alone [1]. Consider that for a moment. That is about 4-5 times the number of Taco Bells on street corners, offering a far more nutritious mental meal that could change the world [2]. These institutions catalog our history, natural resources, science, technology, and flora and fauna. They are the leading way we maintain our cultures, second only to libraries.

With so many critical places for learning worldwide, why haven’t museums become staples of every city? The problem is funding. Most museums are non-profit organizations that operate with the goal of staying open more than building massive financial resources. Revenues are generated through:

  • Patronage and contributions.
  • Program services like admissions or ticket sales.
  • Merchandising, educational programming, and gift shops.

That’s the reason that the stuffed bear at the Boston Science Museum wearing the NASA hat is 2-3 times what you’d pay at Walmart or Target – to support a vital cultural institution. Museums need more diversified methods to earn money to meet the ever-changing digital needs of today’s consumers. That is where the power of grants comes into play.

1. Museums Rely on Public Support and Grants

A grant is funding provided by governmental resources or private entities to help support public services and stimulate the overall economy. Everyone from farmers to schools uses grants to offset expenses.

While museums rely on contributions and admission tickets for about 60% of their funding, grants make up another big part of the income pie [3]. In 2021, approximately $406.6 million went to museums all over the world from private foundations [4]. That is beside the massive amounts spent by government organizations or foundations dedicated to the arts and sciences.

Most of these grants are used for operational expenses or to fund new exhibits. Yet, if a museum wants to expand, it must target the most valuable patron – local schools. If you want to be a significant part of the community, you need to service those in K-12 programs. That must involve digital offerings.

2. The Importance of Museums

School stoday can become overwhelmed by the topics they must cover, tests they have to pass, and challenges of meeting modern student needs. Most often, this results in entire areas of science, arts, and the humanities being wholly overlooked.

Museums fill a critical gap in that education by enriching a student’s exposure to new environments and settings. This empowers educators to incorporate physical and visual elements into their lesson planning by having students interact with museum features and exhibits. When a student visits a museum, they will often leave feeling more motivated about a topic because they have seen it in a completely new light. A 2014 study reported, “that children who visited a museum during kindergarten had higher achievement scores in reading, mathematics, and science than children who did not [5].”

So, how do we bring this experience into the classroom in a cost-effective manner that both promotes education and helps museums build new revenue sources? Digital engagement!

3. SaaS Partnerships Help Secure Grants

Open any calendar of events in a city, and you will find museum offerings with new digital technologies. This could be an immersive experience where patrons are invited to explore Van Gogh as if inside the paintings or virtual tours where students who cannot leave their districts are exposed to more art, practical science, and history than ever before.

That is the key determining factor in securing more grants. Even a cursory online search results in numerous online grants available to museums that offer more bespoke digital integration. Now that the world has become more comfortable with online conferencing or virtual learning, museums need to seize on the opportunity of SaaS (software as a service) vendors that can expand their growth potential through grants, new technologies, and revenue streams. In one case, HubSpot credits 40% of its revenue to their SaaS partnership programs [6].

Partnerships that offer patrons, students, and memberships the chance to learn and experience museum exhibits through digital technology are a sure win for securing grant funding. The financial resources dedicated to helping these institutions grow are spent explicitly on programming to reach more people worldwide.

That is where we can help. Amesite offers systems branded to museums that enable them to offer subscription, single purchase, or combination programs. These turnkey solutions enable museums to offer products patrons love – building new revenue streams to ensure future prosperity. Amesite works with our Museum partners to help them secure grants to ensure that their digitalization strategy is fully supported and implemented – and provides proof that the plans are executable, with technology descriptions and planning, templates for implementation and workflows, compliance solutions and a committed team that continuously supports new and existing programs.

Book a demo today and let our professional team at Amesite be your partners in pushing the museum experience forward into the future.







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