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I’ve had a lot of experience with fundraising through my job as a museum, library, and archives consultant. Money is frequently required to fulfill museum purposes, and grants are a popular method of obtaining money. I’ve identified the top four museum financing proposals that are generally well welcomed by awarding agencies from my work as a grant writer and reviewer.

Behind-the-Scenes Projects

I’ve been to numerous museums (from small to large) where storage, cataloging, and technology are needed to make day-to-day operations more efficient. While granting agencies are hesitant to finance work that the museum should be undertaking anyway, they are interested in assisting museums in making their day-to-day operations more time and cost-effective.

Consider the following scenario: 

For regulated inventory and digital accessibility, best practices would have a museum catalog its museum pieces utilizing collections management software. Getting a speedier scanner and updated software, on the other hand, can make the job a lot easier. Get funds available at oakparkfinancial`s website

The museum can claim that it dedicates space, employees, and computers to the project, but it requires extra funding for technology upgrades. Granting agencies will agree that updated technology will allow museum employees to classify things more rapidly, saving money on staffing costs while allowing access to more objects online.

Tip: Have clear deliverables in place, including the amount of time and money saved. 

The more “bang for the buck” you can demonstrate, the more appealing your proposal will be.

Community-based museum projects

Granting agencies and individual patrons are particularly interested in museum projects involving communities involved in more significant cultural movements. Race and a lack of varied representation are current political problems debated at museums worldwide. 

Museums that participate in this conversation develop a reputation for providing high-quality service to the communities whose collections they represent, attracting the attention of both awarding agencies and philanthropists.

Consider the following scenario: 

A local historical society museum is located in a city where civic engagement is growing

The museum holds relics from the civil rights movement in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It aims to capture the contemporary movement by gathering oral histories and artifacts from community leaders today. 

The museum needs cash for recording equipment and plans to engage a consulting oral historian to capture oral histories professionally. Granting agencies will be impressed that the museum is actively engaging its community and will recognize that this is a unique project in addition to the museum’s regular operations. Furthermore, granting organizations are currently concentrating their efforts on funding projects that strive to be diverse and representative.

Tip: When recording a historically oppressed and underprivileged population, it’s critical to approach the endeavor with respect. A museum must include letters of support from the community in its funding application and a plan for community members to be involved in all phases of the project.

Make the Museum (More) Digital

It isn’t easy to forgive a museum in 2018 if its collections and exhibits don’t have an internet presence. We’ve arrived at a point where tech-savvy museum visitors make up the bulk of the audience and are unquestionably the museum’s future. Online access to museum assets and exhibits is becoming an essential aspect of a museum’s daily operations. 

Unless all of the museum’s assets and exhibitions are available online, there is room for expansion. While financial constraints, employee training, and the ever-changing nature of technology are frequently cited as roadblocks, organizations are increasingly mandating an online presence as part of the project they sponsor. The good news is that there are numerous awards available to assist you in catching up.

For instance, a tiny, rural museum has enough volunteer enthusiasm to digitize a piece of its collection; nevertheless, the expense of digitizing, cataloging, and publishing things online is prohibitive. They realize that if they split the expense of software acquisition, they will be able to move forward with their project. Grantmaking agencies see collaboration, shared costs, and supporting numerous museums in one application as win-win-win situations. They will give your project more points when vetting it.

Tip: Consider and convey how the museum plans to do online work and access a long-term practice.

Collecting and displaying new items

Museums aren’t supposed to be static or stationary. The museum ensures a more accurate and representative future collection by collecting objects from contemporary sources such as new industries, cultural movements, and artistic expressions. “The Present is the Future’s Past,” and there’s no better time than now to make sure your museum’s acquisitions are up to date. 

Granting agencies are more interested in sponsoring new display ideas that tap into what people are already doing, experiencing, and caring about than in funding object acquisition.

For instance, the Portland Art Museum recently opened an exhibition dedicated to the local animation firm Laika. They wanted to go beyond convention and incorporate a current type of appreciated art in addition to their more traditional art shows. 

While it would have been easy for the art museum to concentrate solely on the Laika films’ artistic qualities, it also chose to integrate science, technology, and history. The museum capitalized on the excitement and enthusiasm around Laika from a variety of angles (art, science, technology, and history), and the substantial financing support they obtained demonstrates that it was a successful strategy.