Recession reactions : the impact of the financial crisis on museum fundraising departments

The Great Recession from 2007 to 2009 created a financial crisis in the United States, which in turn affected the operations of nonprofits, including museums. In this thesis, the impacts of the recession on museum fundraising operations are explored; fundraising tactics of successful museums are also examined in order to learn lessons from the crisis. By conducting a literature review and case studies of three institutions that effectively weathered the recession, key strategies are uncovered that museums have used to develop strong donor stewardship programs, and adjust to different situations swiftly. Recommendations are also made on how museums can prepare themselves for future financially challenging times, as well as improve their fundraising model in general.