3 Ways You Can Support Art Museums Right Now — Museumable

In honor of Giving Tuesday — a global generosity movement that empowers individuals and organizations to support their communities and the world — I want to share some easy ways you can do good, give back and support museums during this time of need.

First off, why bother supporting museums especially if you never visit them? Great question! According to a join report by the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Council of Museums (ICOM):

Museums and cultural heritage sites are powerful assets for local development. They can inspire creativity, boost cultural diversity, help regenerate local economies, attract visitors and bring revenues. There is also increasing evidence that they can contribute to social cohesion, civic engagement, health and well-being.

In short, museums offer economic, social, educational, and wellness benefits in your community, without you ever setting foot inside. How about that? However, as non-profits and natural givers, museums aren’t very good at asking for help. Like a close friend going through a tough time, they don’t always feel comfortable seeking support, nor can they articulate exactly what they need. But as a good friend, you step in anyway by calling them on the phone, bringing them a hot meal or taking over routine chores for them.

So I encourage you to just GIVE. Don’t wait for the next fundraising campaign, which museum staff have no time, energy or resources to organize anyway. Here are three ways that your financial contributions will make the most impact at art museums right now:

1. Purchase an Annual Membership

This is one of the best ways to support and enjoy art museums! If you live within close proximity to a city (or know someone who does), buy an annual museum membership. Most major museums offer individual, family and corporate membership options, starting as low as $50, with unlimited access to the permanent collection, advanced access to temporary exhibitions, discounts on gift shop purchases and even members-only programming and events that aren’t available to the general public. Gifting experiences instead of things is all the rage and with good reason; it’s hassle-free, eco-friendly and offers long-lasting memories as well as community-sustaining activities. Simply search for “art museums” in your area or visit your favorite art museum’s website to learn more!

2. Buy Gifts at the Museum Shop

If gift-giving is your love language, then buying, wrapping and giving thoughtful gifts to your family and friends is really important, especially during the holidays. It’s not always easy to find the “right” gift for that special someone, so if you’re looking for unique, high-quality items, shop at art museum gift shops either in-person or online. You’ll find a wide variety of books, wearables, jewelry, stationary and other classic, beautiful and functional items that you can’t find anywhere else. Whether you need a personal one-of-a-kind piece or bulk orders for corporate giving, museum shops have got you covered!

3. Give a Tax-Deductible Donation

Obviously, art museums always appreciate a straightforward monetary donation. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, non-profit organizations need funding! Supporting them with a tax-deductible gift is a great way to invest in your community and get a tax break in return. You can donate to a specific art museum by going to their website — most have a “donate” page or button — or you can give to a national museum organization, such as the American Alliance of Museums ( AAM). Any donation, large or small, will make a difference!

Now you know that donating to museums is good for the economic, cultural, social and educational wellness of your community. But there’s more — it turns out that charitable giving is good for your health too!

According to Psychology Today, several long-term studies have found that donating your resources (time, energy, money, etc) activates neurons in the brain’s reward processing system which leads to a sense of satisfaction and overall happiness.

So what are you waiting for? Choose one of these three ways to support your favorite art museum today and enjoy all the benefits you’ll receive in return.

#GivingTuesday #artmuseums #makeadonation #charitablegiving #welovemuseums #artisessential #museumsmatter #giveback

Reference links:

Giving Tuesday website https://hq.givingtuesday.org/

OECD & ICOM join report http://network.icom.museum/fileadmin/user_upload/minisites/camoc/OECD-ICOM-GUIDE-MUSEUMS.pdf

American Alliance of Museums (AAM) https://www.aam-us.org/programs/support-aam/donate-now

Psychology Today article https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evidence-based-living/201711/giving-is-good-you

Photo credit: Andy Warhol, Dollar Sign, 1981
The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Originally published at https://www.museumable.com on December 1, 2020.

Hi, I’m Alexandra. I’m a creative multipotentialite, serial expat, and museum ambassador. Visit me at: www.museumable.com and www.gatheringstardust.com