As most museums, we are struggling with serious budget issues. We are trying to maintain the outreach program, which is very important for the survival of institutions like us. I will like to "hear" voices that works this program in a basic way. What is the most (ref to this program) that we have to consider in order to maintain the institution alive? You believe that in times like these, we must do without a program like this?
Thanks a lot!
Ana Margarita Hernández Pérez
Educadora Jefe / Chief Educator
P.O. Box 9027
Ponce, P.R. 00732-9027
(T): 787-840-1510 ext. 232
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Hi Ana Margarita,
I looked on your museum's website and I cannot locate information about your outreach program. I think that you need to first be sure that your program is visible. I completely understand the challenge of working with your website team to ensure that all information is up-to-date and relevant, but this would be one really important first step. In order to increase funding, you need to let funders and potential funders know that the program exists.
Secondly, I recently revamped my museum's outreach program -- I began the modifications in January and have been steadily building in new changes throughout the summer months. My museum's outreach program was good, but after observing it in action, it was not dynamic enough. We held focus groups with participating classroom teachers and solicited their feedback. We were previously focused on assisting students with building their academic literacy through the literature of the African Diaspora, but what the teachers really needed was more resources and experiences in visual art and arts literacy. I implemented changes based on their needs and feedback. The almost immediate result was that I have been able to more than double funding for the program in less than six months, because now we are filling a much needed void in our local education system. If you can find that niche in your community and modify your program to fill that niche while remaining true to the strengths of your museum, the funding will follow.
I have found that even though my role is to run the Education Department at my museum, I have located my own potential funding sources and then pointed my development team to the funding sources that would best allow me to move my department into the direction I want it to go in. I often have to write the narratives as well, because no one knows my programs better than me.
I hope this helps.
IMLS is a really great potential funding source for you to explore. Apply for a Grant
Also, have you checked out Flamboyen? http://flamboyanfoundation.org/resources_and_publications/puerto-rico-directory-of-foundations-2010/
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