At a time when the UK’s 16 leading state-sponsored museums boast an annual income of almost 982 million pounds, many smaller institutions that enjoy significantly less public support are findings themselves strapped for cash.
Even those 16 have been advised to look for untapped synergies and technological innovations, which hold great potential for bolstering small-donor support and building more meaningful customer relationships.
The common thread in both cases for alternative museum funding sources is digital technology, and its promise is far too big for you to ignore. Read on for our breakdown.
Digital Museum Funding Sources Are Entering the Mainstream
In the museum and heritage sector, the word that most often accompanies ‘digitisation’ is ‘synergy’. This pairing has a lot to do with the way online communities and web-based ecosystems are constituted nowadays. The crowdfunding phenomenon that used to be reserved for the odd DIY project and otherwise ‘un-fundable’ endeavours have now become an accepted and even celebrated part of the mainstream. This creates a unique opportunity for the directors and curators of museums, and other heritages and arts institutions, who previously may have not considered driving financial support and donations digitally or online. While making a Kickstarter page is still out of the question, exploring the numerous fundraising opportunities digital technology offers.
What Are the Possibilities of Digital Fundraising?
Uncovering the full potential of donation technology involves technical savvy and maximisation strategies that are bound to the latest know-how. In the same way, you have likely installed cash boxes for museum visitors to drop change and small notes at the end of their visit, you ought to allow for quick chip and pin or contactless giving on-site. Technological developments have long made this attractive option possible and quite lucrative.
In addition, donation methods should be transparent and easy. This involves setting up payment systems that work in a few clicks and cover the most widespread payment methods. Having a dedicated museum app is another excellent way to facilitate payments and stay in touch. Once the donation is complete, your visitors will expect a memorable thank-you, such as a souvenir or a discount for your next special event. A creative digital solutions provider will have just the thing with the highest impact factor for your institution and its budding online community.
Integrating New Technology With Existing Processes
To harness the powers of new donation technology, museums need to come to grips with the medium’s affordances and how this will fit in with their existing processes. This means embracing the audience’s desire for instant gratification, hassle-free payment and confirmation procedures, and a sense of belonging to a community. Hitting all these marks requires know-how and expertise that can be costly to hire, but the results are very likely to dwarf the initial investment.
On top of raking in many small one-time and recurring donations, a strong digital presence and community outreach have indubitable branding and loyalty benefits. A visitor who becomes a donor to your museum automatically enters an exclusive club of like-minded peers who share special values and interests. Speaking to that community and growing that relationship – this is the new task for museums.
Who Is Best-Equipped for the Digital Donations of the Future?
If you are feeling overwhelmed or unsure about tapping into the field of digital donations and museum community management, you are not alone. The task is complex and specialised, but the rewards are well worth the time and effort. LamasaTech is a trustworthy partner for developing modern and effective solutions that drive digital museum funding sources, both online and onsite, where innovation and expertise meet engagement and passion. Speak with our team today on +44 (0)191 341 0016.