This blog post is Part 2 of a pair of posts which looks at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s decision to charge a mandatory admission fee.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art made a decision that could greatly raise and stabilize their revenue. The museum will be charging $25 for the general admission fee. The Met used to have this amount as a suggested fee, not a mandatory one. It has been anticipated that this change in the admission will bring an additional revenue of $6 million dollars.
One of the main reasons for this change was that although there was a raise in attendance in the last few years, people did not contribute to the suggested admission fee. There was a significant decrease in the percentage of museumgoers that would actually pay the suggested fee in last decade, all the way from 67% down to 17%. Clearly, this put the museum at a difficult place regarding its budget.
Nonprofit organizations of all kind are suffering from a systematic problem that we see in the health care, educational systems, and other arts organizations that do not get enough governmental support and need to highly depend on their individual and corporate donors. However, there is only so much money that could be raised from individual donors, and that money by itself will not be enough to pay for a large museum like the Met, which is held to high standards.
The museum will still remain free for people residing in New York who can provide an identification card, so the accessibility will not be an issue for people living in the city. Although this change has some opposition, a majority of people in informal interviews and in social media comments have shown their willingness to accept the change. This admission fee increases the overall revenue and an increase in a revenue means that the museum could take on bigger exhibitions or educational programs. The Met is currently earning 14% of its revenue from the admission fees, which is expected to increase to 17%. Although on paper this might not seem like a huge increase, it can have a profound impact on the museum’s financial stability. The doors of the museum will be open as long as it has enough supporters, so the Met is counting on its donors to support it.