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[Press Release] New Book: Fundraising for Museums, by Linda Wise McNay


Contact: John Millen
[email protected]

New CharityChannel Press Book Focuses on Museum Fundraising

Nashville, TN (October 8, 2015) -- CharityChannel Press, the publishing project of the CharityChannel professional community, today publishes a book that aims to guide museum leaders in stepping up their fundraising effectiveness. Fundraising for Museums: 8 Keys to Success Every Museum Leader Should Know, by Linda Wise McNay, is the latest in the popular In the Trenches™ book series.

Fundraising for Museums

This is McNay’s second book for the In the Trenches series, following on the heels of her top-selling book, Fundraising for Schools: 8 Keys to Success Every Head of School Should Know.

Linda Wise McNay, Author

Linda Wise McNay, Author

“Being a head of a museum is both challenging and rewarding work,” said McNay, a fundraising veteran and consultant. “Museum leaders and those who aspire to the role are expected to engage donors and members and raise money effectively; yet, most have received little or no training or support in advancement.”

In Fundraising for Museums, McNay demystifies fundraising for museum leaders. Her innovative book guides museum leaders on:

  • How museum leaders should manage their time in every stage of their fundraising and stewardship efforts
  • The importance of board leadership
  • The critical relationship between the museum leader and, if there is one, the chief development officer
  • Detailed instruction on “how to ask”

McNay offers lessons that she routinely shares with her arts and cultural clients. Since some museums do not have a chief development officer or experienced advancement staff, McNay shares detailed explanations of which fundraising tasks are the most important and which should be undertaken first by museum leadership. She explains annual giving, major giving, capital campaigns, and the museum's endowment.

According to Stephen C. Nill, founder and CEO of CharityChannel Press, there are plenty of books on fundraising, but very few books specifically written as fundraising guides for museum leaders, “and none of them was written in the down-to-earth, informal style that fans of our In the Trenches books have come to look forward to. We are thrilled that Linda wrote this book for us.”

McNay organizes the book into eight chapters:

Chapter One: Three Secrets to Successful Fundraising

Museums cannot be supported by tuition alone. Therefore, the museum leader needs to devote significant time and attention to fundraising. A museum leader must be able to present the case for support and lead the board and staff in a team effort to ask for funds, all while following a coordinated plan of action.

Chapter Two: Fundraising Methods by Rate of Return

A museum fundraising plan should include scheduled direct mail, telephone, event, sponsorship, email, and personal solicitations. Effectiveness of all solicitations is enhanced with an accurate database and appropriate stewardship.

Chapter Three: The Big Ask

The museum leader needs to be able to talk about money—a lot. The greatest reason people give money is because they are asked in person!

Chapter Four: Forge a Lasting Partnership with the Chief Development Officer

Development is the process of building long-term, positive, and mutually beneficial relationships between donors and the cultural institution. This is best achieved by the combined efforts of the museum leader and the development staff member(s) and volunteers. It is definitely not a one-person job.

Chapter Five: A Primary Responsibility of the Board Is to Raise Money

One hundred percent of board members should participate in fundraising both as donors and in soliciting others to all campaigns at your museum.

Chapter Six: Operational Funds Have Less Donor Appeal, but They Are Essential

Most museums begin their fundraising efforts with the annual fund or membership. You must create a case for annual operating needs and train your volunteers on the importance of unrestricted giving.

Chapter Seven: Capital Campaigns Occur Every Three to Five Years, so Prepare Yourself

Everyone is an annual fund prospect. Some donors are also capital gift prospects. The top 10 donors are critical to your campaign success.

Chapter Eight: Endowment Building for the Future

The best way to build an endowment for your museum is to initiate a planned giving program.


About CharityChannel Press

CharityChannel Press, an imprint of CharityChannel, publishes the popular In the Trenches series of books, manuals and workbooks for busy nonprofit-sector practitioners. It was launched in 2009 as the publishing arm of the CharityChannel professional community, now in its third decade and comprised of over 100,000 nonprofit-sector practitioners in the United States, Canada and around the world. This large, diverse and mature community of peers includes many of the third sector's most experienced and accomplished practitioners.


Please contact John Millen at 949-589-5938, or [email protected].

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