The Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum (WCHM) began 2018 with 140 dues paying members. It entered 2019, its tenth year, with a membership drive and a goal of finding 50 new members. The four month drive was completed on February 1st after receiving 81 memberships, 30 renewals and 51 new members, for total revenue of $5,590.
“We are very pleased with the results of the drive,” says WCHM Executive Director Jed Malischke. “By becoming members of the museum,” explains Malischke, “these folks have joined a community of people who believe the heritage of canoes is worth preserving for future generations.
Canoes have been an important part of their lives, and they want their stories heard.” The museum’s stated mission is a dedication to the preservation and restoration of historic canoes and to the education of visitors on the influence of canoe craft on the art and history of North America.
Where did these new members come from? They are spread throughout the country. The WCHM can now boast of members from more than half the states in the union, including Idaho, Arizona, Minnesota, Illinois, Washington, Indiana, Pennsylvania, New York, Iowa, Missouri, Kentucky, Colorado, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Carolina, Oregon, Alabama, Massachusetts, Florida, Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Washington DC, and Wisconsin. An expansion of the membership base, both in numbers and geographically, will help support continued growth. “Non-profits like the WCHM typically depend on memberships,” says Malischke, “Not only for a substantial portion of our operating revenue, but also to show foundations and granting organizations that we have wide spread public support.”
What effect does an increase in membership revenues have on the museum? Membership revenue typically provides from 15% to 20% of revenues for the organization. Plans for the future would like to see that increase to 25%. “The membership revenue brought in during the member drive not only helped us reach our 2018 revenue goals,” adds Malischke, “It has put us well on the way to reaching our 2019 goals too.” To do that the museum still needs 110 of its 2018 members to renew in 2019. “And just ten more new members would put us over the two hundred mark. That would be a swell way to finish off 2019.” Membership information can be found HERE.
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