As with so many cultural institutions, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
(MFA), has been affected by the global financial crisis. The MFA is a private, non-profit institution that does not rely on government support on the municipal, state, or federal level as a major source of funding. The operating budget is supplied mainly from three areas: endowment; corporate and private philanthropy and foundation support; and revenue from admissions, membership, restaurants, and the shop.
The effect of the market on the value of the Museums endowment, which provided close to one-third of the operating budget, has been profound. From June 30, 2008, through February 28, 2009, the endowment declined approximately 30% to an estimated value of $359 million. Although Museum attendance has remained strong, revenue from membership, restaurants, and merchandising has declined, reflecting the decrease in overall consumer spending nationwide.
In assessing the financial climate, the Museum has implemented cost-containment measures and identified steps required for the long-term well-being of the institution, including decreasing expenses by approximately 12%. This necessitates the difficult decision to reduce the MFAs workforce by 33 staff members (4%). Additional cost-containment measures include a salary cut by the Museums Director, Malcolm Rogers, and the MFAs senior management team; elimination of salary increases for staff in FY10; reassessment of the Museums exhibition schedule; reshaping of the concert and film programs; curtailment of staff travel; and reduction of print communications.
MFA staff have worked tirelessly to organize great exhibitions, create magnificent galleries, and develop innovative educational programming while planning for a major new wing. Their dedication is inspiring and their contributions many, ensuring that the MFA, its legacy, and its future stay on course, said Malcolm Rogers, Ann and Graham Gund Director. The Museum remains steadfast in its commitment to our visitors ― from Boston and around the world ― and sharing with them the treasures in our care. Our mission as a community and global resource has never been more critical.