Museums know the best visitor is one who becomes a member. The expense of museum membership can often be off-putting, so member benefits are used to sweeten the deal — but, discounts on gift shops or member lunches can feel outdated and stale.
So how are museums competing for visitor attention? By making membership programs with awesome perks!
Here are some of our favorite ways museums are making the most of membership benefits:
Part of the Field Museum’s membership program partners with the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) wherein museum members of ASTC can give reciprocal general admission. Now members of The Field Museum have free access to hundreds of museums across the US!
Beyond individual and family memberships, The Henry Ford offers a corporate level that is a fully transferable membership card to offer to corporate member’s employees or clients.
Because of a unique partnership, members of the Philadelphia Museum of Art get a discount on classes and workshops at the Fleisher Art Memorial. Fleisher’s mission is “to make art accessible to everyone, regardless of economic means, background, or artistic experience.”
Indiana Foster Families can apply for free membership that covers a year of unlimited free adventures and extraordinary learning through a partnership with the Department of Child Services.
Beyond museum events and discounts, members at The High can extend their cultural experience with discounts to Alliance Theatre and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
San Francisco, CA
Many museums have tiered levels of membership, but SFMoMA boasts eight different membership levels, with four different groups to help art enthusiasts connect, and expand their relationship with art beyond the museum.
Members of the Heinz History Center get a 2-for-1 membership because of the HHC’s status as a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum, reaping benefits of the Smithsonian Institution as well.
Visitors can customize their membership based on artistic interest at VMFA, ensuring that all the perks attached to the membership will be of interest. The VMFA also coordinates discounted art-based travel tours across the globe that are open to their members – going everywhere from around the US to Nepal to French Polynesia to Morocco.
Members here, like many other museums, can pick a level of support, but also get benefits a la carte to customize their membership experience. These include a kids club, book talks, and access ttohe the DMA league for exclusive programming.
The Minneapolis Institute of Art actually offers free membership, which is an interesting way to convince visitors to attend special events, exhibitions, and programs for a member discount. Beyond the free memberships, there is plenty for other organizations and businesses to partner with sponsorship and matching gifts.
New York, NY
Those who love events will love the entertainment centered membership for access to MoMAs best entertainment. For those party go-ers that love to be party planners, members get access to museum and gallery spaces to host amazing gatherings.
Feeling inspired? Our Audience Development team would love to chat about how to make the most of your membership program.