Thursday, January 18, 2007

Reaction from the Museum

Last week, I sent a letter to the Montshire Museum, because I felt they were discriminating against large families. I asked them to reinstate the family membership to their new flex options. This is what they wrote back to me:

Thank you so much for your letter. It's always nice to hear from members who have been part of the Montshire family for a long time. I'm glad to learn that you and your family enjoy your visits to the Museum, and I appreciate your thoughtful feedback.

As you can imagine, we spent a great deal of time exploring our options before making a change to our membership program. Like all nonprofits, Montshire relies heavily on community support. We felt the need to respond to our members' desire for more flexibility. The challenge is to establish fees that are affordable to our constituents AND enable us to provide the best possible services to the community. The new Flex Membership program offers a variety of options, that all represent a significant savings over admissions fees.

Although our operations are very efficient, visitors provide only about 60 percent of the cost to run the Museum. All fees for admission and programs are set below the actual cost to Montshire, and donors make up the difference. In that way, Montshire donors help to underwrite the experience of every person who walks in the door.

I appreciate your interest in families who cannot afford membership fees. We are proud of the efforts we make to serve low-income families. One of our most successful programs is an effort to distribute free admission passes through our region's human service agencies. Last year, over 3,400 clients of 87 agencies were able to visit the Museum for free.

I do hope you will continue to be a member of the Montshire Museum and I would be happy to talk to you in more detail about the options. Please feel free to call me at ...

Warm regards,

Will have to ponder my reply. There will be one ^^ I think they are missing the point about those large families NOT always being in those programs, I am advocating for every large family. I still don't see what the big deal is about a family membership and how my family costs them $110 more than a small family would. It might not be a big amount of money to them, but for a lot of families it would make the difference between being able to afford a membership and stay within budget, or decide on no membership at all.

Not to mention that the passes are one time visit opportunities, while we like to come back a few times during the year.


Anonymous said...

That is not a reply, that is an evasion. They didn't even address how inequitable the cost becomes after a certain number. I can see they wanted to offer membership options to those who don't come in family groups, but why take away the family pass? I could see raising the price a bit, if they are strapped for money, but come on! It is like they are saying they just don't care or even want "you kind of people" to come. Do they think such a large crowd must be rowdy and therefore cause more mess and destruction? Come on!

Ugh, I was hoping for a better outcome, but I'm glad you are not going to let it drop. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the completely (on purpose?) missed the point. ARGH. I hate stupid people.

Tell her you don't give a flying leap about the people that got in free last year due to the low income blah blah blah... tell her your family of 7 children is NOT LOW INCOME so you don't know why she would even bring that up.

Tell her to keep their flex plan but also reinstate a 'family plan' .

What a dork.
Good Luck!!!!