August 2009

Dear Friends,

My name is Olivia and I’m the Membership Associate here at NAAM. I started volunteering at the museum in the spring of 2007 when the museum was still a giant construction zone surrounded by chain link fences and bulldozers. At the time it was hard for me to imagine what the building would look like once it was transformed and full of life. Now, with the Museum almost a year and a half old, we are continuing to develop new events and programs that invite new people, ideas, perspectives, and stories to the museum.

Museum membership helps support NAAM in two ways. Less than 3% of our operating funds come from government agencies, and the rest comes from the support of private foundations, individual donations, and memberships. When you become a member your financial gift helps us pay for basic museum needs like utilities, maintenance, and programs. But your membership also helps NAAM in a less obvious, even more significant way. One of the first things that many private foundations want to know when we apply for financial support is how many members we have. Why? Because membership demonstrates ongoing community support for the museum. No foundation wants its gift to go to an institution that no one cares about, that nobody visits, and that is ignored by the community surrounding it. A healthy museum is one that is supported by members of the community who recognize its value.

Recognizing that times are financially tough for everyone we have recently lowered the rates of our basic membership levels. Students and Senior Memberships are now $20, Individual Memberships are $35, and Family Memberships are $50. We have also added a new $100 Leader Membership for those who can give at that level.

If you have not done so already, I encourage you to become a member of NAAM and help support this wondrous resource that we share. For those of you who are already members, please consider contributing toward the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Challenge Grant. Whatever amount you choose to donate, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will match your contribution!

Thank you for supporting NAAM, and I look forward to hearing from you soon!