The Why’s of the Wyeth Challenge Grant
You may have seen the Portland Press Herald’s article announcing the Wyeth Foundation’s $1 million donation. The Museum has three years to match Phyllis and Jamie’s “challenge grant.” In fact, our goal is to surpass it with your help!
Why didn’t the Wyeth’s just give the money outright you might ask? Donors, particularly donors of large sums of money, want to know that others care about and are willing to support an organization as they do. By offering an incentive that encourages others to give, their hope is that the museum will continue to thrive well into the future. Phyllis and Jamie Wyeth treasure the Monhegan Museum of Art & History and they care about the well-being and sustainability of the entire Monhegan community. They want others to invest in our future along with them. It is only by pulling – and giving and working – together that we will succeed.
You might also ask, Why does the Museum need so much money and why does it need the money now? The museum has grown over the years, and so have our operating expenses. We have been very fortunate to have two leaders – Ed Deci as Director and Bob Stahl as Associate Director – who have volunteered their time and talent to the Museum and Fitzgerald Legacy for 35+ and 15+ years, respectively. That is not sustainable! For the Museum to thrive in the future, our staff and payroll budget will need to increase – which requires more money in our long-term investment accounts to generate the needed income to support our growing operating expenses.
Finally, you might say, Why should I give? Perhaps you’ve given in the past and thought that would be sufficient. Perhaps you are only an occasional visitor. Perhaps you walk up Lighthouse Hill to see the history exhibits but not the art, or vice versa. Doesn’t matter your perspective! Every gift – large or small – counts and, during the duration of the Wyeth Challenge, the value of every gift is doubled!! YOU are why the Museum exists at all! We tell a story that interests you; we display art that appeals to you; we offer lecture to enlighten you; we host events to bring you together with other people to have fun; we bring visitors to the island to help ensure our entire community thrives.
Now the what question: What can you do next to keep the Museum going strong, going long?