Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Market Meltdown Impacts Museums and Others

I am no economist, but it stands to reason that the recent stock market meltdown cannot but hurt museums and archaeological organizations alike. Guidelines for not-for-profits suggest that endowments be held in high quality investments. However, in troubled economic times like these, even "blue chip" investments have suffered substantial declines in value. Although such declines may be made up in the long term, the trend must certainly be worrying for trustees and staff of any cultural institution. Another worry is that donations come from discretionary income. When a supporter's net worth falls, the first place to cut will be donations. Finally, given the current political and economic climate, cultural organizations cannot count on government handouts, particularly if they are in the form of Congressional earmarks.

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