Thursday, December 13, 2007

Two Trends in Nonprofit Revenue Generation

Philanthropic Vacations
I suppose it's really just a variant on luxury eco-tourism, but now there are upscale vacation packages that allow tourists to do charity work while still enjoying first-rate accommodations and fine dining. This is not exactly new, however the trend does seem to be growing--requests for philanthropic trips have grown 15% in the past two years, no doubt fueled by the philanthropic efforts of celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and Bono. There appears to be a long-term benefit for the nonprofits that socially-aware tourists visit as well: once people have had a chance to see living conditions up-close and personal, they tend to become ardent supporters of the cause.

Downloadable Cellphone Art
Ah, I was aware of, specializing in downloadable cellphone wallpaper made from museum images primarily from European museum collections, but now it looks like the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has created their own "On-the-Go" downloadable service! [source, source]This is one of the relatively new forms of revenue generation that I identified for my talk at the Mountain-Plains Museums Association and mention in my museum revenue generation survey (pdf) and one that I suspected would become increasingly popular. After all, once you have digitized your images, selling them online is not so difficult.

Incidentally, the NY Times article referenced by Museum Lab is absolutely worth reading because it delves into some of the issues regarding high res digital reproductions and has links to some virtual museums.

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