COVID 19 Resources for Museums and Non Profits

Prepared by Amina Dickerson

June 2020




(some  have already occurred but info is still available for viewing)


Trista Harris, former head of the Minnesota Council on Foundations and now an independent philanthropy “futurist” is doing a  FREE 4 part series on imagining the fuure for your organization:

6/5/20:  Setting the Stage and Envisioning your Ideal Future

6/12/20: Signals of the Future

6/19/20: Understanding you Current Reality

62620: Getting from Here to your Ideal Future

Register at


See also her post on Scenario Planning:



Financial Management

phenomenal webinar (already aired, but available still) for nonprofits on financial scenario planning and important approaches and considerations in this unprecedented crisis.  This was held in April, but the deck, worksheets, etc should still be helpful.  The webinar and all the information is from 3 indedpendent consultants serving non-profits:  Shilpi Shah, Amy Gudgeon, and Denise DeMaio:


Financial and Strategic Preparedness for COVID-19 Webinar Follow-Up

Please find a link to a Google Drive folder. This folder contains the following resources:

  • A PDF version of the slides shared yesterday, please note our contact information is included on the very last slide.
  • The cash flow template
  • The scenario planning template
  • The Disaster Scenario Planning and Risk Assessment Questionnaire
  • An article related to unemployment and furloughs
  • Recording of the webinar


Additionally, here is a link to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, which may be helpful in finding out what grants and loans are available in your area.  Look under the Funds tab.  This  site is more focused on funders, but has some useful information



Podcast:  Museum Directors on Convid 19 and Its Impact on Museums, Parts I and II

A candid conversation about the challenges facing art museums in this global pandemic


Justice Funders:  Webinar

Philanthropy’s Visionary Response to Covid 19


UTube Description Of VUCA  (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity)  A great 5 in video breaking this concept down.




Americans for the Arts

A national advocacy organization advancing issues of concern for the arts community.  You’ll see a Covid Survey on the landing page.  Please complete—they need /we need our data to be included!

Social Transformation—Tools for Transformation

This is a marvelous site chock full of free resources for organizational development—everything from planning and assessment tools, resources for building board, team and personal leadership, and managing difficult waters of human resources.

From FOREFRONT, an Illinois nonprofit serving foundations and nonprofits.  Links may be difficult to reach from this doc, so go to   and scroll down to the section on  ADDITIONAL RESOURCES and continue to scroll to the section on NONPROFITS AND THEIR ALLIES.  You will find a section on External Recordings and Slides




Released jointly, two studies by UNESCO and the International Council of Museums (ICOM) say that 13% of museums worldwide may close permanently due to the COVID-19 pandemic.



The Metropolitan Museum will not reopen until mid-August or later. The institution, which is known as a bellwether for decision-making in the museum world, has also canceled all tours, talks, concerts, and events through 2020.



News of Gates Foundation’s support vehicles for Covid-19

Including services that help connect to funding, tech support, volunteers and more, including  PowerOf, a new website that aims to become the go-to spot for nonprofits looking for donations and volunteers as they respond to the coronavirus pandemic











Keith D. Lee-

  • How can smaller organizations with limited resources tap into online programming and education related to technology which many of us do not have in place? Where are the funding resources?


Collaboration and partnerships are ways that organizations can learn/share/utilize these resources.  I’d start with local museum associations—what are they doing that can include a link to your institution?  Are there other local coalitions that you can join to have your museum’s works included?  What other platforms exist—even with other community based/social action groups in your area?  Are there resources at the state or city arts council level that can “lend you an expert” to help you get off the ground?  Are there sites you’ve seen and admired—and if so, can you contact them to ask for some counsel and assistance? What emergency grant money (state and local arts councils) is available to help small nonprofits/businesses move forward?


Have you applied for the fed dollars that are available? These grants of up to $10,000 are listed as “loans” but are likely to be forgiven or can be paid back over 30 years.  Money is there; deadline is June 30th. Or till the money runs out, but reportedly there are dollars there that must be spent, so apply!





  • Both presenters have talked about utilizing data like economic impact studies and planning reports, how do small and beginning organizations afford time investments, people resources, financial resources, etc, when staffs are mostly volunteer and when pro bono individuals are not available?


This starts with knowing what data you want to collect and why. What is it you need/want to know?  Why?  How can it help you make decisions?


There are a few free sources online.  This one offers a free excel template to set up what you wish to track and offers other good fundamental info:


Another good resource for nonprofits is Techsoup, which can provide some free materials and good guidance on what/how to collect/use data:


Once again, I’d advise seeing what local nonprofit service organizations are offering to members, (in Chicago, there is Forefront, and it must have sister organizations around the country that support nonprofits and foundations with technical information and support) and also to check in with the local arts council to see what references they can offer.  On a national level, check the website for American Federation of Arts and also Association of American Museums for free resources/counsel.





  • Something that has been successful (at least right now) has been virtual program adaptation, solicited media attention (op-eds) and direct ask to new audiences. What other steps are you all taking to demonstrate the need for support in your communities?


In the aftermath of George Floyd, a number of resources have now been identified to support/assist African American communities and the businesses and organizations that serve them.  I’d check to see what these are and how they can be of support in advancing the visibility of your institution.  Online seems to be the best way to post/request/promote the things you are doing, on Facebook (perhaps a free conversation or guided tour, followed by a request for support), or Instagram.  If you or members of your team have young adults, these are the people to ask for counsel.  The example of the rapid-fire organization of protest marches took place most often online and it is these orgs/platforms that I would check in with.  Also, longstanding older social justice orgs (Urban League, NAACP, etc.) should be consulted on any lists of orgs they are promoting to make certain you are on it.


Michelle Banks-

  • HAs anyone had success with monetizing their digital programing? Example: Tiered subscription access to tours, educational material, etc. If so, what platforms are you using: any tips or considerations; or any caveats?

The theater and performing arts community have been at the forefront of this, and have reported, in Chicago, limited revenues but increased capture of new names/info for their promotion efforts in the future.   I don’t have personal experience with this, but if you have seen what appears to be appealing, possibly successful efforts by a local/regional org—just pick up the phone or write them to have a chat…  I think many orgs felt this was a way to go a month ago, and fewer of these options are being explored now, for reasons of the return on the investment.  If monetizing and revenues is the goal, I’d look at the experience of newspapers, magazines and others who have invested resources but gotten a limited return.  Just my point of view…  if it is about promotion and capturing new potential audiences, there may be more effective/less expensive ways to approach this. And if you don’t have someone on the team who can provide sustained attention to the tech needs of this, may not be worth the expense.


  • Access to the initial and ongoing supply of PPE /sanitation products is difficult, especially in quantities for a small museum. Is anyone pursuing a collaborative buying strategy in order to allow “group” buys? Is AAAM exploring/identifying vendors who are willing to support membership purchases?


This seems to be an opportunity that AAAM could fill, but I’d also check in with local nonprofit associations to see what collective buying efforts they may be exploring or implementing.


Amina Dickerson