Building Funding Partnerships Together – Smithsonian and Affiliates

Photo courtesy the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO).

While we work together to bring collections, educational programming and a variety of resources to museums and communities across the country, we plan to offer Affiliates additional benefits by expanding  our partnership activities and identifying  support for our shared goals –  both Smithsonian and Affiliate goals. Through joint fundraising, the Smithsonian as a national organization can open doors to new funding opportunities and develop support for collaborative initiatives not easily accessible to regional museums and organizations.

Over the past year, Smithsonian Affiliations has taken a first step in scaling up partnerships and benefits by including Affiliates in Smithsonian funded grant programs. Affiliates have begun to play an integral role in Smithsonian projects and are providing a national voice in Smithsonian initiatives. Moving beyond these internal funding sources, we will be developing a model of fundraising that includes Affiliates and units from across the Smithsonian to engage donors, national corporations, government funding sources, and foundations with the goal of providing support for Affiliate projects.

NEH grants allowed five Affiliates to engage students and teachers both in person and via the webcast during the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Humanities collaboration “National Youth Summit: The 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides.”

In the conference session in June, the Smithsonian’s Development Director for Education and Access, Michael Dunagan, and the Director of the Office of Sponsored Projects, Scott Robinson, will discuss how the Smithsonian and Affiliates can build partnerships and collaborate to increase funding opportunities for joint initiatives.  The session will explore how we can work together more closely across the Affiliate network. We look forward to hearing from Affiliates, to create an ongoing dialogue to build this increased support, and to understand your priorities, as well as the needs of your audiences and communities.

We look forward to seeing you at our session, Fundraising as a Team Sport– We are the Team, on Wednesday, June 13, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. View the complete 2012 Affiliations National Conference agenda here.

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