The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences is the largest natural history museum in the Southeast and is the state’s most visited cultural attraction. Each year, around 1.2 million people visit the museum, where admission is free. Fundraising, including a membership program, is handled by the Friends of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, a 501(c)3 tax‐exempt nonprofit organization.
The highest motivation for becoming a member of a free museum is philanthropy, and the museum has an active membership of 3,700, which includes Individual, Individual‐plus‐1, and Family memberships. The Brimley Society, the highest level of philanthropy, includes individuals, couples, and corporate donors. Currently, there are 10 levels of membership support in amounts that range from $50 to $10,000.
SJD proposed an integrated annual fund campaign that included: a direct mail appeal with one reminder; annual fund/renewal emails in three waves; and online giving via refreshed web pages. These efforts were supported by museum signage, staff buttons/donor stickers, and take‐away giving envelopes at information desks. Direct mail and email were highly personalized for various audience segments.
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