The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley is trying to shore up donations to compensate for hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak.
A letter sent by Executive Director John Heubusch to the museum’s members this week specified that every week the museum remains closed, it loses about $150,000 in revenue from admissions, concessions, events and other on-site sales. The museum has been closed since March 13.
Heubusch requested donations of any size “to ensure we can re-open our doors.”
“The Reagan Library and Museum relies on revenue from museum guests and members. With our doors closed indefinitely, we are joining Americans in tightening our belts as best we can in response to these unprecedented circumstances,” the letter stated. “Our operations moving forward is dependent upon the generosity of friends like you.”
The letter was initially published online Tuesday morning by celebrity news site TMZ. The museum confirmed to the Business Journal the letter’s validity Tuesday afternoon.
“As you can imagine, as a public-facing institution, we collect revenue through ticket sales, museum store sales, audio tour sales, membership sales, etc. By being closed, these funds are now not coming in,” Melissa Giller, the museum’s chief marketing officer, said in an email to the Business Journal. “That said, we’ve been raising funds for decades – and we’re quite successful at it. … The fundraising we have been able to do is keeping every single employee – part time and full time – employed during this ‘shelter-at-home’ timeframe while public spaces and businesses are closed. We have not currently laid off anyone.”
The museum employs about 150 people, including part-time workers, between its two offices in Simi Valley and Washington, D.C.
The Reagan Library and Museum is a popular tourist destination and a sought-after venue for San Fernando Valley and Ventura County business events. The museum receives no federal funding despite being administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.
The institution offers free admission and other benefits to members who pledge annual donations.