Fiscal Year 2021 Financial Summary
The Covid health crisis continued to have a significant financial effect on the Museum during fiscal year 2021. After initially closing in March of 2020, the Museum reopened in July, and then was forced to close again in December, finally to reopen again in May 2021. The closures put acute stress on the Museum’s finances as visitor revenue disappeared. This forced the Museum to take dramatic steps to ensure our ongoing viability.
Management and staff worked closely to find ways to further the Museum’s mission, while conserving cash and resources. Museum educators, specialists, and web content developers moved quickly to expand the Museum’s visitor center reach, creating content for use in the home, and through schools. As well, staff continued work on a number of grant funded programs, notably developing and distributing fine motor skill and social emotional learning kits for children and families in Greater Boston. The grants management and fundraising teams focused keenly on leveraging the Museum’s intellectual capital and reputation, which resulted in a number of new and significant grants and sustained donations. Finally, management enjoined the staff in a strategic planning process for the purpose of examining our business model, furthering the in-Museum experience, and identifying new earned income opportunities.
In addition to these steps, the Museum took several major actions to address its financial condition. First, a massive and immediate effort to reduce expenses, including furloughs, salary cuts and layoffs; second, applying for and receiving crucial Federal Covid-Relief funding; third, securing impactful new fiscal year 2021, and beyond, grants that will provide necessary income especially in fiscal year 2022; fourth, securing steady support in the form of unrestricted philanthropy; fifth, maintaining a steady flow of tenant income; and lastly, benefiting from a strong and healthy pre-Covid balance sheet. The importance of receiving the federal Covid-Relief cannot be overstated. Without the receipt of a “Paycheck Protection Program” grant, and Employee Retention Tax Credits, the Museum would have had to take even greater drastic measures. With these vital factors combined, we were fortunate to sustain viability, maintain essential Museum assets, and successfully reopen.
On a positive note, our investment portfolio ended the year at an all-time high, a 21.7% increase over fiscal year 2020. For all of this, we are grateful. We are managing the Museum operations and our human and institutional assets with extreme care, navigating uncharted waters and planning for a future that is still being written. With heartfelt thanks to our staff, Board and stakeholders for their commitment and hard work, the Museum enters fiscal year 2022 with cautious optimism.
Amy L. Auerbach
Senior Vice President and CFO