Making a Difference: Foundation Philanthropy Shatters Expectations

The Museum of New Mexico Foundation crushed its fundraising, membership and planned giving goals by almost 75 percent in fiscal year 2022-2023 (July 1, 2022–June 30, 2023). Total earned and contributed revenues reached $13.8 million—the highest amount recorded in Foundation history.

In this record-breaking year, we are grateful for every type of giving, because every legacy gift, foundation grant and cash donation contributed to the whole. Support came from all corners to make major exhibitions possible, fund named endowments, support special projects and increase educational outreach across our 13 cultural partners.

“We are so delighted that our fundraising efforts for nearly every Museum of New Mexico division exceeded expectations last fiscal year,” says Jamie Clements, Foundation president and CEO.

Our generous donors contributed $3.2 million to the four museums, eight historic sites and Office of Archaeological Studies. The Foundation retained 78 percent of its members. Thanks to their ongoing affinity for New Mexico and global culture, as well as exciting new member benefits, we surpassed our membership dues goal by $150,000.

The New Mexico Museum of Art was a true fundraising champion for the fiscal year, leading to the opening of the Vladem Contemporary in September 2023. Our fundraising goal for the new museum building’s first year of programming was $1.5 million, which we exceeded by $1 million. Clements credits much of this success to the efforts of Mark White, executive director of the New Mexico Museum of Art.

“Mark led an endless number of tours through the Vladem construction site, where every donor and prospect became enthusiastic about what the new museum building would mean for the Santa Fe community,” Clements says. “This led to a significant number of contributions, capped by a $1 million gift from Charles.

The Office of Archaeological Studies also had an outstanding year, outperforming its $32,000 fundraising goal by more than 600 percent. The main contributors to this success were Joyce Blalock, with a major gift to support research, and Wolky Toll, who established the Mollie Toll Endowment for Education Outreach. The total sum of $128,000 was reached in combination with gifts from 105 other households.

Curators at the Museum of International Folk Art secured a $148,000 grant from the Terra Foundation for its landmark exhibition Ghhúunayúkata/To Keep Them Warm: The Alaska Native Parka. The museum exceeded its overall fundraising goal by almost 50 percent, for a total of $984,868. This was due in large part to the launch of the Alexander Girard Legacy Fund in honor of the 40th anniversary of Girard’s Multiple Visions: A Common Bond installation at the museum. And in May, the Folk Art Flea saw $124,846 in gross revenues, when the move to the Santa Fe County Fair- grounds increased space for additional vendors and buyers.

The New Mexico History Museum topped its $166,467 goal by almost $327,000. The Campaign for New Mexico History concluded in December 2022, but its momentum carried into spring 2023, with more than $120,000 in individual contributions. October’s Fred Harvey Weekend was the most successful in its 13-year history, earning more than $45,000 in net revenue to benefit museum exhibitions and programming. The museum received a $149,921 grant from the National Archives Foundation for digitizing records in the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives, which archivists will use to make information about Museum of New Mexico founder Edgar L. Hewett available to the public.

Though the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture came in a bit shy of its $455,956 goal, the Horizons: Weaving Between the Lines with Diné Textiles campaign was a success. Foundation trustee France A. Córdova and her husband, Christian J. Foster, signed on as lead sponsors for the exhibition, which opened in July 2023. Other sponsors included Shiprock Santa Fe as well as Tom and Mary James, founders of the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art in St. Petersburg, Florida. Another notable gift to the museum came from Kristina Flanagan, who every year donates the equivalent of her annual property taxes to Native causes. In 2024, she directed her gift to support educational outreach at the museum.

The Museum Shops had another banner year, coming in more than $70,000 ahead of projections. It was their second-best year ever, just 2.1 percent behind last year’s impressive numbers, with museum visitors purchasing colorful exhibition-related items, as well as jewelry, art objects and books. Although licensing revenues were down slightly from projec- tions, due to unavoidable supply chain issues, expectations for next year are high, with five new licensing agreements struck in the fiscal year. One is with an Albuquerque-based furniture company that is developing designs based on pieces at the New Mexico Museum of Art.

Finally, a significant source of Foundation revenue came from $3.7 million in realized legacy gifts. These bittersweet donations that come at the end of life are a testament to the public’s longstanding appreciation of the work of the Museum of New Mexico system.

Realized legacy gifts included Margot T. Linton’s $17,500 revocable living trust benefitting the Foundation and Museum of International Folk Art. Legacy gifts to the Museum of International folk Art also came from Elizabeth Raspolic ($100,000 revocable living trust), Martin and Deborah Fishbein ($1.5 million estate gift) and Robert H. Blommer ($1.18 million estate gift). And revenues of more than $900,000 released from the charitable remainder trust of Charles “Chuck” and Mara Robinson benefited the New Mexico History Museum and Palace of the Governors.

“Fundraising is a virtuous cycle where donors support world-class exhibitions and educational programs at our museums and historic sites. This stellar programming inspires additional giving," says Clements. "Every member, donor and contribution of time and talent enables the Foundation to fulfill our mission of support for the Museum of New Mexico system."


This article and image are from the Museum of New Mexico Foundation’s Member News Magazine.