Employees at the USS Constitution Museum are tightening their belts and brainstorming ways to raise money after being set back more than $100,000 during the government shutdown, officials said.
On a daily basis, the museum normally has 1,000 visitors and raises about $7,000 through donations and purchases at the gift shop, said Museum President Anne Grimes Rand.
October also happens to be one of the museum’s busiest months, Grimes Rand said, as the crisp, seasonable weather draws leaf-peepers, school trips, and tourists from cruises and bus tours.
“The No. 1 plan is to remake money,” said Grimes Rand. The private non-profit museum has a budget of $3 million per year, and through the winter months will try to erase the shortfall, she said.
The first thing on Grimes Rand’s agenda today was brainstorming ways to make up for the losses, she said.
Employees at the museum have been trying to spread the word that the museum needs support. Area restaurants and business have been donating portions of their nightly profits to the museum to help.
“One route is working with partners,” Grimes Rand said. “We’re being as proactive as possible.”
During the 16-day shutdown, the museum, shut out of its Charlestown Navy Yard location, created “museum on the move,” a pop-up tent with hands-on activities, samples of Old Ironsides’ wood, and souvenirs, Grimes Rand said.
One of the visitors to the tent said, “Congress could take a note on resourcefulness from you,” Grimes Rand recalled.