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Voluntary donations at museums/galleries

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Nijmegen...
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Voluntary donations at museums/galleries

I was just wondering... during my trip early October I went to about 5 museums/galleries which had a box(or more) for suggested voluntary donations, and I was wondering whether people here pay.

I'm asking because I usually didnt, but I did always buy things in the shops, and/or ate in their restaurants/cafes(even for a light snack), and I thought I was already supporting the gallery/museum by doing that. Though I might be wrong ofcourse.

Oh I did always pay the voluntary donation at the cloakroom(where applicable)&paid a pound for a map(which at the V&A I wanted to put back so that another person could buy it but wasnt allowed)

. And thruthfully I paid so much using my card that even if I wanted to donate I just didnt have the cash on me (or only 10 pound notes or higher when suggested donation was 3).

I'd love to hear your thoughts

Inge

Glasgow, United...
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1. Re: Voluntary donations at museums/galleries

Whenever I go to a muesem that's free I usually empty my entire change purse when I leave so depending on the day is usually between £2-£6.

Roeselare, Belgium
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2. Re: Voluntary donations at museums/galleries

Interesting question, OT. We've mostly done the same as you: occasionally donating some spare coins, but otherwise just buying audioguides, snacks or souvenirs, assuming that this kind of support would suffice (especially if we can only "pop in" for a short visit). But it has made us wonder if these small contributions are enough to keep those superb 'free' museums going? I can see how many visitors also pass the donation boxes without paying, and we've often remarked to each other that it might be better if the museums charged a standard 3 or 5£ entry, which is still an absolute bargain...

Edited: 01 November 2012, 07:09
Stirling, United...
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for Stirling
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3. Re: Voluntary donations at museums/galleries

I think it is/was compulsory/encouraged to have free admission if museums wanted to get government funding.

Steamboat Springs...
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4. Re: Voluntary donations at museums/galleries

I usually just drop whatever coins I have in the box. Of course that means the second stop gets nothing unfortunately.

Cheers

London, United...
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5. Re: Voluntary donations at museums/galleries

I typically do make the suggested donation, unless I am a member or I am solely going to an exhibition I am paying to see.

UK
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for North Wales
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6. Re: Voluntary donations at museums/galleries

I like the freedom of free entrance . It means that if I have just a few minutes you can pop in and look at a favourite painting or see something new.

In which case I might not even make a donation, just look upon it like a ray of sunshine in my day.

When I arrive at Liverpool by train, I like going into the nearby Walker Art Gallery , even for a few minutes to have a chuckle at this;

liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/…cotman.aspx

Great start to the day.

On the other hand if I go out with the intention of visiting a museum or gallery and that is the main purpose of my day out , then I would donate a few pounds akin to say going to the cinema.

Free or not

Use them or lose them.

I think that an important factor in maintaining funding is the number of visitors going through the doors.

Edited: 01 November 2012, 09:05
Bristol, England
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7. Re: Voluntary donations at museums/galleries

I usually donate, unless I've just popped into a local museum to pick up a leaflet or have a cup of coffee.

Hampshire
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8. Re: Voluntary donations at museums/galleries

Well I do a bit of both ... Depending on what's in my pocket I've never left a museum yet without buying stuff at the shop. Like you I'm guessing these places want to encourage visitor numbers and are happy but it would be interesting to know from a museum... I'm going to ask now..

Nijmegen...
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9. Re: Voluntary donations at museums/galleries

Thanks for your imput! I hope I didn't do antyhing wrong when not donating, thinking I already supported by buying in the shop... I know its free but wond't mind paying a fee...

Chicago, Illinois
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10. Re: Voluntary donations at museums/galleries

I always donate at "free" museums. I try to give at least the suggested amount, even if I get the audioguide and/or buy something in the shop. The only exception is when I am there to see a paying exhibition, and even then I often drop some change in the donation box. The only way to keep the free museums free is to support them. It's probably less expensive to make the suggested donation than if the museum had to institute an admission charge.