Industry Insights
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With the vast majority of museums in the United States being non-profit, most are no stranger to planning a successful fundraising campaign. It’s safe to say the future of your museum often depends upon prosperous fundraising ventures and strict adherence to budget guidelines. It prompts the question, though; in addition to pursuance of funding from outside the walls of your museum, how often do you look within your museum and review existing vendor relationships? It’s likely you may uncover savings which could (and should) be applied to your bottom line.

Most are familiar with the adage, “cash is king” relative to the importance of cash flow; however, cash is not “king” in the world of payments. Instead, debit and credit cards hold the title while they dominate as the world’s preferred payment method today. Since the vast majority of U.S. museums are currently accepting credit cards and paying a provider for the service, this is a logical (and likely) opportunity to uncover increased profitability to your organization. Like any expense, especially in an overtly budget-conscious environment, your merchant services relationship should be monitored and reviewed regularly. If not, your fundraising efforts may be thwarted by overpaying your merchant services provider.

An AAM member and non-profit U.S. museum recently gave Thrive Payments (formerly Odyssey Merchant Services) the opportunity to run a complimentary pricing analysis against a well-known international merchant services provider. We discovered very quickly that the AAM member museum had been overcharged, and in some cases illegitimately charged, for products and services in an amount estimated to exceed $30,000 in the next three years. As we pulled apart their billing statement and discovered several major areas of concern, we swiftly solidified an astounding and disheartening reality…not all merchant service providers are honest and trustworthy. Thankfully, the AAM member museum realized it was time for their merchant services “checkup” therefore successfully recovering the excess expense and keeping it within their organization. This prudent practice has proven to be essential in upholding your fiduciary responsibility to your museum and your generous donors.

Before you issue your annual appeal and execute your next fundraising campaign, it’s encouraged to also schedule your merchant services review in an effort to recover funds that rightfully belong within your museum, while also improving upon efficiency, service, and data security. Thrive Payments proudly serves the museum community and we’re here to help. Contact Jeana today at or 781-756-8241.