Help support the WCHA Forums by making a tax-deductible donation!

Canoes and museums

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Benson Gray, Jul 18, 2021.

  1. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I'm probably not the only person here who has pondered the question of what to do with a nice canoe after I am too old to use or enjoy it. I am fortunate to have one or two that may be unusual enough to consider donating to a museum. Most museums seem to need money more than additional display items so I feel that a reasonable donor should also be willing to provide sufficient funds to pay for some of the overhead related to the items being donated. I understand the complexity of calculating a precise answer to the exact overhead related to a canoe but a rough number could be obtained by simply taking the total annual expenses of the organization and dividing by the total number of boats in a marine museum. I have posed this question to a few museum people but have never gotten a detailed answer. This appears to be a very sensitive issue.

    The Canadian Canoe Museum (CCM) is planning to build a wonderful new facility which has provided some insight into the scale of the costs involved. The article at https://kawarthanow.com/2021/04/29/...this-fall-with-projected-summer-2023-opening/ indicates that "the total project cost remains in the range of $35 to $40 million." The page at https://canoemuseum.ca/the-exhibits/ mentions "open storage space, featuring more than 500 full-sized watercraft." This works out to $70K to $80K per canoe to build the facility. It is clearly possible to build a less expensive building but this provides some indication of the magnitude necessary to really do it right.

    The building is only part of the equation. Staff, facilities, administrative, fundraising, and other ongoing expenses need to be considered. The CCM's most recent annual report is available at https://canoemuseum.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/CCM-Annual-Report-2020_web.pdf and page 10 indicates that these expenses totaled $1,159,253 in 2020. This is $2,319 per year for each of the 500 canoes that they plan to move to the new building.

    Therefore, the bottom line is that a reasonable donor should think about donating roughly $100,000 to a world class museum to cover the total cost of a building and ten years of maintenance for a donated canoe. The other obvious options are to simply sell it to another collector or leave it to your heirs and let them decide what to do with it. I am still pondering.

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
    Dan Lindberg likes this.
  2. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    What about an "unreasonable" donor? :)
    But, how do those numbers compare to other museums?

    Dan

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 19, 2021
  3. OP
    OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Unreasonable donors can do anything they want, as long as a museum agrees to their plan.

    Museums don't build entirely new facilities frequently so those costs can be difficult to estimate for comparison. Sites like https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/ let you research the annual expenses from the tax filings of museums and other tax exempt organizations. Several obvious examples with significant canoe collections include: https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/263521282 for the Wisconsin Canoe Museum, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/161542277 for the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/20464218 for the New Hampshire Boat Museum, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/16015647 for the Penobscot Marine Museum, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/222319606 for the Antique Boat Museum, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/61726937 for the Adirondack Experience, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/135635801 for the Adirondack Historical Association, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/60653120 for the Mystic Seaport Museum, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/43157815 for the Peabody Essex Museum, and https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/530206027 for the Smithsonian Institute.

    The WCHA's information is available at https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/251543153 although it has no permanent collection of canoes.

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2021
  4. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    That's an interesting site, how do you find this stuff?
    As for giving an organization $$'s to take one's "stuff", that just seems wrong,
    of course maybe that's because my stuff is mostly junk.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Google and other search engines can help locate all kinds of unusual information like this. They can also be a huge distraction because there are a tremendous number of interesting 'rabbit holes' that you can go down. My day job requires a fair amount of internet research so I've gotten reasonably familiar with the various ways to find obscure stuff on the world wide web.

    Benson
     
  6. Dan Lindberg

    Dan Lindberg Ex Wood Hoarder

    Yes there are. For a couple reasons, I've been researching on "Ancestry" the last couple years,
    I've spend 100's and 100's of hours finding and confirming data.

    Dan
    "there are a tremendous number of interesting 'rabbit holes' that you can go down."
     
  7. 1905Gerrish

    1905Gerrish LOVES Wooden Canoes

    B,
    Included above is the NH Boat Museum above which just hosted its annual auction over the weekend. I see on their web page that items can be cosigned or just donated to created revenue for their cause in the auction. I would guess some of these auctioned items were donations including a few beautiful Chris Crafts. If ones self can't make the decision on how to part with items it seems they will I bet.
    Zack
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Hi Zack,

    Yes, many organizations including the WCHA are willing to accept a donated canoe, sell it to benefit the organization, and provide a tax deduction for the donor. This can be another good variation of the "sell it to another collector" option.

    Benson
     

Share This Page