Social Enterprise – Finalist
Betty Brinn Children’s Museum
929 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee
The Betty Brinn Children’s Museum opened in 1995 with a mission to provide evidence-based learning opportunities for children.
In 2004, the museum launched its Exhibit Development Initiative, part of a long-term strategy to reduce the organization’s reliance on contributions by generating income to support its operations.
In 2015, the initiative generated 30 percent of the museum’s total earned income, and is projected to represent 35 percent of its 2016 total earned income.
Through the EDI, museum staff produce educational exhibits – initially for use at Betty Brinn – that can subsequently be purchased or leased by peer institutions to keep their visitor experience fresh, build attendance and highlight their educational mission in the communities they serve.
The initiative currently includes five national touring exhibits and will begin offering a sixth touring exhibit in 2017.
The exhibits have been designed in collaboration with companies and organizations like Hasbro Inc., the United States Forest Service, General Electric Co., Wm. K. Walthers Inc. and the Harley-Davidson Motor Co., among others.