Natural Science Collections Alliance

Our members are part of an international community of museums, botanical gardens, herbariums, universities and other institutions that house natural science collections and utilize them in research, exhibitions, academic and informal science education, and outreach activities.

Preliminary Findings: Collections and the Economy

The NSC Alliance thanks all collections that completed the recent survey on the impacts of the current global economic condition on natural science collections.  Survey data are being analyzed and a short report will be released before the end of the year.

Preliminary analysis of survey responses indicates that nearly 90 collections responded the survey during the seven day survey period.  The overwhelming majority of the responses were from collections in the United States.  Collections responding to the survey are located in all regions of the United States, and included small, medium, and large collections.  Collections completely the survey were affiliated with public and private universities, government agencies, and free-standing institutions.

Survey findings included:

-> 66 percent of survey respondents reported that they “anticipate a budget cut in the coming 12-24 months.”  Roughly 14 percent do not anticipate a budget cut, while 20 percent remain uncertain about whether they will experience a budget cut in the coming 12 – 24 months.

-> 86 percent of the respondents report receiving philanthropic donations.  Of these, 48 percent expect to see reduced donations in the coming 12 – 24 months.

-> 50 percent of responding collections report that they “anticipate that government grants and contracts will play a more important role in research and education programs in the coming 12 – 24 months.

-> 42 percent of responding collections with public programs report no significant change in attendance during the past 12 months.  However, 55 percent of collections report a slight or significant increase in public attendance during this same period.

Additional data and analysis are forthcoming.  If you have questions or require additional information, please contact NSC Alliance director of public policy Dr. Robert Gropp at

Preliminary Findings: Collections and the Economy
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