5-Minute Interview With Matthew Bregman of El Museo del Barrio
Time Warner came on as a contributor to the re-envisioning campaign … with a $400,000 gift this past year, which was very exciting.
FS: How will the loss of support from Altria Corp. affect your organization?
MB: Altria has been a very generous supporter of El Museo for more than 20 years, and now we know they’ll be sharply curtailing their giving to arts groups in New York, including El Museo. Just as they’ve been great to us for the last 20 years, they’ve been great to us and to all of their grantees during this trans-ition. They’ve been very up-front about what was coming and that we should prepare for it.
They’ve also been great in that they are making an effort to encourage other funders to step up and increase their giving. But I think that the bottom line for us is that we know it’s happening, and so we have to diversify our funding base, which is important anyhow. So we are aware that we need to meet this challenge and take it as an opportunity.
FS: What advice can you offer to other organizations that have lost or foresee losing sources of funding?
MB: I guess my feeling is that you can never cease the relentless hard work and optimism. You just have to keep exploring opportunities for new relationships. I believe it was Samuel Goldwyn who said, “The harder I work, the luckier I get.” You just have to keep working as hard as you can to find those new relationships and build them and accept that there will be a lot of frustrations along the road, but we cannot afford to miss the opportunities when they finally arise. You go through nine prospects, and they may all say no. But when the 10th one is ready to say yes, you’ve got to be there to meet them.