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Eligibility for the Museum Assessment Program

Is my museum eligible to participate in MAP?

All types of museums are eligible for MAP.

To participate, a museum must:

  • Be organized for educational or aesthetic purposes
  • Own or use tangible objects and exhibit these objects on a regular basis through facilities it owns or operates
  • Be a unit of state or local government or a 501(c)3 private, nonprofit organization (If your museum is a federal institution, contact the MAP staff to discuss how it can still participate in MAP)
  • Have at least one staff member or the full-time equivalent, paid or unpaid, whose responsibilities relate solely to the museum’s services and operations
  • Be open and provide museum services to the public at least 90 days in the current or preceding year
  • Be located in the U.S., including Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau (If your museum is located elsewhere, contact the MAP staff to discuss how it can still participate in MAP Non-U.S. and for-profit museums are also welcome to participate in MAP through a different fee structure.)

Museums with Parent Organizations

Museums that operate within a non-federal parent organization are eligible to apply and participate in MAP. A museum operated within a multi-purpose public or private nonprofit organization such as a municipality, university, historical society, foundation, or cultural center may apply if it:

  • Is able to independently fulfill all the requirements for eligibility listed above
  • Functions as a discrete unit within the parent organization
  • Has its own fully segregated and itemized operating budget
  • Has the authority to apply on its own

When any of the last three conditions cannot be met, a museum may apply through its parent organization, and the parent organization may submit an application(s) for one or more of its museums.

Is my museum eligible to do MAP again?

Yes! You can do a different assessment type or repeat one.

A different assessment: Museums are eligible to apply at any time

Repeating the same assessment type: Museums are eligible to participate again in the same type of assessment when seven years have passed since the original assessment.

All applicants that have done a MAP previously are asked to demonstrate their accomplishments since their last assessment and explain why they are seeking a new assessment.

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