New Yorkers Are Primary Philanthropists


In its 2018 Annual Report, the Met Museum reports that admission fee income represented 16% of its operating revenues.  [$47,500,000]  Further, City leaders annually subsidize the Museum for security and utilities expenses.  In 2018, the Museum’s Annual Report showed that New York taxpayers contributed $26,694,000 toward these expenses.  However, up until FA’s presentation, Museum Annual Reports touted philanthropic and endowment support as its primary funders; as example, 36% or $106,776,000 was received from “gifts, grants, and net assets released from restriction …” and “endowment support”, at 26% provided $77,116,000 for a total of $183,892,000, in 2018.   

But, and this is a “big but”, what the Museum does not report -- and all media as well do not report – is the fact that the Museum’s philanthropists taken together cannot stand shoulder-to-shoulder with New Yorkers who further subsidize it with rental forgiveness approximating One Billion Dollars annually.

Calculation evidencing New Yorkers' substantive philanthropy:

  • The Museum tenants 2,000,000 square feet of Central Park buildings
  • Market retail rent is $3,500/square foot
  • Primary office space is $150/square foot
  • Secondary office space is $100/square foot


  • 10% of 2,000,000 square feet or    200,000 sq. ft. rented @ $3,500/sq.ft. =    $700,000,000
  • 60% of 2,000,000 square feet or 1,200,000 sq. ft. rented @ $   150/sq.ft. =    $180,000,000
  • 30% of 2,000,000 square feet or    600,000 sq. ft. rented @ $   100/sq.ft. =    $  60,000,000
                              • $940,000,000 rounded to $1,000,000,000


FA gives evidence in its "Economic Advantage With Compliance" section that a compliant Museum will benefit financially .  The Museum’s earlier PWYWBYMPS with recommended or suggested amount allowed visitors to pay less than the requested sum.  When reporting the terms of the new mandatory policy, the popular press reported that under PWYWBYMPS only 17% pay the full $25 suggested fee while “the average person pays $9.” 

FA wonders why, then, Museum trustees and administrators, City leaders and State legislators and Attorney General James seemingly have not undertaken to analyze the economic and public relations benefit to be gained with a compliant and good citizen Museum?