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San Francisco City Services Auditor Releases Report on Museum Services Using CDP Data

  • Posted Apr 28, 2015

The City Services Auditor of the City and County of San Francisco released a report using fiscal year (FY) 2010‐11 data from the CDP and self‐reported data from two San Francisco museums to provide a benchmarking analysis for museum services, reviewed performance and cost benchmarks and conduct comparisons of the cost and performance of San Francisco City government with other cities, counties, and public agencies performing similar functions. Nine cities and the counties with which they are affiliated were used for the peer group used in this report. These are Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego, and Washington, DC.

The report found that compared to the nine peer jurisdictions, San Francisco supported the second highest number of comparable museums (ten) and contributed the second highest amount of local government funding ($24 million). However, San Francisco’s ten comparable museums did not depend on local government funding as much did as their peers in Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, and Chicago. San Francisco’s overall subsidy supporting the cost of visitors was less than the peer average.

The metrics used for the report also indicated that San Francisco’s ten comparable museums were generally above or near the average of peer benchmarks for financial conditions measuring sustainability and efficient use of funds in FY 2010‐11.

San Francisco’s eight art museums offer slightly fewer exhibitions per million square feet than the peer art museum average, while San Francisco’s two Natural History & Natural Science Museums offer slightly more than the peer Natural History & Natural Science Museum average.

San Francisco’s ten comparable museums attracted notably more children per capita than comparable museums in any other peer jurisdiction. San Francisco’s ten comparable museums also attracted the most class and workshop attendees per capita.

San Francisco’s ten comparable museums had the highest number of on‐site visitors per museum square foot in FY 2010‐11. Similarly, San Francisco’s ten comparable museums attracted the highest number of unique web visitors per capita. The city also notably exceeded the peer average with the second highest number of part‐time volunteers per capita. However, these same museums attracted a below average percentage of paying visitors to their front doors.

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"This report uses Fiscal Year (FY) 2010‐11 data from the Cultural Data Project (CDP) and self‐reported data from two San Francisco museums to provide a benchmarking analysis for museum services."

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