US Holocaust Memorial Museum targets $1bn fundraising goal

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum has marked its 25th anniversary by setting a $1bn fundraising goal that it aims to reach by its 30th anniversary in 2023.

Five years ago, the Holocaust Memorial Museum set out to raise $540m with its Never Again: What You Do Matters campaign. It achieved this goal 18 months ahead of schedule and to date has raised $715m in donations from 356,466 people.

At a dinner yesterday marking the 25th anniversary, the museum announced it would extend the goal to raise $1bn by its 30th year in operation.

“We will not stop,” said Holocaust Memorial Museum director Sara Bloomfield. “Twenty-five years is only a beginning, and we are building an institution for the ages to keep Holocaust memory alive and at work in the world.

“Our campaign will secure the resources to ensure that the museum can remain relevant and responsive.  Not only can we do this; we must do this. We owe the survivors and victims no less.”

The museum opened in 1993 as a living memorial to honour the memory of the victims and teach the lessons of the Holocaust to new generations. More than 43 million people have visited since it opened.

So far, the Never Again: What You Do Matters campaign has secured funding to double the museum endowment and revitalise its permanent exhibition. The funds have also been used to build the David and Fela Shapell Family Collections, Conservation and Research Center, which houses its collections.

During the final phase of the campaign, funds raised will be used to continue its educational programmes and raise global Holocaust awareness.

“The lessons Holocaust history teaches about the fragility of freedom, the dangers of hate, and the consequences of inaction have never been more timely,” said museum chairman Howard Lorber.

“Twenty-five years ago, we aspired to reach every part of America. Today, with the rising tide of denial, antisemitism, and extremism and continued threats of genocide, our message can and must span the globe.”

In January, the museum launched Never Stop Asking Why, an online campaign to engage new generations with the questions that the Holocaust raises and what they mean for today’s society.

Image: c. Holocaust Memorial Museum.