The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a private institution relying on the combined generosity of visitors and supporters to serve the public in accordance with its traditional standards of excellence. The complex of buildings in Central Park is the property of New York City, which provides for approximately one-third of the costs of maintenance and security. In all, this covers approximately thirteen percent of The Met's annual budget; the remainder must be raised from a variety of sources.
The Development Office works with individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies to support every facet of the Museum. There are many ways to give to The Met. Individuals may join as a Member, become a Friend of a curatorial department, contribute to the capital campaign, or make a general donation to the Museum's greatest needs. The William Society engages individuals who have included The Met in their estate plans or have established planned gifts to the Museum. Corporations may support The Met in a variety of ways, such as sponsoring an exhibition or joining the Corporate Patron Program.
Members have played a vital role at The Met since its earliest days; more than five hundred people joined when the Membership program was launched in 1875. Today, The Met has nearly 140,000 Members from across the United States and 137 other countries. With fifteen categories, including special levels for out-of-town supporters, young friends, and families, The Met's Membership program offers something for everyone. Benefits include unlimited free admission to The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters, discounts in The Met Store, access to the Members Dining Room, and much more.
The Members of The Met help sustain this institution in countless crucial ways. By visiting the galleries and attending programs, Members add energy and vitality to the Museum. Above all, Members' support provides approximately twelve percent of The Met's budget each year, making it possible for the Museum to continue collecting, preserving, publishing, and displaying great works of art.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is renowned not only for its unparalleled collection, but also for its grand physical space, located on Fifth Avenue at the edge of Central Park. The Museum offers unique entertaining opportunities—with special access to the galleries—when it is closed to the public.
The Office of Special Events works with corporate Members and eligible nonprofit organizations to assist with every detail of planning memorable receptions, dinners, private gallery viewings, and fund-raising events. The Museum also hosts special evening events throughout the year, including The Met Family Benefit, the The Met Young Friends Benefit, and the The Met Acquisitions Fund Benefit, as well as receptions and private viewings of special exhibitions for Members.