By Judith Messina, Crain's New York Business
Founded in response to the stock market crash of Oct. 19, 1987, when the Dow plunged nearly 23%, the Museum of American Finance occupies three floors and 30,000 square feet at the old Bank of New York building at 48 Wall Street. Its $3.4 million in annual revenue comes mostly from individuals, and board members include well-known financiers like turnaround specialist Wilbur Ross and eminences like Harvard historian Niall Ferguson.
Despite its Wall Street origins, the museum grapples with many of the same problems that plague other institutions. In 2009, after the credit crisis, contributions fell 21%, to $2.2 million. Since then, however, its fortunes have improved. In 2010, the museum raised $3.2 million from donations and grants, an increase of 45% over 2009. At the same time, attendance is on the upswing...