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.
Together, Member and Visitor Services connects every Member, Patron, and visitor to the power of art through service excellence. Members, Patrons, and visitors have played a vital role at The Met since its earliest days when the Membership program was launched in 1875 and 500 people joined. Since the institution's beginning, Members have helped us bring life to art, and art to lives. Today, Member and Visitor Services serves more than 130,000 Members and more than seven million visitors annually.
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 Apollo Circle Benefit, and the The Met Acquisitions Fund Benefit, as well as receptions and private viewings of special exhibitions for Members.