9/11 memorial raises $15M from foreigners, needs $9M more

National September 11 Memorial

National September 11 Memorial

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum Foundation has raised $15 million from foreign donors but still needs another $9 million to close the gap between what it expects to generate through admissions and gift sales, and what it needs to operate every year. The group has tried unsuccessfully to get Congress to help out with its estimated $60 million budget but will have to go back to lawmakers to keep the yet-unopened project alive.

In 2011, the foundation asked for $20 million annually in federal funds, but the effort stalled; there hasn’t yet been a renewed push for federal aid, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The foundation will not make it without taxpayer dollars, its president, Joe Daniels, told the newspaper, but “until that day comes, our biggest responsibility to the public is to keep the museum open,” he said.

Daniels is aiming to cover 60 percent of the operating budget with revenue from admissions, gift-shop sales and concessions. The museum intends to charge about $20 for adult admission, though victims’ families will get free admission and there will be several hours each week of free admission for the public.

By contrast, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has free admission but receives 60 percent of its operating budget  – about $48.1 million  – in government aid. [WSJ]Hiten Samtani

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