The Price of Board Participation
Trustees Find Board Seats Are Still Luxury Items
Like Prada handbags and Hermès scarves, a spot on one of New York City’s most prestigious cultural boards never goes on sale, even in a recession.
Looking to join the power set at the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Be ready with a check for as much as $10 million. The price of admission can reach that high at the Museum of Modern Art, and remains roughly $5 million at the New York Public Library, according to people involved in the process.
“For those who can, we have an expectation and we try to be very clear about that expectation,” said Reynold Levy, the president of Lincoln Center, whose board members are generally asked to contribute $250,000 upfront and on an annual basis.
… And trustees have to be prepared to commit to the less-glamorous business of showing up for meetings to oversee a cultural institution – approving its programs and budgets, investing its endowments and managing its physical plant.