The Intermuseum Conservation Association appears to receive substantial revenue from fee-based services based on my review of its 990 reports, offering the very same art conservation services as so many similar for-profit enterprises today and offers the kinds of pro-bono services to the public, on-going professional research, and educational opportunities (internships) as some for-profit conservation service providers whose business success can support these public service activities. Therefore, it may be expected that, like any successful business providing art conservation services, many of these public benefit pro-bono services can be provided by either non-profit and for-profit entities alike entirely from fee-based service revenue. Art conservation services outside of in-house museum departments today are mostly provided by for-profit commercial enterprises, many of which self-fund the expected professional contributions to public outreach, basic professional advancement research and aid to those who can not fully pay. Many decades ago, conservation centers such as the Intermuseum Conservation Laboratory operated by the Intermuseum Conservation Association were pioneers in the basics of conservation research and the promotion of conservation awareness and were in need of granted funding to support these activities of a fledgling profession. Nowadays, the growth of for-profit and similar providers of art conservation services have grown immensely and the public and museum communities are now well educated on preservation. This makes the old non-profit model of an art conservation center appear like a dinosaur today, yet they keep begging for financial support that a number of art conservation businesses have proven is unnecessary. On this basis, The Intermuseum Conservation Association seems less a reasonable candidate for General Operating Support in these times. However, the Intermuseum Conservation Association offers valuable programs that can not normally be funded from the revenue of for-profit art conservation services providers and therefore the Intermuseum Conservation Association is deserving of consideration of program-based funding.
Review from Guidestar