Erie Community Foundation
The Erie Community Foundation was asked to consider funding for two nascent projects in Erie, Pennsylvania. In both cases, the Foundation required each organization to bring in a consultant to review the proposed plans for viability.
The Marx Toy Museum was trying to gain traction in the community. We were brought in to review what was in place and what was feasible. Unfortunately, they had no funding source, an inadequate physical facility, no owned collections, and no identifiable constituency; we recommended that the Foundation decline any support to this organization.
In another case, a local businessman sought to fill space in a large railroad depot building he had purchased to create the Erie Rail Museum. The founder was seeking funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and city and county governments; Germann was brought in to assess the prospects for success of this venture. With no funding source, no staff, no collections and only an empty, deteriorated industrial space to occupy, this was only a wishful idea. Based on our recommendation, funding was denied. The Foundation and local government officials were satisfied that they had received an objective appraisal of the situation.