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Arts, Culture, Humanities : Museums

Please Touch Museum

Imagine the fun

three stars

85.58

4231 Avenue of the Republic Philadelphia, PA 19131
tel: (215) 581-3181   Web Site
EIN: 23-2109376

Board Leadership
Benjamin L. Johnson
Chair

CEO
Patricia Wellenbach
President, CEO

  Score
(out of 100)
Rating
Overall Score & Rating 85.58 three stars
  Financial 82.84 three stars
  Accountability & Transparency 89.00 three stars
This rating was published 08/01/2019 and includes data from FY2018, the most recent 990 received at that time.

Since 1976 Please Touch Museum (PTM) has been the children's museum of Philadelphia. Our museum was the first in the nation whose target audience was families with children seven and younger. We have grown into one of the best children's museums in the nation, have become experts in play and have had our programs for under served families in the region nationally recognized. Our mission, to enrich the lives of children by creating learning opportunities through play, enables us to lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning and cultural awareness. PTM prides itself on its scope of community programming and ongoing efforts to assess, design and implement programs that meet the evolving needs of children and families. The museum serves children of all socio-economic backgrounds by educating children and those who nurture their development.

Since 1976 Please Touch Museum (PTM) has been the children's museum of Philadelphia. Our museum was the first in the nation whose target audience was families with children seven and younger. We have grown into one of the best children's museums in the nation, have become experts in play and have had our programs for under served families in the region nationally recognized. Our mission, to enrich the lives of children by creating learning opportunities through play, enables us to lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning and cultural awareness. PTM prides itself on its scope of community programming and ongoing efforts to assess, design and implement programs that meet the evolving needs of children and families. The museum serves children of all socio-economic backgrounds by educating children and those who nurture their development.

Impact Information

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Financial

three stars

82.84

Accountability & Transparency

three stars

89.00

This rating was published 08/01/2019 and includes data from FY2018, the most recent 990 received at that time.
Overall Rating Chart
  Program Expenses
(Percent of the charity's total expenses spent on the programs
and services it delivers)
75.9%
  Administrative Expenses 18.0%
  Fundraising Expenses 6.0%
  Fundraising Efficiency $0.14
  Working Capital Ratio (years) 3.63
  Program Expenses Growth -2.0%
  Liabilities to Assets 2.2%
All data for Financial Performance Metrics calculations was provided by Please Touch Museum on recent 990s filed with the IRS.
All data for Financial Performance Metrics calculations was provided by Please Touch Museum on recent 990s filed with the IRS.

Highly Rated

Charity Name & State Overall Score Overall Rating
Please Touch Museum (PA) 85.58 three stars
Amazement Square (VA) 87.92 three stars
DISCOVERY Children's Museum (NV) 85.93 three stars
Kidspace Children's Museum (CA) 94.98 four stars
EdVenture (SC) 85.23 three stars

Compare These Charities (Highly Rated)

REVENUE  
Contributions  
   Contributions, Gifts & Grants $879,847
   Federated Campaigns $0
   Membership Dues $0
   Fundraising Events $72,725
   Related Organizations $0
   Government Grants $177,498
Total Contributions $1,130,070
   Program Service Revenue $6,250,522
Total Primary Revenue $7,380,592
   Other Revenue $388,612
TOTAL REVENUE $7,769,204
   
EXPENSES  
   Program Expenses $7,169,011
   Administrative Expenses $1,141,898
   Fundraising Expenses $507,369
TOTAL FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES $8,818,278
   
Payments to Affiliates $0
Excess (or Deficit) for the year $-1,049,074
   
Net Assets $34,481,501

Program names and associated costs are listed for the top programs as reported on the charity's most recently filed Form 990. The top programs displayed will include the largest three programs, or those programs covering at least 60% of the charity's total expenses, whichever comes first.

Program Name Amount Spent % of Program Expenses
Interactive Exhibits & Educational Programming $7,169,011 100.0%

Within the last year, this charity had a CN Advisory removed. Read More

Ratings History

Form 990 FYE Date Published Overall Score Overall Rating
CN 2.1
2018-09 08/01/2019 85.58 three stars
2017-09 08/01/2018 84.26 three stars
2016-09 11/01/2017 76.02 two stars
2015-09 02/01/2017 64.48 one star
2014-09 06/01/2016 64.72 one star
 
CN 2.0
2014-09 02/01/2016 66.41 one star
2013-09 06/01/2015 68.11 one star
2012-09 03/01/2014 66.08 one star
2011-09 12/20/2012 73.34 two stars
2010-09 04/01/2012 74.93 two stars
2009-09 09/20/2011 83.29 three stars
 
CN 1.0
2009-09 05/01/2011 77.43 two stars
2008-09 04/01/2010 71.12 two stars
2007-09 12/01/2008 74.41 two stars
2006-09 12/01/2007 80.15 three stars
2005-09 11/01/2006 93.90 four stars
2004-09 12/01/2005 76.60 two stars
2003-09 01/05/2005 72.36 two stars
2002-09 01/01/2004 69.46 one star
2001-09 10/15/2002 87.13 three stars

Historical CN Advisories

07/01/2015-01/01/2017: Low Concern Advisory

In accordance with our policy for removing CN Advisories, Charity Navigator removed the Low Concern CN Advisory for the Please Touch Museum on December 21, 2016 because the CN Advisory has been in place for more than a year (since July 2015).

Charity Navigator had published a Low Concern CN Advisory on the Please Touch Museum because we became aware of the following information in connection with this charity:

  • On May 24, 2015, Philadelphia Magazine reported on the operations of Please Touch Museum, in an article titled, "Hands Off the Please Touch." For this reason, we have issued a Low Concern CN Advisory on Please Touch Museum. For more information regarding the investigation, please see the Philadelphia Magazine article.

    Charity Response

    On July 1, 2015, the Please Touch Museum provided Charity Navigator with the following statement in response to the Philadelphia Magazine article:
     
    "The Museum fell victim to a perfect storm of financial issues shortly after moving to its new home in 2007, Memorial Hall, a forgotten Philadelphia historical treasure that required an ambitious rehabilitation. The recession led to a shortfall of millions of dollars in fundraising related to the move. In addition, the value of the building that housed the original Please Touch Museum had to be sold for less than half its estimated value, meaning a loss of several more million. Despite these obstacles, the beloved museum continues to attract half a million visitors per year at its new home even as negotiations continue to restructure the bond debt." 
    • On January 7, 2016, The Philadelphia Business Journal published an article titled, "Please Touch Museum Adds Chief Development Officer." For more information, please see The Philadelphia Business Journal article.

    • On March 17, 2016, Philly.com published an article titled, "Please Touch Museum is out of bankruptcy." For more information, please see the Philly.com article.

The data displayed on this tab is provided by the IRS in the form of Publication 78 and the Business Master File (BMF).

EIN 23-2109376
Name in IRS Master File PLEASE TOUCH MUSEUM
NTEE Code A52
NTEE Classification Children's Museums
NTEE Type Arts, Culture and Humanities
Classification Charitable Organization
Subsection 501(c)(3)  (View the list of codes)
Activities (60) Museum, zoo, planetarium, etc.
(318) Other recreational activities
Foundation Status Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
Deductibility Contributions are deductible
Affiliation Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations).
Group Name [Not Applicable]
Ruling Date November, 1979
Filing Requirement 990 (all other) or 990EZ return
Fiscal Year End September
IRS Forms 990
(provided courtesy of Foundation Center)
(Log In or Register Now to View Forms 990!)
  • September, 2018
  • September, 2017
  • September, 2016
  • September, 2015
  • September, 2014
Compensation % of Expenses Paid to Title
$260,973 2.95% Patricia D. Wellenbach President & CEO

Highly Rated

Charity Name & State Overall Score Overall Rating
Please Touch Museum (PA) 85.58 three stars
Chicago Children's Museum (IL) 85.01 three stars
Discovery Museum (MA) 87.63 three stars
DISCOVERY Children's Museum (NV) 85.93 three stars
Boston Children's Museum (MA) 90.80 four stars

Compare These Charities (Highly Rated)

This charity has an official representative registered with Charity Navigator.

Charity Contact Info

Please Touch Museum
4231 Avenue of the Republic
Philadelphia, PA 19131
tel: (215) 581-3181
fax: (215) 581-3183
EIN: 23-2109376

Visit Web Site

Board Leadership

Benjamin L. Johnson
Chair

CEO

Patricia Wellenbach
President, CEO

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