By Rachel Wulff

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Like many nonprofits, the California Automobile Museum has been driven to look for new ways to bring in revenue amid the coronavirus shutdown.

Walking into the museum is like stepping back in time. Now the nonprofit is asking the public to step up when it comes to money.

“We rely on keeping our doors open to make our bottom line,” Executive Director Mark Steigerwald said.

Since the statewide shutdown, they’ve furloughed 10 employees and asked for forbearance on their roof loan, but it’s not enough.

“With no employees here, just shy of $20,000 a month is our bare-bones budget, without salaries and keeping lights on and doors open,” Steigerwald said.

With two months of cash reserves, he said closing for two weeks was doable, but potentially closing for two to three months could put them on the fast track to financial ruin.

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So, the museum is asking people to join or renew their memberships online and donate an RV, boat or car so they can sell it to raise money.

“We have already got two new vehicles promised to us in the last two days, that will help meet the bottom line,” Steigerwald said.

To go the extra mile, the nonprofit is also considering renting out their classic cars. Steigerwald says there is a need for speed when it comes to reopening the economy.

“We are looking for a May date to open to the public, we are really aching for that,” he said.

If they can’t open, it will be a bumpy road for not just them, but many other nonprofits like them down the road.


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