Frequently Asked Questions

All information below is an archive of our fundraising and disbursement campaign, which ended on December 31, 2020.

What does “mutual aid” mean?

Mutual aid emphasizes equity, democratic participation, and reciprocity. As a form of support, it provides a critical alternative to the traditional charity model, in which aid flows in one direction, entrenching a hierarchy of power between donor and recipient. Mutual Aid for the Met Museum Staff is a community-based effort organized for and by employees.

Who is eligible for support from this fund?

Anyone who fits the following criteria can request aid.

  • I am a current or former employee at the Met. If I am a former employee, I was employed by the Met as of the Met’s closure due to COVID-19 on March 13, 2020.

  • I am facing financial hardship due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • I have not previously submitted a request for aid from Mutual Aid for The Met Museum Staff.

What constitutes a Met employee?
Met employees constitute current, former, furloughed, or retired unionized and non-unionized full-time and part-time workers, who are salaried or hourly, contractual employees, freelancers, fellows, interns, and volunteers.

Do those who receive aid have to pay the money back?
No. This payment is a qualified disaster relief payment, and it does not need to be repaid. According to IRC § 139, any payment received on or prior to December 31, 2020 for relief from the COVID-19 disaster will not be included in gross income and is therefore considered tax-exempt.

Why did you choose to work with a fiscal sponsor for this fund? Our fiscal sponsor, Artadia, is a nonprofit that takes on the tax liability and disbursement responsibilities for our volunteer effort, protecting any single co-organizer from financial risk. This partnership with Artadia also makes all your donations to the mutual aid fund tax deductible. For their support and administrative labor, Artadia will receive a small set-up fee and 4% of the donations.

Are donations tax deductible?
Yes, thanks to our partnership with Artadia, all donations to this mutual aid fund are tax-deductible. Those who contribute will receive a letter of acknowledgment on Artadia letterhead for their personal tax records.

What transactional fees does the 2.3% tip cover on the donation page?
The 2.3% tip goes to Stripe, which processes your credit card payment. CauseVox is donating their fundrasing platform for free to Mutual Aid for the Met Museum Staff so that more funds are allocated to our community members.

Why did the system for fiscal aid change in December?
Our contract with our fiscal sponsor, Artadia, expires at the end of 2020, so we must close the fund and Request for Aid form on December 31, 2020. In order to equitably assist as many requesters as possible, we have decided to fundraise until the end of the year and distribute the fund evenly among those who submit Requests for Aid between now and December 31, 2020 and meet the eligibility requirements outlined above. These final disbursements will begin on January 13, 2021.

Are you offering non-material forms of support in addition to direct cash assistance?
Even though the fundraiser and Request for Aid form will close when our contract with our fiscal sponsor, Artadia, expires on December 31, 2020, we realize that this crisis is ongoing and there are many forms of non-material support that our community needs. Our form to request support includes a space to describe non-material needs (such as help with grocery shopping, essential errands, or childcare) so that such a network of support may evolve and expand in the future. We will work towards evolving this effort beyond the fundraiser and into a sustainable network of care. We will be updating this website with more details about these efforts when we are able.