Children’s Museum Hits Matching Grant Goal of $150,000 with Community Support

June 10, 2022


The City of Rancho Mirage Matching Grant Campaign for the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert Re-IMAGINATION and Reopening Project Succeeds!



RANCHO MIRAGE (June 10, 2022) – The Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert (CDMoD) announced today it successfully reached an important fundraising goal on the road to reopen the doors of this community resource shuttered by the pandemic. Earlier this year, the museum was awarded a matching grant by the City of Rancho Mirage in the amount of $150,000 towards the museum’s Re-IMAGINATION capital campaign. In a unanimous vote on February 17th, Rancho Mirage City Council approved the grant as matching funds in order to inspire and maximize community donations towards the project.  The matching grant campaign began February 17 and ends on Children’s Day, which is this Sunday, June 12.  The matching grant goal was achieved through of individual gifts from community members ranging from $5 to $50,000.


“We are so thankful to the City of Rancho Mirage for their partnership and Matching Grant Campaign.  This campaign enabled our community to be engaged by having gifts doubled.  Generous businesses like The Estate Jewelry Collection allowed us to hold fundraising events during the matching time and organizations such as Rancho Mirage Women’s Club and Rancho Mirage Rotary presented checks to be doubled as well.  There were several Facebook fundraisers initiated and donations ranged from a little boy’s $5 bill at a community event to a generous grant from the Coeta and Donald Barker Foundation for $50,000.  Many of the donations were accompanied by the stories of having come to the museum as kids or with kids or grandkids – and all shared memories of a place that was treasured.   I am humbled and extremely proud to be a part of this community who continues to support the museum and the important role it plays in developing our community workforce and future leaders.  You are all appreciated, and the support means more than you know.” Cindy Burreson, CEO of CDMoD.


With a goal of raising $3 million to reopen, the museum has already passed the halfway mark, with a diversity of funding sources and community support that includes grants, major gifts from individual donors, grassroots gifts, and matching funds from the City of Rancho Mirage.


The Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert has been closed since March of 2020. The Re-IMAGINATION campaign is a multi-phase capital campaign to replace the original exhibits and reopen the museum. At the time when the pandemic forced the museum’s closure, 85% of the organization’s income had been coming from memberships, admissions, and gift sales. With no visitors to provide revenue, the museum had little choice but to suspend operations and lay off staff.


During that time of uncertainty, the board conducted introspective conversations about what it would take to not just re-open the museum, but to renew the organization for decades to come. The bold decision was made to create a full-scale revitalization and mount a capital campaign in order to restore this treasured community resource which the matching grant will help support.


The Children’s Discovery Museum is a space which allows children to experience joy and laughter, to make happy memories with their families, and forget about the grown-up problems of the world.  It gives children a place to explore, imagine, learn, and express in creative ways.  Children’s museums, in general, are popular, yet neutral, sources of information, attract a diverse cross-section of people and provide shared experiences through interpretative and interactive exhibits. They are uniquely positioned to help reverse stigma and discrimination. In a time when the world is faced with trauma, the presence of a strong children’s museum in the desert community will provide a safe-haven to help families re-establish the normalcy of childhood.


Community members are invited to make donations. All efforts are welcome. Please give today by visiting Checks may be mailed to CDMoD 71-701 Gerald Ford Drive, Rancho Mirage, CA 92270.


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The Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert is a valuable community resource for children and families to experience the joy of learning about themselves and the world around them. The museum inspires personal growth by engaging curiosity and creativity through hands-on explorations of exhibits and programs. Learning: The Museum values being a space which nurtures thoughtful, hands-on learning in a creative and engaging environment that celebrates learning as an innately joyful activity. Family: The Museum values being a place where multigenerational family members can grow their relationships through comfortably exploring, sharing, and learning together. Community: The Museum values being a community resource and a welcoming safe space where people of all ages and backgrounds can come together to share experiences while learning about themselves and the world about them.