Arts, Culture, and Humanities

International Women's Air & Space Museum

aka International Women's Air & Space Museum

Cleveland, OH


The mission of the International Women's Air & Space Museum is to collect, preserve, and showcase the history and culture of women in all areas of aviation & aerospace; educate people of the world about their contributions; and inspire future generations by bringing the history to life.

Ruling Year


Executive Director

Heather Alexander

Main Address

1501 N. Marginal Rd. Ste 165

Cleveland, OH 44114 USA


Women Space Aviation Museum Aerospace History





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Museum & Museum Activities (A50)

Museum & Museum Activities (A50)

Science & Technology Museum (A57)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Currently only six to seven percent of professional pilots are women, with general aviation showing low percentages as well. Other STEM fields show the same low percentage of women. The aviation and aerospace fields are still seen as male-dominated fields, but women have been a part of this history since the beginning. While Amelia Earhart and Sally Ride are well-known figures, the public needs to learn about so many other women’s accomplishments in the air and space heritage. These women have taken risks, given up everything, pushed boundaries, broken barriers, and in the words of Bessie Coleman, “refused to take no for an answer.” They proved they could do it. They have shown that women can not only fly airplanes, but design them, build them, and maintain them as well. Future generations of young girls need to know that they too can do it. Gender does not matter.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

4 5 9 10 17

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Dinner with a Slice of History Series

Annual Family Day

Annual Rocket Day

Wings of Women (WOW)

Museum Tours for all ages

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

As the only museum of our kind in the world, we are in a unique position to not only preserve the history made by women in these fields, but to also use it to teach, inspire, and engage the next generation. We still have guests coming in who have never heard of the WASP, the Mercury 13, nor the 60-plus women who have gone into space. From the early days with Katharine Wright through current NASA astronaut Christina Koch, women have been at every step of aviation history. They have broken altitude records, sound barriers, and gender stereotypes. They have designed aircraft, safety equipment, and space exploration programs. However, they have not always been acknowledged nor even recognized along the way. The percentage of books and films about women and their contributions to aviation is far lower than that of men. They deserve to have their stories preserved so that all can know them. Bessie Coleman once said, “the air is the only place free of prejudices.” We want others to know that freedom. By honoring these women, sharing their stories, and giving them credit for their accomplishments, we want to recognize their place in history. It is crucial to educate the current generation so that today's prejudices do not carry on into the next generation. Surprisingly, we still see young girls coming into the museum who didn’t think they could be a pilot nor astronaut because of their gender. Encouraging them to follow their dreams, and providing inspiration and ways to achieve them, is crucial to keeping the messages of Amelia Earhart, Bessie Coleman, Harriet Quimby, Eileen Collins, the WASP, and so many other women who broke barriers, alive.

By using this history as a teaching tool, we can educate the current generation and inspire future generations. We hold information or memorabilia on over 6,000 women from the aviation and aerospace fields. This includes an astronaut’s flight jacket, a homebuilt aircraft, a flight attendant’s uniform, a hot air balloonist’s portrait, trophies, and a variety of other items. We want to be able to share this information with the community through exhibits and outreach programs, as well as make it accessible to the world. The museum hosts many different types of events, for all ages, throughout the year. We use the exhibits within the museum as part of our tours and programs for children of all ages. The exhibits are also incorporated into scavenger hunts and other interactive activities for the children. We have also created traveling exhibits, which are rented by libraries, schools, and other organizations, allowing communities around the country to benefit from our archives. Our research facility is utilized by authors, filmmakers, and many others from all over the world.

Because we have the artifacts, photos, and documents in-house, we are able to readily access them for any project, event, or research request we have. We are able to create exhibits that showcase the history of these women, develop outreach programs to share with all ages in the community, and put on events that inspire and encourage young people to follow their dreams. We have a dedicated staff, team of interns (from various colleges and universities), and volunteers that help us achieve these goals. We have also developed a volunteer coordinator position to strengthen our volunteer program.

In the last several years, most of our events have reached attendance capacity, and we have received more requests for tours, programs, and outreach events than ever before. We conduct surveys at several events to collect input from the audience for their feedback and suggestions. We also utilizing social media analytics to measure our demographics and social media presence. This tells us that not only are more and more people aware of the museum, and what we can offer, but that they genuinely have an interest in the information we are sharing with them. They are sharing this information with others who then also contact us for programming. Individuals and other organizations, from around the world, are contacting us for information to help with projects they are working on, whether it be a film, book or school project. People are reaching out to us to share their stories, or the stories of women they know, who were in the aviation or aerospace fields. People are not only asking us to preserve their history, but to share what we have with others.

In the last several years, we have rebranded, reorganized, and redeveloped much of the museum. We put a heavy emphasis on updating our mission and our vision, including updating our policies and programming. We have invested a lot of time in giving ourselves a bigger presence on various social platforms to keep up with growing technological trends. We are also cross-networking with local community resources to bring better awareness to what we have to offer. We have seen a drastic increase in interest in who we are and what we are doing. Currently, we are working on projects that will further develop programming for teenagers, online research tools for access to our collection, and creating more community outreach events.

How We Listen

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

Source: Self-reported by organization

the feedback loop
check_box We shared information about our current feedback practices.
How is the organization collecting feedback?
We regularly collect feedback through: paper surveys.
How is the organization using feedback?
We use feedback to: to make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations.
With whom is the organization sharing feedback?
We share feedback with: our staff, our board, our funders, our community partners.
What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?
It is difficult to: it is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback.
What significant change resulted from feedback
All of our public events are designed around comments from the guests and community we serve.

External Reviews



International Women's Air & Space Museum

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  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable


Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Not Applicable


Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Not Applicable


Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable

Organizational Demographics

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? This organization has voluntarily shared information to answer this important question and to support sector-wide learning. GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 04/28/2020


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Race & Ethnicity

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Gender Identity

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Sexual Orientation

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