Museums are filled with experts in collections care, display, and education, but they aren’t always filled with experts in project management. Defining and measuring project success is not a practice I see conducted consistently in museums.
Staffing shortages are a common issue for museums. As in many nonprofit sectors, museums manage staffing shortfalls with volunteers. Volunteers can be a huge benefit to a museum because they often come with expertise and skills acquired from a lifetime of experiences.
Museums are now expected to have an online presence. At first, this meant museums needed a website with information about their hours of operation. Later, it meant museums should publish content and information about current and permanent exhibits. Now, the expectation is that museums have a digital presence for all artifacts.
There’s no one model for libraries, archives and museums to coexist and interact. Each entity can be a stand-alone repository, a mixture of two entities, or contain all three entities. Library, Archive, and Museum (LAM) professionals are trained in organizing and categorizing items in their respective collections. Since this is their specialty they’ve applied the same principles to classify LAM entities separately, due to the LAM's slightly different functions and collection materials.
Grant writing can be a complicated and intensive process. Each grant application will have a different emphasis and process to follow, and if you’re new to grant writing, it can be intimidating. While all grants are different, there are aspects that remain the same. From the dozens of grants I’ve written, read, and edited, I’ve compiled the top 8 tips to a bulletproof proposal.
Through working with granting agencies, providing grant reviews, and writing grants with museums and archives, I’ve seen a specific set of mistakes museum professionals make all the time. I’ve even made some of them myself. I want museums to be stronger applicants and am here to share the most common museum grant pitfalls to know and avoid.
In my work as a museum, library, and archives consultant, I’ve had a great amount of exposure to the fundraising world. Money is so often needed in order to meet museum missions, and grants are often a popular way to secure funding. Through my role as a grant writer and reviewer, I’ve decoded the top four museum funding ideas that are often well received by granting agencies.