MISSION STATEMENT - This is the stated purpose of your museum.
Why are we here?
See the Fire Museum Network's "how-to" page specifically
PLAN - You've gotta have a plan before you can say, "love it when the plan comes
Let's face it - museums are a business. We are "selling"
(figuratively) history. Just because museums are "not-for-profit" organizations
doesn't mean they should not be organized and run as any other business would or
should be. Like any business, you should start with a "business Plan" - This business
plan should establish the mission or your organization (what's your purpose in a
couple sentences), it will explain (and justify) your sources of funding, your hours
of operation, your projected attendance figures, where your "product" (collections)
will be coming from, etc... Basically you need to plan and document EVERYTHING.
I did a business plan for one of my college Business Management classes while I
was Curator of the Aurora Regional Fire. I remember spending an afternoon on the
phone calling ever elementary school within an hours drive of Aurora documenting
how many 4th graders there were as a potential audience!
I strongly recommend
you contact the Small Business
Association, or your local Chamber of Commerce, or even
a business professor at a local college for some advice and assistance.
See also -
Museums and non profit managment resources and links
The Small Business Association's information on creating a
The Small Business Association's web site also has a wonderful on-line
& Managing a Business
The Fire Museum
Network's "how-to" page on
Indiana Historical Society's "Some
Basic Issues Involved in Organizing a Local Historical Society"
which contains information on establising your Non-profit status. Writing your constitution,
bylaws, mission statement. Setting up the bank accounts, and more....
a Museum - posted by the AAM's Technical Information Service
(some good but general information about starting the organization, finding a building,
fundraising, and serving the public)
for Nonprofit Organizations This page contains a wealth
of information on nonprofit organization, management, regulations, resources, and