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Business and
Organizational Management

MISSION STATEMENT - This is the stated purpose of your museum. Why are we here?
See the Fire Museum Network's "how-to" page specifically on
mission statements

BUSINESS PLAN - You've gotta have a plan before you can say, "love it when the plan comes together!”

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
business plan

• The Small Business Association's web site also has a wonderful on-line “
Small Business Startup Kit

• The Fire Museum Network's "how-to" page on
mission statements

• The 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....

Starting 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)

Starting a Nonprofit Organization

Internet Nonprofit Center - FAQ (frequently asked questions). This page contains a wealth of information on nonprofit organization, management, regulations, resources, and development (funding).

Nonprofit manager's Library (lots of comprehensive and practical materials in nonprofit management)


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