How to Increase Museum Conference ROI

“Tight operation budgets mean limited conference funds and staff have to think hard about which conferences they’re going to attend that year. While there are some ways to alleviate conference attendance cost (as discussed in a previous post How to Conference on a Museum Budget) it’s still going to be a chunk of change. This is especially true if you’re attending a national or international conference far from the museum’s home base. Some museum professionals have learned through trial and error which conferences they prefer to attend. Though it’s important to note that conferences change their offerings every year, and every year you should reevaluate conference opportunities. Others commit to whichever conference opportunities come up first before the conference budget runs out. Instead, I recommend conducting a small ROI (Return on Investment) investigation into each conference opportunity to evaluate which conferences will give you the biggest ROI.”

Read the full post at Lucidea’s Think Clearly Blog.

How to Conference on a Museum Budget

“Attending museum conferences is an important facet of healthy museum operations. Museum professionals need to attend conferences in order to stay abreast of current and forecasted museum issues, learn and gather fresh ideas to bring back to the museum, and network with colleagues to build critical inter-museum partnerships. There are many conference opportunities to choose from, ranging from regional to international, as well as the one-time symposiums and workshops that may spring up throughout the year. The issue isn’t choosing which conferences the staff want to attend; instead, it’s finding the money to support museum staff attending any conference opportunity. Museum operating budgets and money to support staff development are critical issues that can’t be solved in a blog post, but these tips to conferencing on a museum budget will help alleviate the often $1000+ cost for conference attendance.”

Read the full post at Lucidea’s Think Clearly Blog.

Ready to Read: A Survivor’s Guide to Museum Grant Writing

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I’m pleased to announce that my new book, A Survivor’s Guide to Museum Grant Writing, is available for free download, courtesy of Lucidea Press! The book was written with museums, archives, and heritage institutions in mind and will show you how to develop a strategic approach to grant writing that increases your chance of grant acquisition success.

The book includes such topics as seeing each grant application as an opportunity, how to construct a competitive grant project idea, tips and tricks for a bulletproof proposal, where to find appropriate grant opportunities, and learning and moving on from inevitable failures. The goal of the book is to offer a common sense approach that builds the necessary skills to survive the grant writing process and thrive within it.

Chapters are:

  • Identifying Funding Roadblocks
  • How Not to Apply for Grants
  • Top Ideas for Funding
  • Working Museum Problems to Find a Funding Solution
  • Constructing a Project by Breaking it Down
  • Define Project Success & Measure It
  • How to Find the Best Funding Opportunity
  • Create a Bulletproof Proposal
  • Grant Pitfalls – Know and Avoid Them
  • What Happens if You Fail?
  • When & How to Engage a Grant Specialist
  • Resources: Exercises & Templates

I hope it will inspire you as you set your own grant writing strategy, and that you find the book relevant, with pragmatic advice and insights drawn from my career as a museum and archives professional. The print version is available for purchase at Amazon.com, but for the moment you can get a free PDF copy in advance, courtesy of Lucidea, here.

Relevance & The Museum’s Role in Social Wellbeing

“To those who love and work in institutions that promote art, history, and culture, the relevance of those institutions seems quite obvious. So too, does the positive impact a museum and library can have on an individual. Yet, seemingly every year there’s a flurry of talks and articles that ask “Are Museums and Libraries Still Relevant?”

Read the full post at Lucidea’s Think Clearly Blog.

Museums: Actions for Integrating Empathy

“Last week we explored the topic of museums as cultivators of empathy. Empathy was selected as a trend by the Center for the Future of Museum’s TrendWatch 2017, and last week’s post reviewed how museums are beginning to grapple with empathy as a part of their identity. This post follows up on the topic with resources and a list of actions suggesting how museums can encourage an identity of empathy.”

Read the full post at Lucidea’s Think Clearly Blog.