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Building Museum Boards


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Table of Contents

About Templates for Trustees Using the Templates for Trustees Online App Best Practices in Museum Governance Building Museum Boards User's Guide Chapter 1: Understanding the Nominations Cycle Chapter 2: Gathering Feedback from Current Board Members Chapter 3: Identifying New Board Prospects Chapter 4: Clarifying Board Roles Chapter 5: Delineating Committees and Task Forces Chapter 6: Securing Commitments from Board Members Chapter 7: Assessing the Process Chapter 8: Orientating New Board Members Resource Guide for Building Museum Boards Appendix One: Standing Committees and Ad Hoc Task Forces - Sample Purposes and

About the Author

The Museum Trustee Association was formed as a committee of the American Association of Museums (now known as the American Alliance of Museums) in 1971. The Museum Trustee Association broke away from AAM in 1986 and received its federal IRS 501(c)(3) status in 1991. Since then, MTA has been governed by an elected Board of Directors representing diverse regions of the United States, Caribbean, Canada, and Mexico, a variety of museum disciplines and sizes, and wide-ranging areas of expertise in trusteeship. All are current or former museum trustees, and several are founders of MTA. Daryl Fischer founded Musynergy Consulting in 1993 to provide strategic and interpretive planning, audience evaluation, and board development services to museums and other cultural nonprofits. Her service on numerous nonprofit boards including the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts (Grand Rapids, MI), the Visitor Studies Association, and the Progressive Women's Alliance of the Lakeshore has given her a profound appreciation for passion, energy, and expertise board members bring to the organizations they serve. Laura B. Roberts is principal of Roberts Consulting, working with cultural nonprofit organizations on strategic planning, assessment, and organizational development. She is the chair of the Central Square Theater in Cambridge MA and former chaired the boards of Tufts University Art Gallery, MassHumanities and First Night Boston. She teaches museum and nonprofit management at Harvard University Extension, Bank Street College of Education, and Northeastern University.


As soon as I got my hands on this nifty publication, I knew I could use it to re-fresh the responsibilities and expectations of senior board members AND have a great tool to help orient new board members to their important work. The 21st century museum trustee will be well-served by this handy publication. -- Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, president & CEO, Abbe Museum
I can finally retire my earlier edition of Building Museum Boards, and its vintage compact disc. Daryl Fischer and Laura Roberts have brought an essential text and tools (now online!) completely up to date. Museums of every kind, size and stage of development will find clear, sympathetic guidance and advice for building their boards. Many thanks to the Museum Trustee Association for its continuous support of Building Museum Boards and the other guides in the Templates for Trustees series. -- Maureen K. Robinson, author, Nonprofit Boards that Work: The End of One Size Fits All Governance
The Museum Trustee Association series on working with Boards is a wonderful resource for them and the director. The templates lay out best practices for board members--participating in strategic planning, engaging in accreditation, and empowering them to work with the director ensure the museum's financial stability. -- Nancy Doll, director, Weatherspoon Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
MTA's templates have been extremely helpful to our Board of Trustees and our staff. They provide relevant and useful information that is easy to use. Their 'real world' orientation makes them essential tools for any museum. -- Bruce Eldredge, executive director, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, WY
The MTA templates are a most useful tool for governance and board development committees everywhere. They are simple to customize and to collate--great attributes for museums like ours. I've even used them for non-museum organizations wishing to survey the talents and skills on their boards. -- Lynn Homeier Rauch, vice president, Board of Trustees and chair of Governance and Board Development Committee, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, MD
The Building Museum Boards materials are a one-stop shop for organize the governance process. With minor rejiggering, I have made them work for my new organization outside the museum world. The Profile Summary has been particularly helpful not only for identifying areas that we need to fill, but has also broadened my knowledge of the skills and areas of influence of my new Board. -- Joy Peterson Heyrman, executive director, VCCA
The Museum Trustee Association templates are a conversation starter for any Board looking to transform or grow its governance process. The series balances best practice standards with customizable content to address the needs of museums of all sizes. As a new Executive Director I used the templates as a self-guidance tool to set priorities for my first year. They served as a catalyst for dialogue with my Board about how to most effectively implement mission and vision. -- Annette LeZotte, former executive director, Kauffman Museum

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