You don’t need to be a lobbyist or political activist to advocate for museums. Museums Alaska encourages museum staff to commit to year-round advocacy efforts. These efforts help promote an understanding of the economic, cultural, and community values of museums at the local, statewide, and national levels. Consider getting involved with our Advocacy Taskforce, and check out our recommended advocacy resources.
Take a Minute for Advocacy Each Month
JANUARYJot a note to your elected officials, members, donors, and friends. Share your calendar year-end attendance, one big impact or accomplishment your museum has made and thank them for their support over the last 12 months. Prepare for the coming year with a visitor count system, guest register, and guest comment box.
Attend an advocacy-related meeting at any level - community, borough, state, or national. Remind elected officials of the work your museum does as a community resource, educational institution, and economic asset.
Finalize your annual programming and share the schedule with your elected officials, members, friends, and donors. Remind them of the many ways your museum impacts the community, borough, and state.
April is National Volunteer Month. Let your elected officials, members, donors, and friends know how important volunteers are for your museum. Share information about the number of volunteers who assist at your museum and the hours they donated during the last year. Introduce new volunteers and how they will help in the upcoming season.
Send an invitation to your elected officials and their staff inviting them to participate in your museum's seasonal festivities.
Showcase your museum and raise awareness about all of Alaska's museums using a social media plan. You could also help showcase another museum in your area by writing an article or review for one of their exhibits or programs.
Send a card to your elected officials and let them know how attendance is going for the year. You can also use this as an opportunity to talk about your current and upcoming exhibits, capital projects, upcoming speakers or lecturers and other events happening at your museum. Thank them for their support by extending an invitation for them to visit behind the scenes with museum staff.
Transcribe the comments that have been left at your museum by visitors this season and use them to help show how your museums has made an impact on the visitor from an educational standpoint.
Attend the Museums Alaska Annual Conference. Reconnect with museum workers and volunteers from all over the state - share new, recharge your batteries, and attend sessions that will energize you for the coming year.
Before the local elections and the start of the legislative session, introduce yourself and your museum to candidates and elected officials. Prepare your elected partners for the annual planning and budget work they will do that will affect your museum by making your organization known to them.
Focus on something unique your museum did this year and write an opinion piece for your local newspaper or in your museum newsletter. Send a copy of the article to your State representatives and local elected officials. Use this month's board meeting to talk about your museum's advocacy plan and the board's role in serving as advocates for your museum.
Plan a special holiday event at your museum for the public and invite elected officials to thank them for the support and interest they have shown to the cultural community in your area. Prepare your museum's economic impact statement for use during the upcoming advocacy session.
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