Learning from the success of others:There are valuable lessons to be learnt everywhere ... it pays to do the research and save a lot of time, effort and resources reinventing the wheel. Other non profits (elsewhere and locally) are normally happy to share experiences and advice. Well targeted web searches can also result in some fast and amazing insights.Attention to detail (& small successes) matter: Success often quietly flows from paying attention to detail - the small as well as the big ... and always the most financially critical. Success is also achieved as much from the sum total of the care taken with many small initiatives, as it is from the single bold initiative or 'grand design'. (The classic impact of -'The sum being greater than the parts'.)Volunteers, staff & management development:Ongoing training and skills development for volunteers, staff and management (of a practical, relevant and effective type) pays off in many ways - some unforeseen. As does taking the time to formally ascertain the full range of untapped or unacknowledged contributions each person can potentially make ... beyond the 'limits' of their official role or 'perceived' skills range.Where best to invest in extra professional input Areas most important to attracting and maintaining visitors (and boosting revenues) should help guide spending priorities over the use of additional professional* input. For example - developments to enhance the visitor experience (more creative, interactive exhibits) and sales; creating an outstanding images library for promotional use; PR; IT; ticketing. (*With proven track records.)
Checklist of Key Success Factors (2)Museums & Non-Profit Cultural AttractionsBy Bruce Dickson, Tourism Development Solutions3. Organizational practicesStrong 'community foundations':All successful cultural tourism attractions have strong foundations/roots in their regional community. Normally local residents and organizations are the major source of earned ... and donated income, dedicated volunteers and skilled board members. Close ties to the local tourism industry also help generate business opportunities. Clear Vision - Marketing & development priorities:'Mission statements' can function as more than a nice set of words. A clearly defined vision helps refine corporate goals and priorities. And that vision should be put to practical daily use as a sound reference point for strategy & project development, prioritizing and decision making. Develop sound priorities to make the most effective use of the available resources and opportunities - particularly for your key development & marketing activities. An appropriate pace of growth:Aim to grow at a rational pace and preferably debt free (e.g. as with Astoria's successful 'Columbia River Maritime Museum').'Unanticipated' benefits of partnering:Constant networking and partnership development (with appropriate and relevant organizations & people) can prove productive in the most unexpected ways - and open up new and fruitful doorways and opportunities. Exploration of unconventional, 'wildcard partnerships' can often bring welcome surprises and help tap into previously unknown resources.