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Advocacy? Why should I care—I’m not a CEO!

You might think your museum job has nothing to do with advocacy or public policy. Nothing could be further from the truth!

Here are some federal, state and local issues that definitely impact museum professionals in a variety of roles:


  • NAGPRA changes
  • Cargo screening and shipping requirements from the Transportation Security Administration
  • Preparedness and response to natural disasters


  • Charitable gift deductibility changes
  • Charitable solicitation registration requirements
  • Form 990 changes


  • Facilitating Museum-School partnerships in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
  • Changes to subject standards for K-12 students
  • Reductions to teacher professional development budgets and opportunities

Exhibit Design and Development

  • Cargo screening and shipping requirements from the Transportation Security Administration
  • Copyright and intellectual property laws
  • Construction codes/OSHA standards


  • Form 990 changes
  • Property tax and sales tax exemption challenges
  • Funding for federal agencies (IMLS, NEA, NEH, NSF)

Human Resources/Volunteers

  • Impact of changing health care legislation
  • Employment law changes
  • Service learning programs (VISTA, AmeriCorps, etc)

Visitor Services/Operations

  • Online event ticket sale regulations
  • Outdoor electronic and banner sign regulations
  • Public transportation changes

Developed by Kate Schureman at the Peoria Riverfront Museum and Brenda Raney at the Science Museum of Minnesota. 

Want to learn more about advocacy for museums? Contact us!

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