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Board Responsibilities

The effective operation of a museum is based on a well-functioning board that has a strong working relationship with the museum director. The board helps mitigate potential risks by offering balanced objective advice to the director.

The Alliance has compiled this set of board responsibility resources from amongst its own offerings as well as those throughout the nonprofit and museum sector.

Alliance Resources

Stand For Your Mission

The Stand for Your Mission campaign is an ongoing effort to build awareness about the importance of board advocacy to advance an organization’s mission. This useful guide provides examples and resources to get the conversation started.

Standards for Museums with Joint Governance

The Alliance shares standards on board structures and processes.

Your Secret Advocacy Weapon: Your Board

Effective advocacy is the pairing of the most effective spokesperson with the most compelling message. This excerpt from Speak Up For Museums touches upon mobilizing board members to carry out the museum’s message to elected officials. It outlines ways in which board members can expand the reach and impact of their museum’s advocacy efforts, and it identifies simple ways museums can engage their board in advocacy at all levels.


Other Resources

Roles and Responsibilities of the Nonprofit Board

Minnesota Council of Nonprofits provides a list of basic legal and fiduciary responsibilities.

Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards

This paper helps clarify the roles and responsibilities of a nonprofit board as a corporate entity and summarizes individual board members’ responsibilities.

What Does a Museum Board Do?

The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art developed this quick five-minute video to help explain what a museum board does. The chief counsel for the museum created this visual video to show how the board is responsible for giving, governing and guiding the institution. 

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