Museums Can Make Money

Museum Value Indicator

Just Move On To A Better Museum Model

What's with all the drama about how government is not devoting enough funding towards our museums?  And complaints that museums are not appreciated enough for preserving our culture, or not acknowledged for the endless hours of unique research towards mankind, and of course rarely awarded for inspiring generations to be great humans.

Seriously, what’s changed?

Museums do all these critical things,  and much more and it's likely that American leadership will continue to not make conserving our historic landmarks and funding culture a top priority over other significant issues.

Why do you think some of the oldest places we have in America, such as our fragile California Missions, stood abandoned for decades, and some still?   That would never happen in Europe.   Foreign governments fund museum operations — some are funded by as much as 83% — because they have always recognized that many aspects of museums are not transactional, and valued those contributions more than our country does.

So, instead of being distracted by old news, why not get over it and move on to create a better museum model?  Because we live in a free country, our museums have opportunity to make money without jeopardizing their core values.

I think we all agree with Jim Broughton, Natural History Museum of London, that museums generally provide the following:

  1. Entertainment
  2. Education
  3. Research
  4. Economic Growth
  5. Global Perception
  6. Social Cohesion
  7. Soft Power
  8. Guardianship


And that Entertainment and Education are easily identified as earned revenue.  While the other items are a bit more complicated, they still offer the same financial opportunities with the right business practices.  You can leverage these other areas and make money without selling out.  But it takes strategic thinking, new systems, and frankly a different mindset and behavior.

The first step begins with an open mind to new projects.

The second step is setting up a quality control measure, so that your museum can make new money without compromising your core purpose or credibility.  Get started with this free tool, (Museum Value Indicator).  It has already helped us achieve grand consensus with our museum clients and constituents, when evaluating whether a project will serve their mission, enhance credibility, influence multiple audiences, and contribute more than recovery of its costs.

It measures the following quality attributes from 1-5, 5 being great and 1 being poor:

  1. Reputation
    Is this a project we will feel proud of?
  2. Engagement
    Will this project evoke interest with our audience?
  3. Science
    Does this project educate?
  4. Knowledge Transfer
    Is this project inspiring how to think?
  5. Revenue
    Will we make more money than it costs?


Download the Museum Value Indicator  and get started creating a self-sustaining business model for your museum.

Be the change.

Christina M. Haakenson
JUVE, Inc.
428 Main Street, Suite 208
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
(714) 841 9600

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