Advocacy Toolkit: Making the case for your museum
There are hundreds of museums, galleries, and heritage organizations across the province and many receive some form of investment from local governments. Building strong relationships and lasting partnerships with local government officials is the first step on this path for support. It can be hard work – but it is also very worthwhile.
Explore best practices for building positive and lasting relationships with municipal governments and regional districts
Be a voice for positive change! Write a letter, make a phone call and invite decision-makers to visit your museum. Go on! Share the good work that you are doing for your community!
- Commit to email / call / or engage in social media with one representative every month.
- Use this sample Template Letter to invite a government official to your museum or event (Word template).
- Be sure to take a photo and share it through social media #BCMuseums.
- For more tips see this joint letter, by the Canadian Museums Association and the BC Museums Association that provides tips and talking points for inviting MPs to visit.
- Don’t know who to invite? See the Who’s Who section below.
Educate yourself about the benefits of museums using the resources above; then share your knowledge with elected officials to increase their awareness about the social, cultural and economic impacts of our sector.
Template: Create an educational and economic impact statement for your museum.
Build lasting relationships with politicians in your community.
This is one of the most effective ways to take action, both to benefit your own community and organization, and to contribute to wider efforts provincially and nationally to ensure decision-makers understand the many ways museums contribute to communities.
- Request a letter of support from your museum’s community partners and other individuals. Use this template to encourage your supporters to advocate on your museum’s behalf.
- Generally, support each other to the benefit of the sector as a whole. Here are 20 simple things you can do (note: although this blog post is geared to non-profits in general there are some great ideas that are applicable to our sector as well).
- Write your MLA about the importance of arts funding now! Use this template letter to advocate for increased BC Arts Council funding in the provincial budget.
- Be polite! If a cheque arrives in the mail, be sure to send a thank-you note.
Wondering who to invite to your next exhibition opening? Who to brief on a new project you’re seeking support for? Who to write or call to advocate for increased investment and support for museums, culture and heritage? Here are links to directories of elected officials and staff and key decision-makers.
- Visit CivicInfoBC for contacts and information on B.C. municipalities and regional districts.
- Find your MLA (provincial government representatives)
- BC Government Directory (provincial government departments and contacts)
- Find your MP (federal government representative)
- Government of Canada Directory (federal government departments and contacts)