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A strong board is the engine that drives any successful charity. Good boards offer clear direction to a museum or heritage organisation, focusing on the ‘big picture’: the strategic and significant issues. And good boards do more than just ensure that a museum isn’t doing anything wrong: they move beyond compliance, ensuring that they have creative and thoughtful conversations about the museum’s future.
It’s important for museums to be clear about which responsibilities sit with the trustees, and which with managers (paid or volunteer). Particularly when trustees are also volunteers responsible for the day to day running of an organisation, it can be easy to get bogged down in the detail, and not spend sufficient time considering longer term development.
Effective trustees are also advocates for the organisation, championing it with potential partners, funders and the broader community. Boards need an appropriate mix of skills, and will also be effective if they include people with diverse experience and perspectives – ten people who all think and behave the same round a table will be limited in their usefulness.
Take a look at our case studies below for some inspiration!