Tuesday, August 31, 2010

SMA Board Meeting Report

SMA Secretary Karen Daly has submitted the following summary of the SMA Board Meeting from last week in Lewes, Delaware. Check it out!

"Small Museum Association board members met in Lewes, Deleware last week for our annual planning retreat. Ten board members --seven meeting in person, and three joining in via conference call-- enjoyed a fruitful day discussing the current state of and future vision for SMA.

The SMA conference has always stood at the heart of our association’s activities, so the board spent a good deal of time hearing plans from the conference committee to make this year’s Night at the Small Museum: Bringing Museums to Life Conference a success. While the conference will maintain its usual favorites --engaging speakers, wine & cheese reception, stimulating presentations, and the costume banquet-- new initiatives this year will be added to make the conference even more personal and relevant for participants.

Conversation moved from the conference to the association’s financial health. Believing that SMA should strive for financial sustainability in much the same way that we encourage our member institutions to, the SMA board voted unanimously to establish an endowment for the association. Such a step can prove vital to the long-term success of an organization --even a small one, like SMA. Look out for more information about planning for and implementing an endowment at a small institution in upcoming SMA venues online and in person at the February conference.

The board agreed that our efforts to become financially sustainable come with a responsibility to continue to serve our members --small museums, their boards, and their volunteer & paid staff members-- as best we can. In that vein, our planning turned toward member services and exploring ways that we can serve more small museums without needlessly duplicating efforts by our peers at larger, national associations. Recent efforts to reach out to our constituents through an updated website, Facebook page, and blog, have proven successful and started to raise awareness for the organization --beyond our traditional bases of support. In the coming months, SMA will survey our membership and meet with representatives from peer associations to begin drafting a strategy for the future of the association.

Small museums continue to be vital resources for their communities throughout the country, and SMA looks forward to expanding our ability to support these institutions in the days ahead!"

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