Friday, February 25, 2011

A Thank You from Conference Presenter Ann Barton Brown

I was so impressed with the SMA annual meeting and all the wonderful dedicated folks I met there that I wanted to give back by sharing a checklist of information that every director, administrator or Board President should have at their finger tips. I started this about ten years ago as a first time professional executive director and entered into a museum in chaos. I have been adding to it over the years. We use it when presenting Pennsylvania Federation of Museums and Historical Organizations Museums 101 workshops. If you have anything to add to the list, shoot me an email. Many thanks and looking forward to seeing you all again next year. Ann

Museum Administrators’
Checklist of Important Documents and Numbers
Governance Documents
  • By-laws (update to date, including any amendments)
  • Mission statement – board approved
  • Articles of Incorporation
  • 501(c) (3) tax exempt certification letter from IRS. It is also helpful to have the organization’s IRS application – this is often in the files of the attorney who prepared it.
  • Minutes of all board meetings signed by appropriate officer, with disclosure of who prepared the minutes
  • Any local tax-exemption certification letters (e.g. state, county, municipal) with numbers
  • Bureau of Charitable Organization - letter
Financial and Organizational Documents
  • Annual financial statements for last three years. Depending on the amount of financial activity, this may mean a formal independent audit. Preferable to have these in electronic format in Excel.
    • 990s for the last three years
    • Audits for the last three years
    • Statute of Limitations on financial records - check with accountant
  • Budget documents
    • Current budget year to date
    • Budget for last three years
    • Annual budgets with monthly or quarterly financial reports
  • Chart of accounts
  • Invoices filed either alphabetically or by account number
  • Grant award letters and all associated forms and reports (interim and final) for projects
  • Deed to the property (ies) or lease documents if property is owned by local municipality, etc.
  • Insurance policies, with claim contact information. Information on any past claims
  • DUNS number
Personnel Documents
  • Personnel Policy document
  • Job descriptions for all positions, paid and volunteer
  • Personnel files including:
    • Employee Emergency contact sheet
    • Completed Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9
    • Completed Form W-5 Employee withholding form
    • Completed Pennsylvania New Hire Form
    • Resume
    • Job Description
    • Letter of hire
    • Vacation records and absences from office
    • Annual Performance Evaluation
    • Letters of commendation or discipline
  • Attendance records – last three years (including criteria for counting attendance)

Operational Documents
  • Membership Documents
    • Membership Statistics last three years
    • List of members, names, addresses and giving levels
    • List of former members for last three years
    • Membership brochure with membership levels and fees
  • Board list including term expirations, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses, spouses, work affiliation, job title, length of time on board
  • Staff list including addresses and emergency contact numbers
  • Robert’s Rules of Order – run meetings on time- respect for time
  • Strategic Plan
  • Collections Management Policy and Procedures – Board Adopted
    • Accession Book
    • Catalogue Worksheets – Object Folders
    • Computerized collections management retrieval system
Important Numbers and Contact Names
  • Fire and police emergency contact numbers
  • Fire and police non-emergency contact names and numbers
  • Bank account numbers, signatures on account
  • List of insurance policy contract numbers and expiration dates
  • Contact names, phone numbers and emails
    • Accountant and bookkeeper
    • Board list for easy reference
    • Insurance company(ies)
    • Computer troubleshooter or help desk
    • Plumber number
    • Electrician number
    • Security or monitoring agency contact number, account number, access code, and password
    • Buildings and grounds contacts, e.g. lawn service, snow removal, locksmith
  • User name and password for computer server
  • User names and passwords for all institutional computers, including wireless codes
  • User names, passwords etc. for each internet account – Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Pennsylvania Cultural Data Project, Guidestar, etc.
  • Authorization numbers for all software
  • Serial numbers and models for computers, printers, copiers, etc. Know where warranty information is kept
  • Master key to buildings. Document who made it/them and where they are kept

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