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Museum Business Planning

Museum Business Planning Documents

Museum Business Planning

Museum Business Planning is the process of setting a museum’s future objectives and strategies for achieving those objectives. The Museum Business Planning process results in a Museum Business Plan that is a document to guide the operations of the museum, including financial, human resources, board of director development, fund raising, marketing and museum mission, vision and values.

A museum business plan is one of several planning documents created for a new or expanding museum, other documents include museum strategic plan, museum master plan and museum pro forma (often included in a museum business plan).  Most often planning documents follow an order of:

  1. Museum Feasibility Study
  2. Museum Strategic Plan
  3. Museum Business Plan
  4. Museum Master Plan

Components of a Museum Business Plan:

  1. Cover, Name of Museum and Time Span for Plan 2018 – 2023 (Often five years)
  2. Table of Contents
  3. Executive Summary
  4. Introduction
  5. Organizational History
  6. Organizational Achievements
  7. Mission, Vision, Values
  8. External Environment (including PESTEL analysis)
  9. Institutiioanal Objectives
  10. Resources:  People, Systems and Assets
  11. Museum Finances
  12. Financial Forecast 2018-2023
  13. Delivery of Business Plan
  14. Risks
  15. Monitoring and evaluation of planning
  16. Appendices
  17. Summary Action Plan 2018-2023
  18. Staff structure
  19. Trustees

Sample Museum Business Plans

Royal Ontario Museum Business Plan
The People’s History Museum
New England Regional Art Museum Strategic Business Plan 2010-2020

Museum Business Planning Templates

Association of Independent Museums Successful Business Planning PDF
Cultural Heritage Tourism – Business Plan Template

About Mark Walhimer

Mark is Managing Partner of Museum Planning, LLC, a museum planning and exhibition project management firm of interactive educational environments for Science Centers, Children's Museums and Natural History Museums. You can reach Mark at

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