Closeup sand fly (insect)

Beef Up Your SWOT Analysis.

In my never-ending quest to become the world’s best interpretive planner, I’m constantly evaluating the tools that I use. One of a planner’s most basic exercises is the SWOT analysis, where you take stock of your client’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. A staple of virtually all strategic plans, interpretive plans, visitor experience strategies, and …

young man ring bike, printed t-shirt says 'later hater'

The Fine Art of Firing Volunteers

Yes, firing volunteers is a thing. No, you shouldn’t do it lightly. I have had the pleasure of working with volunteers in a few different capacities. I have managed volunteers in the public sector and in the nonprofit sector. I have worked in places where volunteers were treated like high-maintenance guests, and I have worked …

office calendar

It’s Time to End the March Madness

A Tale of Two Contracts  It’s April 1st, the start of a brand-new fiscal year, and Avril and Mavis, two project managers in a government agency, are hard at work. They’ve just wrapped their fiscal year end and are already moving forward on projects that were identified months ago in strategic planning. They’re excited about …

blue hydrangea flower

Stakeholder is not a dirty word.

(Editor’s note, April 2023. Since I wrote this article last year, the topic has heated up a bit. Please read through the comments as well as the article to get a better sense of my point of view on the subject. Thanks.) (TL:DR: we are now using “titleholders and stakeholders”. Boom.) As an interpretive planner, …

The Nonprofit Membership Conundrum

Nonprofit memberships aren’t what they used to be.  Is your organization struggling with its nonprofit membership program? Are you having a tough time keeping your membership numbers up? You’re not alone.  Membership has always been a cornerstone of the nonprofit model: any society or association is by definition a group of like-minded people—members, official or …

A Community Advisory Group

It is becoming a well-known—dare I say best—practice in the heritage sector for each organization to assemble a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) advisory group. If you haven’t done so yet, you might really give it some serious thought. Who are these people? A DEIA Advisory Circle (or whatever they choose to name themselves) …

Sunset, Strait of Georgia

How to Craft a Vision Statement

There’s no sense telling your staff and public that you will be the top heritage attraction in the nation if you can’t craft a strategic plan (and budget) that will get you there. In my previous article, I outlined what I hope will be a fairly simple way to craft a relevant, realistic mission statement. The problem …