Quite recently there has been a lot written about museum’s generating sustainable income. As the spending cuts begin to bite income based just on project funding is going to become increasingly difficult.
One possible sustainable source of income for museums, is the social care sector. The care sector is going through huge changes. The most significant of these is the introduction of personal budgets. This means that people who receive social care services, will be able to purchase for themselves services that will improve their well-being. Museums already know the positive impact they have on people; however, how can museums become service providers?
An experienced social care professional recommends that museums:
- Establish exactly how much it costs to deliver your services (include all costs, not just staff and materials)
- Understand who your customers are and how you can reach those who will be personal budget holders
- Think carefully what services you can offer
- Develop a menu of services you can provide, which is accurately costed
- Seek out partners who can add value or help you to deliver services to personal budget holders (i.e. local care organisations)
- Provide evidence of how your service can impact on well-being
None of the above is of course easy and will take time. Perhaps museums could work together in partnership? One of my MDO colleagues has suggested that museums could get togther, offer vouchers, which personal budget holders could use in participating museums.
For for futher information have at look at the Wolverhampton Arts + Heritage Service Arts ArtsInMind website: http://bit.ly/m8V89M
The Black Country Creative Education Network is currently developing links between social care providers and users with museums, libraries and archives.