Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nonprofit Advocacy Matters | December 2, 2013

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Treasury, IRS Propose Major Shift in Electioneering Rules for Non-Charitable Nonprofits
The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service issued proposed regulations last week that would restrict the types of political activities that 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations could engage in without running the risk of losing their tax-exempt status, but stopped short of providing a clear percentage or “bright line” for determining how much political activity would be considered too much. The proposed rules would create a new term, “candidate-related political activity,” that is drawn from federal election campaign laws to distinguish what activities will not be considered related to promoting social welfare. In addition to retaining current restrictions on election-related activities (e.g., prohibition on direct contributions to candidates), the proposed definition of “candidate-related political activity” would include running ads that name candidates shortly before elections. The rules would also apply to a broader array of offices beyond elective offices under current rules to also include activities in support or opposition of the appointment or confirmation of executive branch officials and judicial nominees. Also falling under the definition would be partisan and nonpartisan activities such as voter registration drives, get-out-the-vote efforts, candidate forums, and voter guides. The proposal asks for public comments on what types of activities should be exempted from this blanket inclusion of measures many organizations consider essential to their missions of promoting civic engagement and democracy.

On the controversial question of how much “candidate-related political activity” is too much, Treasury and the IRS toss that hot potato to the public which is asked to weigh in with comments on what is an acceptable level (beyond the current vague regulatory standard of engaging “primarily” in social welfare activities) and how to measure those activities. The public is also asked to opine on whether rules similar to the proposed rules should be applied to 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofits, 501(c)(5) labor unions, and 501(c)(6) chambers of commerce and trade associations. Comments should be submitted to the Internal Revenue Service by February 27, 2014.

Budget Negotiators Aiming Low, May Hit the Target
A grand budget bargain, it’s not, but budget negotiators working on a deal to keep the government operating into the New Year reportedly are close to reaching an agreement on two important issues: (1) setting overall spending levels for the rest of the current and 2015 fiscal years, and (2) curbing some of the second wave of arbitrary sequestration cuts that otherwise go into effect on January 15, 2014. To date, the House and Senate have been nearly $90 billion apart on how much to spend this fiscal year that started in October. Negotiations have been stuck in the same partisan positions from the past three years – raising taxes versus cutting spending in entitlement or mandatory programs. The leaders of the budget negotiations, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), reportedly are seeking to reduce the additional automatic and arbitrary sequestration cuts by coming up with a combination of non-tax revenue gains, including user fees and sale of wireless spectrum, and modest cuts in mandatory spending in such areas as federal employee retirement plans. The legislation that funded federal programs after the government shutdown gave the budget conference committee untilDecember 13 to strike a deal. That legislation, known as a Continuing Resolution, expires on January 15 and another federal government shutdown is possible unless the House, Senate, and President can agree on a spending plan.

Influential Senators Make Bi-Partisan Call for Support of Charitable Giving Incentive
The charitable giving incentive should be protected during the rewrite of the federal tax code, according to a letter to leaders of the Senate Finance Committeesigned by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and John Thune (R-SD). “It is the only provision that encourages taxpayers to give away a portion of their income for the benefit of others,” the Senators wrote, stressing, ”For this reason, it is not a loophole, but a lifeline for millions of Americans in need.” The letter is significant both because of what it says, and because of the influence that the writers wield in the Senate. Senator Wyden is scheduled to become the top Democratic tax writer in 2015 upon the retirement of current Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT). Wyden is a long-standing supporter of tax incentives for giving, including retaining the charitable deduction in a bi-partisancomprehensive tax overhaul bill he sponsored with Senator Dan Coats (R-IN). Senator Thune serves as Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, the number three position in Senate Republican leadership, and has been a consistent critic of efforts to curb or eliminate charitable giving incentives. Both Senators Wyden and Thune are members of the Senate Finance Committee.

States Can’t Show Job Growth from Tax Incentives Given to Businesses
Half of states lack the ability to measure the outcomes of the incentives they hand out to for-profit companies in the name of creating new jobs, and only a quarter have workable measures, according to a study from the Pew Center on the States. Every state has at least one jobs tax incentive, according to the report, “but no state regularly and rigorously tests whether those investments are working and ensures lawmakers consider this information when deciding whether to use them, how much to spend, and who should get them.”

News reports appear to confirm the Pew findings and suggest further that incentives to for-profit businesses may not be effective. For example, Georgia has given $106 million in tax breaks to companies that failed to deliver 42 percent of the jobs they promised.Tennessee’s Jobs Tax Credits programs are being criticized after an audit last month revealed that state officials were unable to prove many of the businesses receiving credits had produced the required number of jobs or capital investments. The Illinois Governor’s $527 million worth of tax breaks are also under fire: "Politicians love these types of programs because they can point to the jobs they created," one economics professor warns. "But the problem is it's hard to measure the jobs lost through higher taxes paid by other businesses that pay for these programs." After a drawn-out jobs incentive race with neighboring Kansas, the Governor of Missouri has called for a moratorium on certain business incentives that he says have moved jobs around the state rather than creating new ones.

Government-Nonprofit Contracting Updates
Kansas Shifts Human Service Delivery from Nonprofits to For-Profit Companies

Kansas will become the first state to shift responsibility for delivery of services to developmentally disabled people away from the current network of community-based nonprofits to for-profit companies based out of state. As a result of the change, three insurance companies will be making final decisions about who is eligible for care and which services are appropriate and reimbursable. Currently, community-based nonprofits and county agencies have that responsibility. Families and advocates reportedly are worried that the insurance companies lack experience in managing statewide programs of this complexity and may make decisions based on profit motives rather than on the wellbeing of disabled individuals. The switch from government and nonprofit oversight to for-profit management is under consideration in Louisiana and New Hampshire.

Late Payments, Management Problems Cost Pennsylvania Taxpayers $7 million
Lax management, unfair bidding practices, and late payments to contracted home care providers cost Pennsylvania taxpayers $7 million, according to a new report from the Commonwealth’s Auditor General. The identified problems stemmed from a new contract between the Department of Public Welfare and a financial service provider that the Auditor General found was awarded based on preferential treatment. During the transition to the new provider, contracted home care workers did not receive payments for up to four months. These contract payments, which amount to the home care worker’s paychecks, cover medical services allowing elderly and those with disabilities to remain in their own homes. The lack of payments resulted in 1,600 patients obtaining services elsewhere, at a higher cost, when their home care providers were forced to leave their jobs.


Incoming Pittsburgh Mayor Opts for Confrontation, Collaboration - Simultaneously
The Mayor-Elect of Pittsburgh is pushing for changes that could have both negative and positive effects on local nonprofits. Even before being sworn in as Pittsburgh’s new Mayor, Bill Peduto is calling for an aggressive approach to extracting payments in lieu of taxes (PILOTs) from larger nonprofits by replacing the City’s annual agreements with the Pittsburgh Public Service Fund (PPSF) for millions of dollars with a longer-term agreement that would demand even more money. At the same time, he reportedly is creating anonprofit liaison office focused on working collaboratively with local nonprofits to improve the work being done in low-income communities. "We need to be able to create a city government that enables you to carry out your mission," the Mayor said to an annual convening of area nonprofits.

Additional State and Local Issues

Reality-Driven Policy Priorities
In Montana and elsewhere, it has proved difficult this year to gauge the effects on charitable nonprofits of congressional actions and inactions on such issues as the federal government shutdown, the fiscal cliff, arbitrary sequestration cuts, and the Affordable Care Act, to name only a few. In October, the Montana Nonprofit Association (MNA) asked charitable nonprofits “How are you faring?” Seventy organizations responded, and the results will be used to inform and motivate the State Association’s policy and advocacy work on the largest federal policy issues affecting nonprofits.

Here’s what MNA learned from survey participants:
  • More than two-fifths of nonprofit survey respondents say they were directly affected by the federal government shutdown. More than twenty percent of respondents said the services they provide were affected.
  • More than 40 percent of respondents also said they were directly affected by sequestration, the arbitrary, across-the-board federal spending cuts that started going into effect in March.
  • Only 56 percent of nonprofits say they understand and are prepared for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

MNA also received compelling, real-world stories from nonprofits. Here is one example:
“After having two years of primarily flat funding, sequestration reduced our funding levels by 5.27%. It was a major hit to our budget. The bills continue to come in and the cost of business continues to increase at a rate not adequately addressed by our funding. The needs in the community by low-income families continues to increase and demand for services is ongoing.”
MNA plans to continue offering surveys in the coming year so that it can develop and pursue public policy priorities based on its members’ experiences in the ever-changing operating environment in which nonprofits work.

Data Spurs Emergence of a "Digital Civil Society"

Press Release

Cheryl Loe
Communications Project Manager
The Foundation Center
(888) 356-0354 ext. 701
Jon Warne
Communications Officer
European Foundation Centre
+32 2 512 8938

Data Spurs Emergence of a "Digital Civil Society"

New Edition of Annual Blueprint Forecast Offers Insights,
Predictions for Philanthropy

New York, NY — December 4, 2013. Released today,Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2014 is the much anticipated annual forecast for the industry of philanthropy. Written by leading scholar Lucy Bernholz, the latest edition — which considers the European context for the first time in addition to the American landscape — explains the shifts that come as civil society is manifested in digital environments, including opportunities to establish a new standard of trust regarding how private data are used for public benefit. As data become more and more a part of our everyday lives, ethical challenges facing philanthropic enterprises of all types emerge.
"Now, more than ever, we need new frameworks to understand and shape philanthropy for the 21st century," said Lucy Bernholz, visiting scholar at Stanford University's Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society and author of Blueprint 2014. "I'm hopeful theBlueprint can further regional and global conversations about how philanthropy — in all its various forms — can best evolve to meet society's needs in this rapidly changing world."
The Blueprint is published by GrantCraft, a joint service of the New York-based Foundation Center and Brussels-based European Foundation Centre that taps the practical wisdom of funders to develop resources for the philanthropy sector. In addition to philanthropists, the Blueprint is a strategic resource for anyone using private resources for public benefit, including social business leaders, nonprofit and association executives, individual activists, and policymakers.
In this year's report, Bernholz presents her observations of European philanthropy, discusses how digital civil society can potentially change the root structures of the social economy, makes predictions for 2014 (and revisits those she made for 2013), and considers the reach of the "civic technology" efforts of governments and technologists to engage citizens.
"As changemakers strive to make the world a better place, Lucy Bernholz has their backs by looking ahead," said Bradford K. Smith, president of the Foundation Center. "Everyone in the social sector can benefit from Lucy's perceptive observations and insights on where we are now, where we are headed, and most importantly, where we should be headed."
A highlight of each year's Blueprint is a list of emerging philanthropy-related buzzwords ("privacy" ranks number one this time around). The Blueprint also lists wildcard world events — unanticipated legislation, scandals, or disasters — that have the potential to mitigate or accelerate the timing of big shifts in the social economy. One of Bernholz's predictions for 2014 is that a major crowdfunding scandal will draw scrupulous attention to online fundraising platforms.
In her career as a consultant, writer, and blogger, Bernholz has established herself as an incisive authority in the complex arena of data and philanthropy. The Huffington Post calls Bernholz a "philanthropy game changer," Fast Company magazine named her Philanthropy2173 blog "Best in Class," and she has been named toThe Nonprofit Times' annual list of 50 most influential people. Throughout 2014, Bernholz will continue to investigate and cultivate conversations around the ideas in Blueprint at theGrantCraft blog and on Philanthropy2173.
Philanthropy and the Social Economy: Blueprint 2014 can be downloaded for free at and discussed online using #blueprint14.

About the Foundation Center
Established in 1956, the Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit the Center's web site each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and at more than 470 Funding Information Network locations nationwide and around the world. For more information, please or call (212) 620-4230.
About the European Foundation Centre
The European Foundation Centre, founded in 1989, is an international membership association representing public-benefit foundations and corporate funders active in philanthropy in Europe, and beyond. The Centre develops and pursues activities in line with its four key objectives: creating an enabling legal and fiscal environment; documenting the foundation landscape; building the capacity of foundation professionals; and promoting collaboration, both among foundations and between foundations and other actors. Emphasising transparency and best practice, all members sign up to and uphold the European Foundation Centre Principles of Good Practice. For more information, please visit
The Foundation Center • 79 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003 •(212) 620-4230

Rock n' Roll n' Risk Management - RISK eNews

Rock n’ Roll n’ Risk Management

A friend of the Center, who happens to be an accomplished sound engineer, forwarded a terrific article to us this week about how the best rock n’ roll roadies can do things many music fans might believe are impossible. Why? Well, one reason seems to be that roadies and members of production crews are motivated to do the impossible because the show must always go on.
Why Roadies Are Our Best Bet For Typhoon Haiyan Relief In The Philippines, by Ruth Blatt, published at, features an interview with Charlie Hernandez, a former roadie and production manager for The Police. Blatt, who writes about “the intersection of rock n’ roll and business,” describes how roadies and the rock concerts they support “descend upon a site and then quickly disappear. Along the way, they face technical complexity, divergent regulations, multiple vendors, language barriers, and the certainty of unforeseen obstacles.”
As we read about how touring professionals came together to provide relief in Haiti and Pakistan after the disasters in those countries in 2010, we couldn’t help but see that the talents of roadies offer valuable lessons for nonprofit leaders charged with ensuring that their missions go on.

Risk Tips from the Road

·         Ask for Help and Be Eager to Help — In addition to “somebody to love,” every nonprofit leader needs lots of somebodies to help sustain a charitable mission. The article explains that despite the demands of the work and lifestyle, many roadies and production managers spend their free time helping others. As a result, the best in the business have bigger contact lists in their cell phones than professional match makers. According to our sound engineer friend, keeping a mental note of the skills and interests of people you meet on the road, and saving contact details, are essential to getting the help you need when you need it.
·         Close the Loop — Roadies don’t call it a day until every piece of equipment is packed up and on the truck or headed to the airport. The ability to follow-through until the job is completely done is essential to making sure the band is ready for the next stop on the tour. The commitment to closing the loop is applicable in risk management as well. Whether it’s conducting an in-depth review of the nonprofit’s policies and the actions taken by staff after an accident or near-miss, or taking the time to tell a vendor the reasons you’ve decided to change providers, closing the loop is fundamental to preserving trust in key relationships, learning from experience, and inspiring confidence in your mission and team.
·         Inspire Loyalty — Blatt’s article explains that “fierce camaraderie” is a must in the tough business of rock n’ roll. That means you’re unlikely to hear about a roadie throwing a fellow roadie under the tour bus, literally or figuratively! Many nonprofit leaders have learned the hard way that you need to earn, rather than insist, on loyalty. True loyalty exists in nonprofits where staff members believe that executives bring integrity to the job each and every day. In the world of risk management, lukewarm loyalty is a downside risk waiting to materialize. When staff are disloyal or disillusioned they are more likely to disregard the risk management policies of the nonprofit.
The Queen song The Show Must Go On was the final track on the rock band’s 1991 album, Innuendo. Written principally by band member Brian May, The Show Must Go On is regarded as a tribute to the bravery and fierce determination of lead singer Freddie Mercury, who continued to perform despite being gravely ill. The song was released as a single, just six weeks before Mercury died in 1991. The song reminds us that nonprofit missions are vital to the health and well-being of individuals, communities and the environment, and therefore must also go on. To reach your goal of becoming an effective risk champion, remember to ask for help and give help freely, close the loop after accidents and near-misses, and inspire true loyalty by leading with integrity.
Melanie Herman is Executive Director and Alexandra Ricketts is Project Manager at the Nonprofit Risk Management Center. Melanie and Alex welcome your feedback on this article or questions about the Center’s resources for nonprofits at or(202) 785-3891.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

News From Museum Association of New York

Newsletter of the new Museum Association of New York
November 2013
265 River Street, Troy, NY 12180

The MaNY Adventures of the Director...
Museum Institute at Sagamore
As we prepare for Thanksgiving I'm inclined to reflect upon the clever people, serendipitous moments and fruitful opportunities that we've enjoyed this first year of consolidation.

I'm delighted to recall several occasions upon which I declared "this is our mission in action!" as we gathered together with old friends and new acquaintances weaving together the rich resources that lie within the inspiring individuals in our community.

Our recent "road show" included three IMLS funded More Fun, More Learning: Libraries and Museums Working Together for Young Learners workshops and seven regional MANY Meet-ups! Many thanks to our hosts for welcoming our guests and supporting our mission. If you are interested in hosting a 2014 Meet-up, let me know.     
Leading off this issue is a highlight of advocacy opportunities in Albany and Washington, DC. I attended the Regents Advisory Council on Museums meeting this month where the conversation centered upon statewide collaborations and Museums and the Common Core. Much more to come on this topic and the potential for a Museum Education Act. 
Our focus now turns to end of the year logistics and planning our 2014 advocacy agenda and program slate. Many thanks for sharing your ideas, challenges and support towards visioning our 2014 offerings. 

In this season for giving thanks, I am grateful to the MANY community for generously sharing your passion for extraordinary museums.

With best wishes for a lovely Thanksgiving, 
 gilbert signature
Catherine Gilbert, Director
Stay Connected - Please be sure to update our 
contact information 

Catherine Gilbert, Director
Dana Krueger, Associate 

BoardBoard News 
The Museum Association of New York Board of Directors will meet on Monday, December 9th. On the agenda will be setting 2014 strategic priorities based on the conversations that have taken place at the regional Meet-Ups, as well as 2014 budget planning.



Want to be updated on the actions/meetings of the Regent's Advisory Committee? Click here to read theNovember 2013 meeting's agenda and materials.

Washington update: 

Register for Museum Advocacy Day

nullMuseums Advocacy Day 2014 is Feb. 24-25!
And Museum Association of New York is a sponsor!!

"The event has become an invaluable, annual opportunity to advance the cause of our museums and the work of those who lead and support them. The training, information packets, logistics and results get better every year, and will no doubt lead to many successes in the future. Museums Advocacy Day 2014 is already on my calendar-for me, it is now an annual commitment!"
-Pete Watson, Howell Living History Farm, Mercer County Park Commission, Titusville, NJ, and President of the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums

Will you be there?
Since 2009, Museums Advocacy Day has resulted in:
  • Nearly 1,000 advocates making 1,391 visits to Capitol Hill offices
  • Increased Congressional support for museums
  • New awareness of the vital role of museums
  • Valuable networking opportunities

IMLS and AAM are pairing up to strengthen state
IMLS logomuseum associations like Museum Association of New York. To learn more about this great endeavor, click here!

Museum Association of New York Has Hit the Road!
MANY is traveling this fall to various locations across the state to host Regional Meet-Ups. Hopefully we have already either met with you in your local area or will soon be doing so!

Our events thus far have been wonderful! We love hearing about all of your great work in the various museums and affiliations across the state. Topics of discussion have included Common Core; Formula Funding; tourism initiatives; collaborations within communities and the local CVB or REDCs; MANY as a "clearing house" for information,professional groups and more; the need to advocate for NYSCA to gain more funding; and more! 

Thank you to all of our hosts: Corning Museum of Glass, Everson Museum of Art, Fenimore Art Museum, FDR Presidential Library and Museum, National Museum of the American Indian - New York, and Hofstra University Museum.

If you didn't catch us at one of the above venues, don't fret! We still have 2 more stops on our roadshow! 
Please join us as we discuss advocacy issues that face all of NYS's museum community. (And bring a colleague or two!) RSVP

December 3 at 4pm -Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo

December 4 at 10am - The Strong, Rochester 

See you in your region soon!

Membership Renewals   
Giving You Great Benefits!

Don't let your membership slide! Renew or join today! If you have received a renewal letter, please send in with payment so you can continue to receive all the great benefits MANY has to offer!

Visit our website for easy renewal!

MIAS2013 Museum Institute at Sagamore  

Another Successful Year at Sagamore!

We had an amazing 4 days with the Museum Institute at Sagamore participants and presenters! The group learned about collaborations, communication, leadership, time management and value proposition. They started creating their own professional development strategies and brainstormed to help each other successfully maneuver their obstacles. The weather made for a beautiful time in the Adirondacks and the group took full advantage of it with walking around the lake, canoeing and kayaking in their free moments. There was even a bit of healthy competition in Great Camp Sagamore's newly opened bowling alley!

Thanks to all who participated. It truly was a fantastic Institute and couldn't have been so fulfilling without full commitment on everyone's part. Thanks also to Great Camp Sagamore and the staff for being wonderful hosts. We have made great connections and hope you took home a wealth of new and exciting resources as well as a refreshed outlook for your work! 

About the Museum Institute at Sagamore...
The Institute is a reflective, intensive, four day retreat at Great Camp Sagamore in the Adirondacks that gives New York State museum professionals the opportunity to learn, reflect, and work with their colleagues from across the state.

The 2014 Museum Institute at Sagamore will take placeSeptember 23-26th. Acceptance to the Institute is by application only. For more information please  

Want to learn more about Sagamore? Be sure to attend the Sagamore Session at this year's Museums in Action conference! 

Gear Up for the 2014 Museums in Action Annual Conference!
einstein steamAre you a vendor who would like to be a part of the largest gathering of museum professionals in New York State? Do you think the work we do is SUPER and you would like to be a sponsor? Then this is thelink for you!

Museums in Conversation is now Museums in Action!
Come be a part of the Action! Check out the levels of participation for exhibitors and sponsors for the 2014 conference. Bring your goods and set up a display or if you can't make it there in person, we have options for you!

New this year: 
  • Become a sponsor and get an advertisement our new program booklet! 
  • Feeling like we need to be more technologically savvy? Sponsor our conference app!
For more information on this year's conference exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities, check out the website.

Thank you in advance for your support!

The "Skinny" on this year's Annual Conference...

This year's Museums in Action annual conference theme is STEM to STEAM!
How will you participate and help your peers through this important conversation taking place at the 2014 Conference?
What is STEAM?
STEAM = Science and Technology integrated through Engineering and the "Arts", all based in Mathematical elements.

Museums + STEAM
While teachers are limited in the classroom and traditional schools are only just considering merging disciplines, this is something that museums already do! And we do it well! Museums' non-traditional educational environments are perfect for this cross-curricular approach to teaching. Many museum programs have already been adding the A for Arts into the STEM programming. This includes visual and performing arts, humanities, social sciences, language arts and history. Whether it be through exhibitions, scope of collections or educational programming, museums have the natural capability to excel at STEAM initiatives!

To learn more click here for the conference website.
See you in Albany!

Awards of Merit Nominations are Now Being Accepted!
MANY Director Catherine Gilbert with 2012
Award of Merit Winner in the Innovation in Interpretation category: Museum of the Earth
at the Paleontological Research Institution 
New York's museums and heritage organizations are many and diverse. These institutions collect and interpret art, history, natural history, science, technology and culture. These valuable organizations provide opportunities for inquiry, engagement, inspiration and education about the state's cultural and natural heritage.

The Awards of Merit program acknowledges outstanding programs and individuals who have made the state's museum community richer and more relevant. They reward the innovative efforts of staff and volunteers and they provide encouragement for the development of new and remarkable projects. Nominations are sought for contributions made in 2013.

The awards will be presented on Monday, March 31, 2014 at the Luncheon of theMuseums in Action Conference at the Albany Marriott on Wolf Rd. in Albany.

Nominations may be submitted in the following categories (for yourself or others): 
  • The Rising Star Award: Awarded to a museum professional, currently employed in an institution, aged 25-35, for his/her creativity and ability to tackle institutional/programmatic challenges in innovative and inspiring ways.
  • Anne Ackerson Innovation in Leadership Award: This award recognizes board and staff leaders through creatively and effectively bringing their organization and its people through a significant challenge or opportunity. 
  • Innovation in Collection Access: Collections are the vital backbone of museums and heritage organizations forming the basis for new research, programs, exhibitions, publications and web content. Nominations for this category are exemplary projects that concern broadening intellectual or physical access to collections; outstanding or cutting-edge preservation, cataloging or care.
  • Innovation in Interpretation: This award category recognizes outstanding interpretive methods that forge emotional and intellectual connections between audiences and the meanings inherent in objects, artifacts, landscapes and place.
  • Engaging Communities Award: A critical element of any museum or heritage organization is the way that it interacts with its community. Nominations for this category should highlight efforts that engage your community or create new audiences for your organization. These projects could include interpretative exhibitions, lecture series, educational or public programs, focus groups, strategic planning, evaluation or other community engagement effort.
  • Excellent "Failure" Award: Recognizing that innovation stems from taking risks and that risks often lead to unpredicted results this award pays tribute to those that have made the most of such 'failures'. Nominations should indicate the initial goal of the endeavor, what went awry and highlight what was learned/how the organization has benefited as a result.
  • Individual Achievement Award: Any successful organization has the support of a devoted team of staff and volunteers. Nominations in this category should be for those people who have played pertinent roles in moving their organizations forward over a sustained period. Nominations can by for an individual or a team of museum staff and/or volunteers.  
The deadline for submissions is December 13, 2013.

Contact MANY with any questions at

Let's celebrate you!!