Best Practices for Board Service at Historic Sites part 1 and 2

Wisconsin Historical Society Local History Webinar series

We presented two 90 minute webinars for the Wisconsin Historical Society Local History Series in April 2019 on Best Practices for Board Service at Historic Sites. These are free to view but you have to register first. There are PLENTY of handouts for each session, find them attached to the presentation. View the first one here   View the second part here

Clear up the confusion about who does what in historic house museum organizations by participating in this two-part webinar. During the first of two webinars on this topic, we will discuss the legal responsibilities of all nonprofit board members according to state nonprofit law and how these duties apply to nonprofit historic house museum boards. We will discuss the three board responsibilities, called the Duty of Care, Loyalty, and Obedience to the Law, and how your historic site can demonstrate your understanding of these duties and the organizational policies and practices you can implement to assure that you exceed these minimum requirements. We will share some true but shocking stories along the way (no names please!) about good boards gone bad so that your organization won't make the same mistakes. This training is derived from Ms. Harris' chapter "The Essential Role of Boards in Reimagining Historic House Museums" in Reimaging the Historic House Museum: Catalysts for Change, edited by Kenneth Turino and Max Van Balgooy for Rowman and Littlefield, Publishers, available in 2020. Ms. Harris will provide a resource packet with forms, letters, articles, a bibliography, and other information to help boost your historic sites' board effectiveness.

In Part 2 of our webinar series on Best Practices for Board Service at Historic Sites, we will discuss what historic site board members do collectively and as individuals to support the organization with their "time, talent and treasure." During this webinar, we will talk about all volunteer historic sites, as well as those with staff, to differentiate what the board versus the staff does in both types of organizations. We will highlight the leadership qualities needed in an excellent Board President (whether you have staff or not), and how the Nominating and Executive Committees can shape the future of the organization. Finally, we’ll discuss the core documents that all house museums need in order to be effective stewards of their collections and historic property.