A person with orange sneakers climbing blue stairs.

The work that needs to be done at our nation’s museums is endless. But, as we all know, our energy and resources are not unlimited.

Assessment programs are like road maps. They are a valuable tool for moving an organization forward along a path and helping paid and unpaid staff, volunteers, and board members stay focused as they travel together along that path towards their goals.

Organizations that connect their planning, decision-making, and fundraising to an assessment program like StEPs―and thus national museum standards―gain credibility. Funders like to know that your plan or project is based on something that can be justified and substantiated, and that your organization’s progress can be measured. And, you will have a much easier time articulating goals and accomplishments to your community and other stakeholders when you connect them to the same standards that museums across the country are using.

With StEPs, history organizations have, for the first time, specific recommendations for improving the daily management of their organizations and planning for the future―all while working to meet national museum standards. These specific recommendations are the missing link that the field has long sought. They answer the question, “How do we know when an organization is meeting a standard?” StEPs uses an incremental approach of Basic, Good, and Better recommendations. Participating organizations earn Bronze, Silver, and Gold certificates in each of the program’s six workbook sections.

The StEPs program is open to any museum, historical society, historic house, site, or related organization. It is intended for small- and mid-sized organizations that do not feel ready for other assessment programs, but larger museums may find it useful for prioritizing and as a refresher checklist or training tool.

Enroll in StEPs during the month of May June and your organization receives the following bonus resources:

  1. The Field Service Alliance’s Tips for Caring for Collections on a Budget (webinar recording)
  2. The Art of Saying ‘No’: Declining Collections Gifts Gracefully (webinar recording)
  3. How to Plan Your Digitization Project (Technical Leaflet download)

Join more than 1,000 organizations across the country that are using StEPs to assess their policies and practices and take a leap forward in how they operate and serve their community!