Did you know that your version of Internet Explorer is out of date?
To get the best possible experience using our website we recommend downloading one of the browsers below.

Internet Explorer 10, Firefox, Chrome, or Safari.

The Manual of Strategic Planning for Cultural Organizations

by Gail Dexter Lord and Kate Markert
The Manual of Strategic Planning for Cultural Organizations
Rowman & Littlefield
$38.00 / £24.95 (paperback, ebook). Save 25% using promo code: RL25LORDBK
Order Now
Amazon US
$38 (paperback, eBook)
Order Now
Amazon CA
$48 (paperback) / $45 (eBook)
Order Now
Amazon UK
£25 (paperback) / £24 (eBook)
Order Now

A GUIDE FOR Museums, Performing Arts, Science Centers, Public Gardens, Heritage Sites, Libraries, Archives and Zoos

The Manual of Strategic Planning for Cultural Organizations adopts a holistic approach to the creative world of cultural institutions. By encompassing museums, art galleries, gardens, zoos, science centers, historic sites, cultural centers, festivals, and performing arts, this book responds to the that boundaries are being blurred among institutional types—with many gardens incorporating exhibitions, many museums part of multidisciplinary cultural centers and festivals. As cultural leaders transform the arts in the twenty-first century, this “whole career” manual will prepare readers for every stage. Three key areas covered are:

  • Leadership change: This chapter explains the role of strategic planning when an institution is going through the process of hiring a new director. A question we are frequently asked is “Should the strategic plan precede the search process or should it wait until the new director takes up the position?”
  • Institutional change: Increasingly, cultural organizations are going through major change: from public-sector agencies to nonprofit corporations; from private ownership to non-profit status; from nonprofit status to a foundation, and many other variations. This book addresses the role of strategic planning during these transitions.
  • Staff empowerment: This manual addresses the opportunities for staff at all levels to grow by participating in strategic planning. This edition focuses on how to engage and empower staff.

A Guide for Museums, Performing Arts, Science Centers, Public Gardens, Heritage Sites, Libraries, Archives, and Zoos is a game-changing book with broad reach into the cultural sector, while still serving the museum community.


About The Authors

Gail Dexter Lord

Gail Dexter Lord, is President and Co-founder of Lord Cultural Resources. With Barry Lord, she is co-editor of The Manual of Museum Planning (1991, 1999, 2012), co-author of The Manual of Museum Management (1997 and 2009), and with Kate Markert the first edition of the Manual of Strategic Planning for Museums (2007). Gail's most recent book is Cities, Museums and Soft Power (co-authored with Ngaire Blankenberg in 2015). Gail has collaborated with museums and cities to create new kinds of institutions such as the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, the Foundling Museum in London, and The Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg. Gail is a Member of the Order of Canada (2016), and Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres de France (2014). In 2016 she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters, by McMaster University.

Kate Markert

Kate Markert is Executive Director of Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens in Washington, D.C. where, as the result of a strategic planning process, a special exhibition program and revitalized gardens have spurred a 50 percent increase in attendance over 5 years and tripling of the membership. She has been Director of the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford Connecticut, Associate Director of the Walters Art Museum and Deputy Director and Acting Director of the Cleveland Museum of Art. She is on the Visiting Committee of Longwood Gardens and is a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors and the Directors of Large Gardens. She has a Master of Arts in Art History and a Masters degree in business administration.

  • "Strategic planning is at the heart of every successful business. Museums and cultural institutions are complex organizations. For them, strategic planning is even more vital to both survival and success. Gail Lord and Kate Markert have revised and expanded one of the essential volumes on planning for cultural organizations. From gardens and zoos to art museums and libraries, their Manual of Strategic Planning for Cultural Organizations is a blueprint to be followed. Too often, planning is deferred, replaced with attention to more pressing and immediate needs. That is often a course for lackluster performance or even failure. With this volume, strategic planning is made accessible and understandable in a straightforward manner. This book is both a "how-to" guide with great, concise case studies and an essential theoretical overview of the processes, philosophies and practices that underpin any solid strategic planning effort. I hope it will serve as a guide and encouragement for many to invest in the most important task any cultural organization can make beyond a solid mission, it's strategic plan to success."
    Alex Nyerges, Director and CEO, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
  • "Every cultural institution today is operating in time of great change and has an obligation to help its constituents and stakeholder understand, adapt to, and in many cases, take on leadership roles. Lord and Market have created an inspiring manual on how to meet these challenges through change management and strategic planning. This manual is much more than a ‘how to’ primer; the cases studies provide deep insights in ways leaders can execute best business practices to efficiency and effectively achieve a shared mission. Philanthropists, board members, and nonprofit leadership will all want to roll up their sleeves and get to work after reading this forward-looking guide. "
    Howard Axel, CEO, Four Freedoms Park Conservancy