The Minnesota Historical Society’s Local History Services helps Minnesotans preserve and share their history. This blog is a resource of best practices on the wide variety of museum, preservation, conservation, funding, and non-profit management topics. We’re here to help.
Does your organization have an affinity group? Recent reports from experts in the history field have shown that relying on heritage tourism will not by itself improve use of museums and historic sites. It is one component of usage, which happens to have people who stay longer and spend more. However, for the history museum and historic site that want to improve the number of users and to grow users into significant donors, developing affinity groups appears to be a promising method. Some of Minnesota's local historical organizations offer book clubs and art shows in communities that are too small to support them otherwise. There may be others, such as veteran's and living history groups; card, dance, food,Â model railroad clubs; hiking, canoeing, bicycling, snowmobiling, and other outdoors affinity groups.Â Two questions:
If you have such an affinity group, in what ways does that group partner with and enhance your organization?
If you have no affinity groups, can you speculate on what kinds of affinity groups might be needed in your community?