Doncaster Museum Business Model

Doncaster Museum Business Model

By Julie Aldridge
Pam Jarvis


Discover how writing a manifesto helped Doncaster Museum gain clarity on how the museums service could connect with communities.

"Cut us in half and 'We are Donny' will be written through us like a stick of rock. It is at the heart of us and will drive us into the future. We believe that history gives us a sense of place and an understanding of who we are. By acting as custodians of Doncaster's heritage 'We are Donny' and we belong to the people."

This quote is taken from the start of the new manifesto created by Carolyn Dalton, Heritage Services Manager for Doncaster as part of her involvement in the AMA’s Future Proof Museums programme. The manifesto has been crucial in providing clarity on how the museums service could connect with communities.

Future Proof Museums was the catalyst that revealed how the museum service could become an agent of social change in Doncaster’s post-industrial context.

“We desire to play a bigger and more meaningful role in the community than we do at present. Professionally we take the long view of history and so are ideally placed to assist those prevented from moving forward by past events, such as the closure of the coal mines. History should support and add value to our lives, not hinder us. So, we will work to build pride in Doncaster, a town and area with a fascinating past and some great achievements. At the same time, we should challenge people, encourage them to have new perspectives, to be creative and to have fun doing so.”

This involves reframing a nostalgic view of the town’s past through creating a more positive attitude to its future. It means placing living history at its heart and exploring the past and present of Doncaster in people-focused ways. It repositions the museum as an integral part of the community by recognising what is and isn’t important in its role.

The business model canvas

Developing the business model canvas through the Future Proof programme allowed different agendas to be untangled through a lucid, simple and ordered framework. Thinking through the value proposition gave the museum a clarity of purpose which had not previously been articulated. It provided a quick route to distil the value it offers audiences and stakeholders and identify how key elements all fit together.

Download the full case study to read on:
Doncaster Museum Business Model (PDF)

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Business model Museum Museums Prosper
Resource type: Case studies | Published: 2017