Engaging your Community

Engaging your Community: A Toolkit for Museums

The toolkit outlines a process through which individual museums can work with the community to assess their relevance and create a plan to deepen their relationship with the community, in turn increasing the sustainability of the museum.

Download the FULL TOOLKIT

Step by Step

Click the links below to download specific materials from the toolkit as your Working Group progresses through the Engaging your Community process. 


Contents and Overview

Assemble a Working Group
Form a Working Group that represents several kinds of people involved in the museum, including staff, board members, and volunteers. The goal of the Working Group is to help steer the museum through the Engaging your Community process.


Find a Facilitator
Find a Facilitator or choose a Team Leader. A skilled facilitator ensures that your ideas and action items are documented and helps your group stay focused on the discussion and results, rather than getting bogged down by the process.


Working Group Orientation
Orient your Working Group to the purpose in undertaking the Engaging your Community process, discuss the goals of the group and get aligned, and schedule the sessions and meetings for the duration of the project.


Group Self-Assessment
The self-assessment phase is a time for examining, reflecting, delving into and understanding what you are currently doing and how that helps or hinders developing a closer relationship with your community. It is a time to take stock, celebrate successes, and re-energize to build capacity for future opportunities.


Community Consultation
The community consultation is a time for aligning the museum’s mission, programs and services with the community’s objectives to achieve mutual goals. Museums should serve and be responsive to their community, and by strengthening the relationship between the museum and the community, the museum is more likely to be relevant, ensure ongoing support, and be sustainable in the long term.

Plan for the Future
It’s now time to take all of the outputs and learnings garnered throughout the Engaging your Community: process and turn it into an action plan.


Toolkit Resources

Terms of Reference - Template

How to Find a Facilitator 
Possible Triggers

Community Engagement

Group Self-Assessment 

  • STEP 2
  • Spider Diagram 

Community Consultation

  • LatimerNOW
Idea Worksheet
Wheel of Engagement
Community Scattegories
Community Scan Questions
Engagement Mapping Tool 
Action Plan Work Sheet



Mary Collier, Professional Development Program Manager
Tel. 416 348-8672 - Toll-free. 1-866-OMA-8672

This initiative is part of the museumsuccession project funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Government of Ontario.

The museumsuccession Project was developed to strengthen Ontario’s museum sector by enhancing governance, fostering stronger relationships between museums and their communities as well as supporting Emerging Museum Professionals.


Ontario Trillium Foundation

      Ontario Key         Gov-Ontario