Steve and Wendy image

A good museum makes
“a positive difference in the quality of people’s lives.”
Stephen E. Weil
Making Museums Matter, 2002


From Stephen E. Weil


“…a distinction… must be made between ‘outcomes’ and ‘outputs.’ Outcomes are those positive changes in its targeted audiences—those impacts, those hearts and minds differences—that are the museum’s ultimate goal. Outcomes are the realization of its institutional purpose. What a visitor learns at an exhibition, for example, is an outcome. Outputs, though, are what the museum actually produces in an effort to achieve those outcomes. The exhibition itself is an output. So is its catalogue. So are any accompanying lectures. In the museum’s public programs, outputs are what’s intended to trigger outcomes. In its supportive programs, outputs may have more importance on their own.”


“A Success/Failure Matrix
for Museums,”

Museum News, 2005


Impact Society Test

Rate how much your institution matters.

Scoring: (4) Frequently, (3) Sometimes, (2) Rarely, (1) Never

Your organization: Score
Is sought out for its information and viewpoint by
news organizations…
Influences policies, laws, and regulations…  
Serves the public good…  
Collaborates with other organizations…  
Produces meaningful results…  

If your score is: 18–20, your institution is impacting society; 17–14, your institution has some impact; 13 and below, your institution is missing the boat.

To learn more, read Stephen E. Weil’s article, “A Success/Failure Matrix for Museums,” Museum News, January/February 2005.