2022 Strategic Plan 

Olympia Historical Society and Bigelow House Museum


  1. Enhance visibility through increased programming, events and outreach in the community.


  1.  Increase programming and events.


  1. Provide downtown and neighborhood walking tours. 
  2. Engage with History Happy Hours when restarted. 
  3. Plan events to bring visitors back to the Bigelow House.
    1. Hold open house upon re-opening. 
    2. Develop a “passport” for visitors to use in visiting and learning about different parts of the property. 
  4. Brainstorm ideas, including virtual options, as substitutes for the Holiday Home Tour.
  5. Implement new interpretive plan for the Bigelow House. 
    1. Develop a vision.
    2. Assure accessibility.
    3. Train docents.
  6. Renew efforts to secure Washington State Diversity in Local History grant.  
  1.  Increase outreach.


  1. Provide an annual “State of the OHS&BHM” summary to the city council, mayor and staff and extend an invitation to tour the Bigelow House. 
  2. Engage with the Bigelow Neighborhood Association.  
  3. Develop revised guidelines and criteria for a scholarship, funded by interest on the Easton bequest, for availability to students, teachers, or both. 
  4. Appoint outreach committee to develop new outreach strategies and to assist as needed with development of the new website. 
  5. Conduct outreach to education community and school groups to make OHS&BHM available as a history resource. 
  6. Continue to build our relationship with the Squaxin Tribe.
  7. Elevate the profile of the annual meeting and the prestige of the awards program.


  1. Develop an archive facility to house our dispersed collections, and to provide research, processing and office space.


  1. Independent of opportunities with AHA or other organizations, approach city for financial support or physical resources for an archive facility. 


  1. Continue to explore any other opportunities that arise, whether with AHA or other organizations, to ensure that we are positioned to act. 


  1. Improve and enhance stored Bigelow House collection. 


  1. Establish an archive facility collections committee.
  2. Review Bigelow House collections to determine what can be eliminated in accordance with applicable standards.
  3.  Develop archive storage strategy that safeguards and protects the collection. 


  1. Develop a downtown history museum presence, including in partnership with AHA, and as a joint facility with other nonprofits.  


  1.  With AHA commence preliminary planning so that we are positioned to act on museum opportunities. 


  1. Develop a vision statement.
  2. Develop concepts and plan the space.
  3. Develop visuals that can be used to communicate the vision, concepts and space.
  1. With AHA, maintain positioning to respond to an RFP when      

solicited by the city.


  1. Develop a revenue stream that will produce budget for paid staff.


  1.  Develop methods for increasing revenue. 


  1. Develop strategies to enlarge membership base including, but not limited to, member incentives (including discounts for new and renewing members on the Water, Woods and Prairie book), TCTV, and partnerships with other organizations.
  2. Seek and implement strategies for annual business and corporate sponsorships.
  3. Research grants, including Inspire Olympia funds, that allow funding of staff. 
  4. Approach city for financial support for operating, programming and building maintenance.
  5. Develop a fundraising “back up plan” with other fundraising options.


  1.   Update staff and volunteer needs. 


  1. Update assessment of basic or minimum staff needs and requirements, as well as ideal requirements, in the areas of administration, technology, board support, media and communication, events and programming, and membership development, so that we are positioned to act when revenue is available. 
  2. Develop staff job description. 
  3. Develop volunteer job description.
  4. Develop board member job description. 

            C.  Recruit new docents. 


  1. Develop strategies.
  2. Develop fall back plan using board docents.


  1. Enhance internal systems to assure viability of our organization and the Bigelow House into the future. 


  1. Board structure 


1.  Reassess how we recruit board members.

                                    a. Analyze skills needed.

                                    b. Review option of using an application process.

                                    c.  Recruit from membership.

2.  Diversify board 

a.  Outreach to high schools and colleges.

                                                b.  Outreach to communities of color.


                       B.  Bigelow House infrastructure               


  1. Develop a priority list of maintenance projects.

2.  Develop a list of capital needs and capital grant options. 

3.  Enhance security by researching and installing, if warranted, 

      security cameras, wi-fi, and sprinklers.

4.  Seek grants to restore/rehabilitate BHM and grounds.