“Time tracking allows non-profits to make more informed decisions about the true cost of our activities.” – from KMAC Director Aldy Milliken
It’s incredible that Beebole is turning 12, and even more incredible that we have so many diverse and extraordinary companies using our time tracking tool. We’re proud to work with them and to celebrate we want to share some of their stories with the world. Here’s one.
The KMAC, or Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, was founded in 1981 with a focus on the area’s rich history of craft and folk art. Today, KMAC is a museum of contemporary art that works to inspire “transformative connections between artists, art, and the public through education, exhibitions, programming, and conversation.” In short, they do some pretty remarkable work and they’ve been Beebole customers since 2012.
Like many other Beebole users, the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft is a non-profit organization. From a business standpoint, this designation comes with added pressure and responsibility in terms of accountability and transparency. We recently caught up with KMAC Executive Director Aldy Milliken to discuss how time tracking helps in the museum’s operations.
How do you use Beebole to manage your team and help in daily operations?
As a 501(c)(3) museum, we need to track our mission-specific programs and our fundraising activities for our donors and to make our Guidestar rating. Beebole allows us to track our yearly staff activities very accurately and with proof that we are efficient and mindful of our resources. We track the support we receive so everyone remains accountable while conducting their activities. We also look at the cost per program in our different departments such as Education, Exhibitions, and Retail, allowing us to make more informed decisions during our budget process. The reporting system in Beebole is great and I know our board appreciates being able to get a picture of what we do all day.
We’re honored that KMAC has been a Beebole customer for so many years. Has the way your team tracks time, or your motivation for tracking time, changed over time?
We have become more specific and intentional about staff costs. For instance, often non-for-profit 501(c)(3) organizations do not pay close enough attention to the staff costs for major fundraisers. Often a fundraiser brings in money but costs so much in staff time that profit margins are negligible. Beebole allows us to make more informed decisions about the true cost of our activities. We adjust accordingly. Everyone, 501(c)(3)’s and for-profit organizations, should use Beebole to track staff time.
How would you measure success in your role or sector?
We’re successful by the quality of art, exhibitions and creative experiences that we provide. It is hard to quantify these things, but if we show how we provide these experiences and for how much (or how little) then people tend to support us.
Any productivity or time management tips for our readers?
Training and onboarding are important. And not just the basic stuff. Take the time to explain your system and the meaning behind the system. New staff members don’t know about Guidestar and our rating as a 501(c)(3). Taking the time to explain not only the process but why it all matters was important for us. Staff members need to understand the bigger picture.
What are you reading or listening to for professional inspiration and motivation lately?
We are inspired by the artists that we show in the Museum. So I am reading “The Constituent Museum” published by Valiz Amsterdam and L’Internationale about the new roles of the museum as a generator of social change. We are placing our audiences at the core of our missions (over objects and preservation). I am also reading what I can about Picasso because of a show we are doing.
Finally, what is something you are excited about in the coming year?
We are running a Picasso exhibition that looks at his process and materials. He is a complicated human figure within the art world but someone that so many artists and museums reference in the 21st century. Our usual exhibition is more contemporary through collaborations with living artists and we have a show by American artist Summer Wheat going on at the same time. We hope to provide all those details about Picasso’s work and life with perspectives for our visitors to learn from. The future of museums is not just about the artwork but also how we engage with different audiences and make them belong.
If you liked this interview, you won’t want to miss our chat with Cloud Perspective or Createc either.
To learn more about the KMAC and their exhibitions and initiatives, you can visit them at https://www.kmacmuseum.org/ and follow them on Facebook or Instagram @kmacmuseum.
Photo by Gilber Franco on Unsplash
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