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2020-24 Strategic Plan Review

February 5 @ 9:30 am - 4:30 pm

In March 2020, following a two-year process, the Board of Trustees approved a Strategic Plan to guide us for the next five years, called “The New Direction.” Less than two weeks later, the museum closed due to Maine’s COVID-19 Stay at Home Order and our business has been impacted by the pandemic ever since.


Despite the challenges and barriers created by the pandemic, Seashore Trolley Museum continues to thrive. While we have held back the public fundraising efforts we prioritized in The New Direction out of concern for our annual operating budget during the pandemic to date, we have moved the needle forward on the majority of other priorities that were selected, and a few new opportunities have presented themselves too. We have a lot to celebrate and to be proud of!


The Board of Trustees invites all members and supporters to participate in a Strategic Plan Review and Discussion over Zoom, taking place on Saturday, February 5, 2022 from 9:30AM-4:30PM.  Together, we will review the progress we’ve made on The New Direction to date and the work that still needs to be done. Opportunities on how to get involved in the mission-driven work we’re doing will be showcased.  The pandemic has also created new opportunities that we can now weave into our plan, understanding that other priorities may need to be postponed if we decide to do so. We hope you will be part of the discussion.


We have taken the 16 priorities laid out in our Strategic Plan and have broken them out into five separate sessions, grouping the priorities into “like” topic areas.  We encourage you to attend the sessions that are of most interest to you, or the full day.  A full schedule is below, with the Zoom info to join.


To review Seashore’s complete 2020-2024 New Direction Strategic Plan and our 16 priorities, visit https://trolleymuseum.org/newdirection/  Our 22 public fundraising campaigns – 13 capital enhancements and 9 restoration projects– are also listed on this page, with more information about each one.


If you are unable to attend our Zoom event, please be encouraged to send your questions and comments to our Board Chair Rob Drye for inclusion in the day. He may be reached at [email protected].


Strategic Planning Retreat Schedule

Saturday, February 5, 2022


Join Zoom Meeting



Dial by your location

(929) 205-6099

Meeting ID: 592 390 4676

Passcode: 1939



  1. Institutional Purpose
  • Annual evaluation of Strategic Plan
  • Review of museum mission and vision every five years
  • Membership Satisfaction Survey


  1. Governance
  • Enhance volunteer intake and onboarding process
  • Finalize and follow Volunteer Manual
  • Each volunteer receives an Orientation to the Museum
  • Implement formal Trustee responsibilities and expectations
  • New Trustee Orientation
  • Revise Trustee election process to give Museum the opportunity to expand pool to experienced business leaders with networks and resources in addition to members with institutional knowledge.
  • Recruit Trustees from industries including hospitality and tourism, heritage preservation, finance, and transportation.


  1. Institutional Code of Ethics
  • Museum Collections’ policies are created and practiced
  • Code of Conduct is reviewed and followed.
  • Social media policy is incorporated.


  1. Staff Structure & Evolution
  • New staff/volunteer onboarding includes curatorial information about the museum.
  • Staff Supervisors formally evaluate employees and create goals/training and development plans
  • Criminal background checks are required for all long-term staff and volunteers (anyone intending to serve in a permanent volunteer position at the museum).


  1. Disaster Plan
  • Create Emergency Response Plan and revise annually



  1. Programs & Support Activities
  • Prioritize exhibit/display themes and collection items/ artifacts to exhibit/display.
  • Guest Satisfaction Survey
  • Development of a comprehensive periodic safety inspection program of all operating rail equipmen
  • Guest safety training revamped for new and requalifying operators of all levels
  • Strengthen process for selecting and reappointing Instructors and Dispatchers
  • Classroom orientations, school field trips, and use of prepared curriculum/study guides by teachers that are based on local and state standards for appropriate grade
  • Internships or externships at high school and university levels that offer opportunities for exposure to the museum field as well as historic preservation and the rail industry.
  • Presentations by scholars, staff, or other interested person
  • Other innovative programming such as summer camps and other youth programs.


  • Related Business Activities
  • Create new events and revive traditions to best sustain the museum’s operating budget
  • Third party events are solicited—marketing plan for this area is created.
  • Give Back Events offered annually


  1. Corporate Relations
  • Grow, develop and expand community linkages
  • Develop the museum as a community event site
  • Create partnerships with nonprofits and businesses to help address mutually beneficial needs


12:30PM-1PM: Lunch



  1. Collection Stewardship
  • Educate membership on collection scope and collection planning
  • Audit Non-accessioned items and complete accessioning process on pieces that should be
  • Establish Collection Priorities and commit to these priorities for the next five years.


  1. Museum Facilities and Infrastructure
  • Physically revise Museum Site Plan
  • Prioritize Capital Projects that benefit the general public, and commit to these priorities for the next five years.


  1. Accessibility
  • Purchase Mobilift TX and adaptive bridge plate/s
  • Make roadways and walkways safer for guests to navigate
  • Future building constructions are designed with accessibility in mind


  1. Campus Conservation
  • Keep already prepped land cleared for future building/infrastructure enhancements
  • Create plan for eliminating invasive species (buckthorn and bittersweet), starting in critical campus areas.
  • Conservation Plan created; Forestry Plan revised


3PM-3:15PM: Break



  1. Funding
  • Create Fund Development Plan
  • Create Donor Stewardship Plan
  • Professional staffing in place and succession planning as needed.
  • Board and volunteer commitments are made.
  • Planned Giving is further enhanced and consistent recognition levels are established
  • Comprehensive marketing plan supports programs and initiatives in alignment with Seashore Trolley Museum’s brand and mission.
  • Technology – the hardware and software infrastructure needed to support all fund development activities
  • Training – develop fundraising skills of staff and board


  1. Financial Accountability
  • Review Financial policies, creating new guidelines for restricted giving and interest accrual that best serve the needs of the Society and align with funding priorities in Strategic Plan.
  • Define roles of Project Sponsor, Project Manager and Project Contributor



  1. Community Relations
  • Invite elected and local officials to museum one-on-one for a special tour(s)
  • Hold ribbon cutting or ground breaking events, annually if possible, to demonstrate progress to local officials
  • Ongoing communication with local officials so they are up-to-date with museum decisions and projects and local resources can be connected with the museum.


  1. Advocacy
  • Build relationships with policy makers
  • Keep an eye on important local and state legislation



Join Zoom Meeting



Dial by your location

(929) 205-6099

Meeting ID: 592 390 4676

Passcode: 1939





February 5
9:30 am - 4:30 pm


Seashore Trolley Museum
195 Log Cabin Road
Kennebunkport, ME 04046 United States
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(207) 967-2800