Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image
Sharing the Value of Heritage Toolkit

About the Toolkit

Sharing the Value of Heritage Toolkit is an ongoing effort of Oregon Heritage to compile data, resources, and guidance to help heritage groups recognize and communicate the value of their work. The more we articulate heritage values and impacts, the more we strengthen public perception of heritage efforts, expand funding opportunities, and encourage long-term support for Oregon's heritage.
We encourage you to use these resources to create compelling impact statements about your work when you communicate with the public, donors, and community leaders.
Tools will be added on an on-going basis to provide:
  • state and national data
  • resources to collect local and organizational data
  • guidance on how to use these tools
The goal of the Toolkit is to provide current, relevant, and easy-to-use resources your heritage group can adapt to fit your needs. To keep this a dynamic resource, tools, guidance on using each tool, and examples will be added semiannually. Check back often to access useful national resources and original state-level data compiled by Oregon Heritage.

Cultural Impact Tools

Value of Heritage Message Platform
Making the connection between your heritage work and its impact on the community is essential for building support and understanding. This guide will help you communicate both what you organization does and why it matters.
  1. Adapt It: Select messages that resonate with your work, and/or use these examples to create your own messages.
  2. Action: Use value messages the next time you need to prepare a testimony, an email, op-ed, press release, speech, or even a social media post.
Cultural Value of Heritage Flyer
Stories are powerful ways to illustrate the cultural impact of your heritage preservation and outreach efforts. The Cultural Value of Heritage flyer is an example of how your organization can pair a message, story, and image to demonstrate cultural value.
  1. Adapt It: Read through the Cultural Value of Heritage Message Platform impact messages (page 3) and think of a story in your work that exemplifies impact. Pair your story with a message and an image to create a flyer. Successful stories may include: 1) an individual's personal story, 2) a connection to your organization's project, 3) a quotation that summarizes the concept in the narrator's own words, 4) an ending that connects to a larger goal.
  2. Action: Distribute your flyer to potential board members, with your annual appeal letter, after a testimony to your city council, or share this flyer with local leaders to spark a conversation about the value and impact of heritage efforts in your community.

 Economic Impact Tools

Museums as Economic Engines Report (2017)


Museums play an essential role in cultural and social life across the US. Beyond this cultural impact, the museum sector is also essential to the national economy of the United States. In 2017, the American Alliance of Museums partnered with Oxford Economics to study the museum sector's significant contribution to the US economy. The study examined contribution to the GDP, jobs, and the amount of tax revenue that is generated for all level of government.

  1. Adapt It: Compare the Oregon report and the National Museums as Economic Engines Report to any data you may have about local impact. If local information is not readily available, use the AAM Economic Impact Template to quantify your organization's impact in the community.
  2. Action: Use this report and your community statistics when you speak with decision makers and the public. Consider compiling statistics in a letter you send to the Chamber of Commerce and City Council each year.

 Links to Oregon Heritage Reports

Oregon Heritage gathers reports and studies about the state's heritage resources to understand trends, issues and values related to heritage in Oregon. Refer to the links below for data to build your value statements.

  • Heritage Vitality Study (2011) A report commissioned by the Oregon Heritage Commission to identify individual and collective challenges facing Oregon heritage. Proposes comprehensive solutions to these challenges.
  • Cultural Heritage Travelers in Oregon Report (2012) A study conducted by Mandala Research LLC with support from the Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Cultural Trust, and Travel Oregon to identify the level of awareness of cultural heritage activities in Oregon, perceptions of the cultural heritage assets to the State, willingness to visit, and the economic impact.