Date of Graduation

Winter 12-16-2016

Document Access

Restricted Project/Capstone - USF access only

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Museum Studies


College of Arts and Sciences


Museum Studies

First Advisor

Marjorie Schwarzer


This Museum Studies Master of Arts capstone discusses three distinct achievements that a museum can achieve and the processes necessary to obtain them. These accomplishments must be completed in chronological order as follows: firstly, becoming a non-profit public benefit corporation in California, second applying for 501 (c) (3) federal tax-exemption, and finally earning accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM). This research will define such critical terms as for-profit, non-profit, standards, and best practices as they relate to museums. In addition, this work will provide a comprehensive explanation of the steps required to complete all three milestones including among other aspects government form descriptions, financial requirements, and professional recommendations. Other areas examined include the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the California Attorney General, board of directors, the AAM as a governing body, funding, and donations.

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