The Nias Heritage Museum is managed by the Nias Heritage Foundation that is a social and non-profit organisation focusing on the preservation of Nias culture. The Nias Heritage Foundation was founded by Pastor Johannes Hämmerle who has been working on Nias Island since 1971. During his work he became very interested in the language, culture and history of Nias. He also realised that due to poverty and a lack of education this unique culture was disappearing very fast. He started collecting historical and cultural artefacts in order to preserve them for the future. The idea was to preserve these items for the community of Nias and avoid important artefacts being destroyed or removed from the island. 20 years after Pastor Johannes started collecting Nias artefacts the Nias Heritage Foundation (Yayasan Pusaka Nias-YPN) was officially inaugurated in 1991. The main mission of the foundation is to manage and operate a museum and cultural center for the preservation of both the tangible and the intangible cultural heritage of Nias.
Since its inauguration, the foundation has broadened its activities to also include education, research, environmental awareness and sustainable tourism. Today the Museum complex has become one of the most important tourism attraction and recreational park on Nias, popular with both local people and visiting tourists.