Trusts and foundations fundraising training
I was lucky enough to go on training about fundraising from trusts and foundations at the Galleries of Justice Museum on Wednesday 30th November. This was a great overview of one of the most important aspects of museum fundraising and a really nice opportunity to meet other museum staff from all around Nottinghamshire.
At the beginning of the day we were given an introduction to different methods of fundraising for museums, such as applying for public funding from councils, Quangos and the EU, and private funding, including trusts and foundations, as well as company sponsorship and donations.
I learnt that there are around 10,000 trusts and foundations in the UK and they can be found through free and paid search engines. You can apply for capital funding, which is used for building maintenance, equipment etc, or project grants, which are used for activities and programmes.
When applying for funding, it is important to provide a strong case for support which explains your museum targets, why you’re unique, how you’re making a difference, and how strong your governance is. Include a full budget and how you are planning to evaluate your project, and what impact you will have.
In writing an application you should reflect on the specific language used by the foundation, ideally write in third person in order to sound more professional, and include hard facts and figures. When applying to trusts who do not have a form, you should structure your application in the same way you would if there was a form, so including a summary of the project, who you’re targeting, its impact, how the project will be managed, a full budget, and how your project will be evaluated.
I learnt that when applications for funding are unsuccessful, it is often due to the museum being ineligible in the first place, so it is important to make sure your museum is eligible to receive the funding before you apply, which can be done by contacting the trust directly over the phone. It is also important to always prove how you are meeting the trust’s objectives – not just your own.
Overall, it was a really useful day with lots of helpful tips, and I also got to practice writing a case for support for my museum, the British Horological Institute, in 20 words, which was much more difficult than it sounds!
By Emma Raymond, Resilience Syndicate Intern at the British Horological Institute