New digital toolkit released to help boost Scottish heritage sector fundraising skills

07 November 2018
the-state-of-heritage-funding-now-96399.jpg pictured L-R) Arts & Business Scotland Head of Programmes Carl Watt and Rosslyn Chapel Trust Director Ian Gardner review the new digital toolkit website in front of historic Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian
Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian was the host venue for a new, interactive digital toolkit designed to help members of Scotland's heritage sector boost their fundraising skills.

Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian was the host venue for a new, interactive digital toolkit designed to help members of Scotland's heritage sector boost their fundraising skills.

The launch follows the conclusion earlier this year of a four-year training programme, “Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage” (RSH), specifically designed to build up knowledge and skills in fundraising within the heritage sector.

Led by independent charity Arts & Business Scotland in partnership with Archaeology Scotland, Built Environment Forum Scotland, greenspace scotland and Museums Galleries Scotland, the RSH programme was funded by The National Lottery and successfully delivered fundraising training and advice to 804 individuals from more than 519 heritage organisations throughout Scotland between its launch in 2014 and its conclusion in March 2018.

A step-by-step guide to effective fundraising

A key legacy from the RSH programme, the new “Inspiring Fundraising” digital toolkit is an online resource that encapsulates many key elements of the training delivered through the RSH programme, using a combination of films, animations and case studies in a range of accessible formats, including British Sign Language and audio-description. It offers users a step-by-step guide to effective fundraising, from understanding the principles of fundraising to developing and implementing a successful fundraising strategy.

Covering everything from crowdfunding to legacies, writing a case for support to creating a charitable trust, the toolkit also provides access to a variety of sources of further information, training and advice. It has been made possible through expert input from a wide variety of organisations from across Scotland’s heritage sector, including Abbotsford Trust, Glasgow Women’s Library, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Dundee Heritage Trust.

The State of Heritage Funding Now - report

The partners behind the RSH programme have also released the findings of a major new report into the current funding landscape for Scotland’s heritage sector.  

Entitled “The State of Heritage Funding Now”, the specially commissioned report highlights the ‘double whammy’ effect of decreasing lottery funding as a result of declining National Lottery ticket sales and a fall in local government budgets for cultural and related services, which is compelling heritage organisations to look elsewhere for alternative sources of funding. Despite this trend, the new research shows a continued strong reliance by the heritage sector on grant and lottery funding with only a third of heritage organisations surveyed currently sourcing any funding from corporate support and levels of corporate support remaining broadly static within the sector over the past four years.

The report suggests that the RSH programme has played an important role in improving fundraising skills within Scotland’s heritage sector over this period but that many organisations still struggle to find the time and capacity to implement effective fundraising strategies. The report has been drawn up following extensive desk research, face-to-face consultation with more than 40 heritage sector stakeholder organisations and a detailed survey completed by more than 160 organisations from across Scotland’s heritage sector.

It concludes with a series of 20 individual recommendations aimed at developing a more comprehensive picture of funding in the Scottish heritage sector and placing future funding of the sector on a more sustainable long-term footing.

Find out more

  • Access the digital toolkit here.
  • Download The State of Heritage Funding Now