Historically (pardon the pun), heritage organisations may have been accused of being stuck in the past but an investment programme launched by the Heritage Lottery Fund last year recognises a commitment to building resilience for the future.
With an annual investment of £8m and individual grants ranging from £3,000 – £250,000, Resilience Heritage grants are available to organisations in the UK who are seeking to build their capacity or achieve strategic change to improve the management of heritage in the long term.
On launching the new fund, Ros Kerslake, HLF Chief Executive, said: “… there is an appetite from heritage organisations to adapt and grow in order to build a firm financial footing. Resilient Heritage brings together all that we have learnt, providing a tailored package of support that responds to the individual needs of organisations so they can not only survive in these challenging financial times, but thrive.”
Funding could potentially be used to:
- Acquire new skills or knowledge to help build fundraising capacity or open up new income streams
- Explore new business operating models or introduce new approaches to governance and leadership
- Identify opportunities to reduce negative environmental impacts and make efficiency savings
- Create partnerships between heritage organisations to provide training and capacity building
- Prepare to take on new responsibility for heritage, such as through community asset transfer
Resilient Heritage grants can support individual not-for-profit organisations, or partnerships or consortia of not-for-profit organisations in the UK. More information on the grant programme can be found on the HLF website.
It is recommended that organisations make use of the Resilient Heritage Strength Checker prior to applying. This really useful tool is designed to help applicants analyse their organisation and identify areas that could be developed to improve organisational strength.
Completing the checker takes around 45 minutes to an hour to complete. It can be used by any age and size of organisation although it is suggested that small to medium sized organisations with an annual income of over £10,000 with at least two years of accounts will find it most useful. Applicants should have the following information to hand:
- Most recent audited accounts
- Most recent management accounts
- Staff Structure
- Next year’s budgets
- Fundraising/income generation information and breakdowns
The process should ideally involve the whole management team and challenge the applicants to be objective as they review their current position, focusing on the following areas:
- Marketing and opportunities
- Strategy and plans
- Track record and capability
- Quality and impact
HLF also recommend involving an external “critical friend” to challenge ways of thinking. As as experienced consultants, PSC can offer a fresh pair of eyes to review current operational and financial performance and identify potential opportunities. If you are interested in finding out more please get in touch by emailing (firstname.lastname@example.org) or calling Richard Linington on 023 9248 1999 and follow us on Twitter or connect with on Linkedin. The long term benefits of success could extend way beyond the grant investment, creating self-sufficiency, delivering greater social impact and appealing to future investors.