Benevolent Fund

The Museums Association Benevolent Fund exists to support MA members facing financial hardship and to provide financial support for professional development.

We recognise the severe impact that the Covid-19 pandemic is having on the financial situation of those working in and with museums. In light of these difficult circumstances, the MA Benevolent Fund is providing a number of new funding opportunities to support individuals in the sector at this time.  

Covid Hardship Stream

The Benevolent Fund Covid Hardship Stream will offer 40 grants of £500 to individual MA members whose finances have been significantly affected by the current pandemic. It is open to individual members who have held membership for two or more years and can demonstrate a genuine and measurable need. 

Application criteria

Grants will be awarded of £500 to successful applicants.

Please read the conditions below. We note that unfortunately the funds available are very limited and therefore we would encourage only those meeting the criteria below to apply. 

2.1      Applicants must: 

  • Be a current individual member and have been an individual member for at least two years;

2.2      The application must not be to replace any state benefits to which the applicant may be entitled and must not jeopardise the applicant’s entitlement to any state benefit. 

2.3     The need must be genuine and measurable.

2.4     We will make the assessments on a case by case basis, and priority will be given to those in severe financial distress, including applicants who:

  • Have been made redundant during the current period
  • Have little or no savings
  • Are in freelance and contract work that has been curtailed during this period and support is unavailable or at a very low level.

We would also not normally support awards to make up the difference in expected earned income for members on furlough receiving 80% of their salary or freelancers receiving 80% of estimated income, except for members on or below the living wage.

2.5     Consideration may be given for a second award of £500 after a three-month period if a continuing case for hardship is made, though noting as above the limitation on funds available.

2.6     Please complete the form available on this site and forward to info@museumsassociation.org

We will make the assessments on a case by case basis, and priority will be given to those in severe financial distress, including applicants who:

  • Have been made redundant during the current period
  • Have little or no savings
  • Are in freelance and contract work that has been curtailed during this period and support is unavailable or at a very low level. 
Download
Application form

Inclusive Membership

We recognise that the barriers faced by individuals with protected characteristics in the workplace have been exacerbated during this crisis. The Benevolent Fund has allocated funding to cover the cost of MA Essential Membership to 150 individuals who face barriers due to:  

  • Ethnicity
  • Disability
  • Socio-economic background
  • Gender identity or sexual orientation (LGBTQ) 

These inclusive memberships are for new members. They will allow access to our online annual Conference, regular webinars, our Museum Essentials online learning course, as well as to all the usual Essential membership benefits.

Applications for Inclusive Membership are currently closed.

If you have any questions about the Inclusive Membership offer, please contact membership@museumsassociation.org

Support for professional development

The Benevolent Fund offers grants to support:

  • the advancement of education, training and development of members participating in programmes and events organised by the Museums Association, including working towards the AMA, Transformers and the FMA
  • the advancement of education, training and development of members participating in programmes and events organised by other external providers – funding of this nature is only available to current core programme participants and/ or programme alumni.

Additional funding has been allocated to support professional development during the Covid-19 pandemic, and we encourage members to apply.

The AMA is going from strength to strength – with weekly email updates, online AMA Q&As and online AMA Support Groups looking at ethical and topical issues. Mentoring continues virtually and the proliferation of online learning opportunities makes professional development more accessible to many. The current situation also finds the sector, individual disciplines and individuals responding to new ways of working and museum practice all of which contribute to being a well-rounded museum professional. Learning is the new normal.

Tamsin Russell, workforce development officer, Museums Association

Applicants must be a current individual member of the Museums Association and preference is given to those self-funding and paying their own expenses.

Applications for professional development funding will be considered within particular funding rounds – end of January, end of May and end of September.

Application criteria

Each year, the Trustees announce the amount that is available to individual members undertaking professional development.

Applications are accepted in three rounds during the year, with final submission dates of:

  • 31st January, 30th June and 30th September

Applications should be submitted to tamsin@museumsassociation.org 

Each application will be considered individually but, in general:

1.1      If you are undertaking one of our core professional development programmes – the AMA, Transformers or the FMA you are able to apply for financial support for professional development opportunities both run by the MA and by external providers where it meets the needs of your professional development plan. This continues as an alumni benefit.

1.2     If you are a member but not participating in a core MA professional development programme, then you are able to apply for financial support for professional development opportunities ONLY run by the MA.

1.3     Please note where funds are requested to pay for participation in the core programmes then this will cover a maximum of 75% part-payment for the 2020/21 financial year.

1.4     Please note funding can be sought to enable participation in professional development activities – for example travel and subsistence or childcare costs.

1.5      Applicants must be a current individual member of the Museums Association and preference is given to those self-funding and paying their own expenses.

1.6     We welcome applications from paid members of staff, volunteers and freelancers.

1.7     Please see the below for guidance on how to complete your application.

 

Guidance Note 1 – Summary of Professional development activity for which funding is required

In describing the professional development activity for which funding is required, you should include the following:

  • Category of professional development activity, whether accredited, formal, informal.
  • If the activity constitutes accredited professional development (courses, workshops or seminars) please give details of the course provider, the title of the course, workshop or seminar and a description of the qualification, you should provide as much detail as possible.
  • If the activity constitutes a formal professional development (courses, workshops, seminars, conferences, coaching or mentoring) please give details of the provider, the title conference organiser.
  • If you are applying for funding for an informal professional development activity, for example, to help with the purchase of learning materials, such as books, online learning materials etc, you should also provide as much detail as possible.
  • Timescale – an estimate of the number of hours of professional development s the activity will constitute and over what time period.

Guidance Note 2 – Describe how the activity will contribute towards your professional development

You should explain to what extent the activity will enable you to achieve your identified professional development goal(s) and career aspirations, and where applicable make direct reference to your professional development plan to identify which goal(s) the activity will contribute towards, and/or how it will benefit your career aspirations.

 

Guidance Note 3 – Benefits of undertaking Professional development activity for which funding is required

In outlining what you anticipate will be the benefits of the activity for which funding is required, you should think about the following areas:

  • How the activity will contribute to your own personal and professional development, enhancing your current role and/or contributing to future aspirations.
  • Whether and in which ways the activity will contribute towards the organisational objectives of your museum, museum-related organisation and/ or the sector.
  • Whether and in which ways the activity will have benefits for the wider museums profession and sector.

All applications for CPD funding will be reviewed on the last day of each month. To ensure inclusion we will be monitoring diversity characteristics.

 

Benevolent Fund donation appeal

We are opening an appeal for donations to the Benevolent fund specifically to generate additional funds for the Covid Hardship stream. All donations received will be allocated to the Covid Hardship stream and will be used to make further grants as above, until further notice.

You can donate using the button below.  

If you wish to donate using another method please contact finance@museumsassociation.org.

Please note that you are not required to enter contact information but should do so if you wish to receive an acknowledgement for your donation, as well as a Gift Aid form should you wish to Gift Aid your donation. 

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