Our influence – grantees and applicants - Museums Association

Our influence – grantees and applicants

One of the most important features of the MA’s role in the Collections Fund is the advice and feedback we offer to applicants to develop their ideas; and coaching we offer to funded projects to improve the impact of projects.

Through our membership this reaches museums of all sizes and types across the UK. As a result, we see varied and strong applications – though still more than can be funded. Sometimes projects we have advised are funded by others even if unsuccessful in the Collections Fund. 

Our coaching is well received and improves the ambition, social impact, working practices and legacy for projects. Jarrow Hall’s “A New Sun” project completed in 2021: 

The fund and all of the support and goodwill from you and the team that came with it have been truly transformative for Jarrow Hall, to a degree that it’s hard to overstate, so thank you once again.

Email from Leigh Venus, former project lead, “A New Sun”, Jarrow Hall

Museums Worcestershire, a local authority museum service, was awarded funding for “A Glove Affair – Worcester’s Hand in the Global Gloving Industry” in December 2018.

They followed this with a successful Sustaining Engagement with Collections application for “Volunteers at Home”, a project that trialled a radical new approach allowing collections to be worked upon in volunteers’ homes while the museum was closed.

As sector-leading collections work in a small local authority museum, Volunteers at Home required a growth in ambition and confidence from the team devising the project. This came from their engagement in their first project together with the MA’s coaching support.

“I’m really thrilled this one’s been successful. Like your panel I was blown away with what a good job David had done putting it together and we’re going to be really proud of it. I wanted to say thank you to you particularly – David’s really grown professionally over the last couple of years and that’s a lot down to the Esmée funding and the MA’s support. There’s no doubt that the best funders are those where it’s more than just money.”

Philippa Tinsley, museums manager in 2020 upon confirmation of the Volunteers at Home grant

“The momentum of a funder passionately determined to change lives and do something useful with museums is as a strong a resource as the funds themselves. I think that is an important message to get across as the change in mindset has made our work here evolve far more than money could have.”

David Nash, project lead, “Volunteers at Home” and “A Glove Affair”, Museums Worcestershire