Tagged: AIM

AIM Launches New Success Guide On The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Museums and other cultural organisations that want to understand how they should be responding to current and forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) can now benefit from a free Success Guide from AIM called Successfully Managing Privacy And Data Regulations In Small Museums.

The new AIM publication has not been created as a guide to everything in the Data Protection Act (DPA) – or the impending General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – but focuses instead on the most important areas for action now. The GDPR applies to the whole UK, so this guide is suitable for all AIM members and other heritage sector organisations across the UK. You can directly download it from here: Success Guide On The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

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AIM Grant Schemes

Deadline: Various – see below

AIM administers grants for museums to help AIM members with a variety of needs including training, conservation, development and exhibitions. There are different eligibility criteria and closing dates for each grant scheme, so please check each grant programme for further information about how to apply and the priorities for funding for each scheme.

Discuss your ideas with us

We recommend that you contact us to discuss your project before applying, so we can help you ensure your application fits the scheme you intend to apply to.

Please contact Helen Wilkinson, Assistant Director for Hallmarks Awards – Helenw@aim-museums.co.uk

For all other Grant Schemes contact Justeen Stone, Grants & Finance Officer – justeen@aim-museums.co.uk

Current AIM Grant Deadlines 2017

  • Conservation Scheme –  30 September
  • Collection Care Audit Scheme For Smaller Museums – 30 September
  • Preventive Conservation Scheme –30 September
  • AIM Training Grants – accepted on a rolling basis.
  • AIM Biffa Award History Makers – October 31
  • For more information click here.

Conference Report: AIM 2017

The AIM conference was at Chatham Historic Dockyard this year, and it was remarkable for the sheer diversity of the participating organisations. 

The venue itself is likely to be one of the bigger independents, and a comparison with my own organisation (Catalyst in Widnes) by dint of simply looking at our respective reports reveals some significant and interesting differences.

In terms of visitor figures Chatham has about 180k pa vs our own 40k, but apart from the huge difference in size of the site, and the interesting combination of types of attraction at Chatham, then the most significant statistic was the significant amount of income that they are able to realise from their property portfolio, which is the biggest single income stream by some margin.  In overall terms Chatham has 4 and a half times our visfigs but more than 14 times our income, and quite frankly it is a source of some wonder that we do so much with so little.

Coming back to diversity, this was highlighted in one of the most interesting workshops which considered the issue of whether or not to charge.  This question was widely interpreted, for example at the smaller end of the scale Elgin museum, which is run to a great extent by volunteers, made a decision to test a move after 170 years, from paid to free admission (the Moray Society which controls the museum has separate membership arrangements).  Amongst the reasons for this were static visfigs along with poor involvement for volunteers from time to time (they got bored!)

The Elgin raised £6k from local business supporters to trial the scheme, as this sum was equal to the approximate annual visitor income, and the scheme went ahead.  This resulted in an increase in visfigs by 25%, and donations (now heavily promoted) exceed the previous admission income.

At the Moray Society’s AGM on April 24 this year the agenda notes recorded the positive outcome.

“the Office Bearers reiterated the benefits of not charging an admission fee, reflected in the increased number of visits/revisits and the happy atmosphere in the Museum without loss of revenue”

At the other end of the scale came the behemoth that is Birmingham Museums Trust, an interesting collection of former municipal sites and a major gallery that had merged with Thinktank in 2012.  The need for increased income had led them to introduce some significant changes in their charging regime.  Things that were formally free became chargeable, and as an example in 2015 Thinktank began to charge for its planetarium which, apart from and extra £200k annual income, had the possibly unanticipated benefit of increasing customer ratings for the planetarium itself.  Parents now found the removal of the uncertainty inherent in the previous queueing system to be a significant improvement.  This is something (advance purchase of timed workshop tickets) that we will consider very seriously, and we may now add a premium for so doing.

In other aspects of the trust’s business some other changes were also made.  In 2016, at the heritage sites, under 16s were no longer free.  This seems to be a fairly reasonable act, and it surprises me that this was not the case previously.  This year a potentially more controversial change was enacted, when the concession price for 60+ was removed from all sites.  I don’t know about you, but we would find this a very difficult thing to do, and I wonder if the jury of public opinion has come to a decision about this just yet.

Bristol Culture is an as yet unreconstructed council run service who talked about their “pay what you think” ideas which started as mandatory charging for special exhibitions but after initial success this came a cropper on the back of unwise choice of a second exhibition where the conversion rate from general (free) visitors was less than 1%.   The change to PWYT (and better chosen subsequent exhibitions) led to average donation per exhibition visitor of 65 pence.  This method should not be construed as “pay nothing if you don’t want to”, although I did wonder how compulsion could be applied in this case. 

This reminds me of general admission to the New York Met “If you buy tickets at a Museum ticket counter, the amount you pay is up to you” where I once had a “discussion” with gate staff who were trying to enforce an entirely notional admission charge.  I do hope that Bristol’s idea succeeds.

Whilst this is in no way a comprehensive review of the AIM Conference, I hope that the topic that I chose was of interest to readers, and I would also like to thank MDNW for their travel and board bursary, which was the only reason that I could contemplate the trip.

Paul Meara, Catalyst Science Discovery Centre

 

AIM Funding News

Now Open: AIM Sustainability Grant Scheme 2017

The AIM Sustainability Grant Scheme, supported through the generosity of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, is now open for applications. The scheme is intended to help medium and smaller sized AIM members to improve their medium and long term sustainability. To be eligible, museums must have an annual turnover of less than £300,000 or fewer than 50,000 visitors a year.

This scheme, which began in 2006, has so far supported 216 projects with over £831,700 of grants. The wide range of applicants demonstrates the importance of sustainability issues to AIM members. There will be only two more rounds before this scheme ends, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to improve your sustainability with a grant from us.

The round for 2017 is now open with a closing date of 3 July at 5pm. Find out more: AIM Sustainability Grant Scheme 2017



New AIM Biffa Award Funded Exhibitions Will Tell The Stories Of Historic Figures From Engineering And Science

AIM Biffa Award have just announced the first round of projects to be supported by the ‘History Makers – People who shaped our world’ programme. Sharing a fund of £170,000, each project will tell the story of their chosen historical figure and how their work and achievements have shaped the world we live in today.

Funded by Biffa Award with support from the Landfill Communities Fund, the programme is funding AIM member museums to create new exhibitions that will inspire the public through the lives and achievements of extraordinary historical figures. The successful projects in Round 1, with exhibitions opening in 2018, will focus on the work of historic figures from engineering and science. They are:

‘Digging Deeper’ at the London Transport Museum; ‘The Father of Modern Forensics’ at The National Justice Museum in Nottingham and ‘Hawkshaw and Barlow Untold’ at The Clifton Suspension Bridge Visitor Centre in Bristol. Find out more: AIM Biffa Award History Makers Programme

AIM Conference 2017 Bursaries

Museum Development North West are pleased to announce that there are a two bursaries for this year’s AIM Conference at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham on 22nd– 24th June.
2017 is AIM’s 40th year, so this year’s National Conference will provide a great opportunity to focus on how independents prosper under effective leadership, through inspirational stories from some of our members.Museum Development North West recognises that it is important for museum professionals to connect with colleagues through conferences and networking events, but also how stretched budgets can be when it comes to professional development.

If you would like a free place then you need to tell us that you will:

  • Commit to attending the whole conference
  • Feedback to colleagues and the region via our blog
  • Send us any relevant information and feedback to put on the MDNW website

How to apply

These two opportunities are open to museum professionals in the North West, except members of staff of Major Partner Museums and National Museums and the bursaries will cover travel and accommodation. Please send an expression of interest stating how you and your organisation will benefit from what is to Alex Bird by 5PM Monday 15th May.

Please note that the bursaries only cover the conference on Thursday and Friday only and not the paid-for social events.

For more information contact Alex Bird, Sector Development Officer – 07748 932680

Diversifying Museum Visitors

Within an increasingly diverse society how might UK museums grow attendance and engagement?

How do we move beyond talk to action in increasing diversity, inclusion and equity to start to make real and lasting change in the museums sector?

Diversifying Museum Visitors is a ground breaking project designed to help museums increase the diversity of their visitors. 

The key focus of the project will be on providing tools and guidance to help museums make long-term change.  The sector has been talking about diversity for so long. Diversifying Museum Visitors provides a great opportunity to address and breakdown barriers.  To help people take a first step and then the next, to make a meaningful, lasting, real change.

                What are the factors for success?

                What practical steps can museums take to improve visitor diversity?

                What do we need to change and influence both internally and externally?

The literature and practice review (underway at the moment) is highlighting that there is a complex interplay of factors which affect diversity and inclusion within museums.  The project team will therefore consider all of the protected characteristics, but will place a particular emphasis on socio-economics as a key, cross-cutting influence on engagement.

The project steering group is led by the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) together with the Museums Association and four other organisations who are funding the project – Arts Council England, the Museums Archives and Libraries Division of the Welsh Government, Museums Galleries Scotland and National Museums Northern Ireland. 

Get involved

AIM has appointed a trio of consultants – Julie Aldridge, Mel Larsen and Pam Jarvis – to lead on this project and they are now looking for people across the UK museums sector to get involved.

Help us to make a difference by informing the creation of a suite of tools and guidance that works well for a broad mix of museums (of different types, size, geographical locations etc.)

Deadline for expressions of interest is 5pm, Friday 5th May 2017

Register your interest to share your experience as part of a pioneers group

Register your interest to explore the ideas further with a group of other museums

Register your interest to find out more about future stages of the project

AIM Conference 2017 Bursaries

Museum Development North West are pleased to announce that there are a two bursaries for this year’s AIM Conference at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham on 22nd– 24th June.

2017 is AIM’s 40th year, so this year’s National Conference will provide a great opportunity to focus on how independents prosper under effective leadership, through inspirational stories from some of our members.

Museum Development North West recognises that it is important for museum professionals to connect with colleagues through conferences and networking events, but also how stretched budgets can be when it comes to professional development.

If you would like a free place then you need to tell us that you will:

  • Commit to attending the whole conference
  • Feedback to colleagues and the region via our blog
  • Send us any relevant information and feedback to put on the MDNW website

How to apply

These two opportunities are open to museum professionals in the North West, except members of staff of Major Partner Museums and National Museums and the bursaries will cover travel and accommodation. Please send an expression of interest stating how you and your organisation will benefit from what is to Alex Bird by 5PM Monday 8th May.

Please note that the bursaries only cover the conference on Thursday and Friday only and not the paid-for social events.

For more information contact Alex Bird, Sector Development Officer – 07748 932680

Invitation To All Chairs Of Museums And Heritage Organisations

If you are a Chair of an independent museum or heritage site, AIM cordially invites you to a lunch event for the Chairs of Trustees of independent museums. The lunch is on Thursday 22 June at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham from 11am to 1.30pm and we are delighted that we will be joined by guest speaker, Alan Lovell CBE, Chair of The Mary Rose Trust. There is no charge to attend the lunch as it has been sponsored by Development Partners  as part of their overall sponsorship of the AIM Hallmarks Governance Programme.If you would like to attend, please email: helenf@aim-museums.co.uk

AIM Hallmarks Awards: Final Round Now Open For Applications

The third and final round of the AIM Hallmarks Awards is now open for AIM members in England and Wales with applications closing on 15 May 2017. Offering grants of between £5,000 and £15,000, the AIM Hallmarks Awards help AIM member museums and heritage sites to begin to use the principles in the AIM Hallmarks to improve the way they work.

Funded by Arts Council England and supported by Welsh Government, all work funded by an AIM Hallmarks Award must be demonstrably central to an applicant museum’s organisational development and closely linked to the museum’s strategic plan. If you are considering making an application to the final round of the Hallmarks Awards, guidance notes to support your application are available here AIM Hallmarks Awards

News from AIM

AIM Launches Collection Care Audit Scheme For Smaller Museums

AIM has just launched a new scheme in partnership with Icon to enable small museums to undertake a basic, professional collections care audit. The audits will be carried out by an accredited conservator to help smaller AIM members (museums with up to 20,000 visitors a year) identify key issues and priorities for their museum.

Funded by the Pilgrim Trust, the scheme will support museums to care for their collections more effectively and efficiently in the long-term, to meet the standards required for Accreditation and will give museums the option to undertake an audit before making a full application to the AIM Collections Care Grant Scheme. Applications are now open with a closing date of 31 March. Further information: AIM Collections Care Audit Scheme

Coming To Conference? Early Bird Tickets On Sale Now

This year, tickets for AIM National Conference can be purchased quickly and easily online via the AIM National Conference Eventbrite page and all conference information can be found on the AIM National Conference 2017 website.

Conference will be held at The Historic Dockyard Chatham from 22- 24 June and the theme this year is ‘40 years of Leading Independents’ in recognition of AIM’s fortieth anniversary and the success of the independent sector and AIM members over the past four decades.

There are new additions to the conference schedule for 2017 including study tours of our host with walks through the Historic Dockyard looking at a range of subjects including filming, interpreting industrial heritage, catering, retail and capital projects and Conference will also include the annual trade exhibition showcasing products and services.

Please note that the special Early Bird rate will end on 28 April – so don’t miss out on saving your museum money by booking early. AIM National Conference 2017 website.

Could You Contribute To AIM Conference? 

We are looking for case studies to include in AIM Conference. Have your trustees used the AIM Hallmarks of Prospering Museums? Does your museum have an interesting story to tell about how it has survived and thrived over the past thirty or forty years? Are you a small organisation with an innovative approach to income generation? Have you used AIM’s Success Guide on setting admission policy and pricing? If you have something interesting to share on one of these topics, please email tamalie@aim-museums.co.uk . 

Grants For Attending AIM National Conference 2017

AIM is offering members the opportunity to apply for an AIM Training Grant to attend conference. The deadline for AIM training grant applications is 17 April and applications up and until that date will be dealt with on a first come first served basis. Please be aware that the fund is limited and early applications are recommended. AIM Training Grants.

For Welsh museums, The Federation of Museums & Art Galleries of Wales is offering grants under its Training and Conference Grant programme to enable museum staff (paid or volunteers) in Wales to attend. For more information, visit: Grants For AIM Conference From The Federation Of Museums & Art Galleries Of Wales

Trustee Event: Succession Planning

AIM is pleased to be working with SHARED Enterprise to repeat our trustee seminar on reviewing your board for succession planning for trustees in and around the East of England. Led by Joy Allen of Leading Governance, the event runs on 28th February at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. Museum managers are welcome to attend with Trustees.  Refreshments and lunch will be provided. Runs 28 February, Cambridge. Trustee event: Succession Planning