Learning to improve your Worth(ing) funds

Yo, what’s  good people? Hope all is well?!

If you haven’t guessed already its Anton, coming straight at you with another belated post. #oops

On Friday 1 July, Lib and I attended a training day at Worthing Museum and Art Gallery, which holds the world’s third largest costume collection. The focus of the day was on fundraising. The training gave us the chance to learn the golden rules of writing applications, the different types of funding, the strategies and plenty of useful tips and hints.

The day started off with a tour around Worthing Museum and Art Gallery, led by British Museum Learning Museum Trainee, Tiernan McCarthy. At Ipswich Museum, we have recently installed a new display of objects in our Anglo-Saxon gallery, so I was really interested to see how Worthing displayed their Anglo Saxon and Bronze Age collections. I was also impressed by the fine arts collections on display, so if you have the chance, I’d definitely advise everyone to visit the museum. There are lots of attention grabbing pieces of art to explore!

Once we had finished the tour, which I must say was well presented, we headed back to the training room where the group was introduced to Gerry Connolly (Head Curator), Gemma Nethersole (PR and Fundraising Co­ordinator) and Dan (Assistant Curator). They talked to us about fundraising strategies, the different types of funding that you can apply for and the challenges facing local authority museums when it comes to developing relationships with funders and officials.

To help us understand the position of funders and what their jobs entail, we participated in a group activity. On a table were pictures of 12 different charity organisations, we were all given a €100 in fake euros and had to decide which charities we would give the money to and how much we would give to each. The idea behind it was to show us how difficult it can be funders to distribute funds. This was an enjoyable task and taught us the realities and challenges of competition.

After this, Gerry and Gemma spoke about the 3 golden fundraising rules, which are to be ready, have confidence and be communicative. They also explained how to give evidence to funders, the importance of keeping them updated and how to monitor the progress of your project. All of this was delivered in a flowing and relaxed way, which was easier for me to follow and digest. The training opened my eyes to how challenging fundraising is, especially when an organisation doesn’t have a good relationship with the potential funder to start with. All in all, I left the day with a new understanding of fundraising as whole.

P.s I forgot to mention the reckless seagulls! For lunch we brought fish and chips to eat on the beach. If you ever find yourself in Worthing eating chips on the beach, prepare to defend your food, they will try and steal it!

Until next time,


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