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Fundraising and Philanthropy Series Seminar 5: Trusts and Foundations

In recent years the museum sector has gone through a series of lasting changes to funding structures which has led to increased competition for available funds.  Museums need to get better at asking for money and focus their attentions on increasing and diversifying funding sources. This means that the people working in museums need to be equipped with the right skills and competencies to do the job well. 

Monday, April 28, 2014 - 10:30

Trusts and Foundations, is a practical seminar designed as part of the ASPIRE fundraising and philanthropy series of events which focus on specific areas of fundraising in order to spark ideas, share and develop knowledge and increase confidence.  In this seminar we will look in detail at grants from trusts and foundations – a vital resource for museum funding as without them many important capital and revenue projects would not be possible.  Trusts and foundations can offer tremendous opportunities to museums and as many are privately endowed, they are able to be creative and flexible in how they apply their funds.  

However, competition is fierce and completing application forms takes up valuable staff time so it is essential for organisations to establish their priorities, be pragmatic and confident about who they are targeting and why, and ensure their messages to funders are clear.

Through case studies, facilitated conversations, and practical exercises participants will explore and share top tips on making the most of the funding opportunities that are available. Discussions will include an overview of a range of areas including:

•Matching projects, programmes and acquisitions to the appropriate grant-giving body

•Identifying appropriate funding schemes and opportunities

•Understanding what trusts and foundations are looking to support

•Making an eloquent case for funding

•Managing the application process

•Building on success

The day will be facilitated by Jessica Suess, Oxford ASPIRE Officer and Helen Duncan, Trusts and Foundations Manager at the Ashmolean.  We are delighted to announce that we will be joined by Bill Bruty, a professional fundraiser and a master in the art of completing application forms to Trusts and Foundations!

Participants are invited to arrive from 10.30 for coffee. The day will start promptly at 11.00 and will include a networking lunch.  We aim to finish the day by 15.45.

This event is for decision makers working in medium to large museums. 


Jessica Suess joined Oxford ASPIRE in 2011 and leads on Audiences, Communications, Digital and Partnerships.  She has programmed many of Oxford ASPIRE’s events and is a trained facilitator.  She came to Oxford from Australia in 2005 to pursue postgraduate studies in Ancient History, followed by roles at the Bodleian Library in their Imaging Services and Rights department and Oxford University Begbroke Science Park as part of their Conferencing team.

Helen Duncan is the Trusts and Foundations Manager at the Ashmolean Museum.  She has over 8 years’ experience in fundraising from trusts and foundations at the Ashmolean Museum. Prior to that Helen worked in marketing and communications roles in classical music and at Oxford Brookes University.

Bill Bruty - Bill has been a professional fundraiser since 1984 and has worked as Fundraising Manager or Director for four large national charities in the UK. He is also one of the UK’s leading fundraising trainers, working with clients as diverse as UNICEF UK, the National Trust and the British Stammering Association, as well as small community based agencies in the UK, Ecuador and Africa. Bill specialises in mastering the skills of persuasive writing.

He is now the Director of Fundraising Training Ltd, which specializes in recruiting and training people who are new to a career in fundraising. Bill also provides strategic advice and mentoring to several national charities. Current clients include: Alcohol Concern / Diabetes UK / British Stammering Association / NUS / Medical Foundation for Care of Victims of Torture

Linbury Room, Worcester College, Oxford
Jessica Suess

If you need any further information please contact Ellena Smith | email: | Tel: 01865 613784

Booking Details: 

This session is free of charge; however places are limited and will be given on a first-come-first-served basis (maximum one per museum).  

To book a place please visit: