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Cambridge: 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. 

Wednesday, June 25, 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!

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


Lucy Shaw has worked for Oxford University Museums since August 2012: initially as the Oxford ASPIRE Coordinator, and as the Oxford ASPIRE Manager since March 2013.  Oxford ASPIRE is an Arts Council funded Major Partner Museum consortium of the Oxford University Museums and the Oxfordshire County Museums Service.  Her role includes working with the ASPIRE partners and wider museum sector to deliver a programme of wide-ranging projects and activities from audience development, education and outreach, to collections management, conservation, and skills and knowledge sharing.  

Lucy has worked in the museum sector since the early 1990’s, firstly as a social history curator in the East Midlands but then as a consultant specialising in workforce and organisational development.  Lucy is a trained facilitator and coach.  

Helen Duncan is the Trusts and Foundations Manager at the Ashmolean Museum.  She has nearly 10 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.

Sue Rhodes is the Development Officer at the Fitzwilliam Museum. She has 9 years’ experience in fundraising at the Fitzwilliam.  Previous roles include teaching in Further Education and working  in the Research Services Division of the University of Cambridge encouraging businesses to invest in research projects.   

Bill Bruty 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.

Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
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).

For more information and to book a place email

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