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ADVOCACY GUIDANCE for Scotland’s Museums

September 2016

Galleries


ADVOCACY GUIDANCE FOR SCOTLAND’S MUSEUMS

GALLERIES, 2016

Museums play a vital role in the lives of individuals, families and communities across Scotland. Their learning and outreach work bridges inequalities in education and mental and physical health provision. Museums help to connect people with their community. They enhance the experience of visitors to Scotland and bring a positive economic impact. We know this, and you know this, but what about the people who are making decisions about the future of your organisation? Tough budgetary decisions are being made. Some museums have been on the receiving end of cuts already. MGS is encouraging museums to take control now and try to influence the outcomes of these decisions. We want to help you to make sure people are aware of the true impact of your work and ensure that policymakers understand that cuts to your budget will have long-term knock-on effects and are a false economy. Mobilise your supporters to make sure that they are taking part in public consultations and are vocal in their support for you. We are emphasising the messages detailed in the following pages because Scottish Government priorities give preference to programming that cuts across departmental agendas. The best way to protect our cultural heritage to demonstrate how much of a difference it makes in other aspects of people’s lives. In this guidance pack we suggest an approach to begin to advocate for your museum and how to link your advocacy campaigns to effective fundraising from varying sources in the long term. The elements of this pack are by no means exhaustive, but they will give you a good idea of how to make your case for support. Remember that MGS is here to help: we want to empower you to be confident and feel supported in order to make your own advocacy messages. If you would like some guidance after you have drafted your first set of key points, let us know.

How to Get In Touch Your named contact is Devon McHugh, Relationships and Partnerships Development Manager Museums Galleries Scotland Waverley Gate 2-4 Waterloo Place Edinburgh EH1 3EG

devonm@museumsgalleriesscotland.org.uk

museumsgalleriesscotland.org.uk

0131 550 4113

0131 550 4139


MESSAGES The following pages contain prompts or messages for you to tailor, share and use. You can, of course, choose whether this is something that you wish to do, but we just want to ensure that museums have the tools to act now. You are naturally the best ambassadors for your own work. MGS will be discussing the work and impact of the sector overall with the Scottish Government, local authorities and other cultural bodies, but by coordinating our efforts we are more likely to get the message across about the positive impact of Scotland’s museums sector. The messages focus on three broad themes which we know are areas that the Scottish Government wants to address: • • •

Inequalities (specifically in education and health, but also includes widening access); Placemaking; Economic impact.

#MuseumsGaveToMe Those of you who took part in our festive Twitter campaign for 2015-2016 will have already thought about your work in this context. To see all the tweets from this campaign, please visit http://bit.ly/MuseumsGaveToMe - hopefully this will inspire you to create your own similar messages. Thank you to everyone who took part over the Twelve Days of Christmas. The Twitter campaign had a strong response, with more than 450 tweets sent out over the Twelve Days. Many of these were by museums themselves, both local and national, and a number of local authority museum services. Tweets from the museums were widely taken up by a range of online stakeholders, including the Edinburgh Evening News and individual members of staff in the Scottish Government. This campaign was just a small, introductory part of our wider advocacy approach so don’t worry if you missed out! This initiative was intended to introduce you to the three primary messages that we hope you will work into your communications with decision-makers and stakeholders in order to support your work. These messages, developing the Scottish Government themes, are: • • •

Museums play an important role in tackling inequalities; Museums are crucial to local and national placemaking; Museums make a substantial economic impact.

Now is the time to take these messages directly to the people who will ultimately make the budgetary decisions, and to other local influencers, to try to affect a positive outcome. The #MuseumsGaveToMe campaign will return for 2016-2017, and an MGS tweet schedule will be available beforehand as previously. Please keep an eye out for this if you’d like to participate, and let’s try to drive even more engagement with the amazing work the Scottish museums sector does over this festive season.


IN THIS GUIDANCE PACK We appreciate that many museums in Scotland will have little to no experience of advocacy. Some, on the other hand, will need very little guidance. This pack is designed to be a reference point for everyone, as a united message will be much more powerful and much more likely to be heard. Some elements of this pack may, however, be more useful to smaller, volunteerrun museums than they will be to larger organisations. In this pack you will find: •

• •

Template letters i. for your local MSP; ii. for your local MP; iii. for your local councillors; iv. for local media outlets; v. for local stakeholders and influencers; vi. for local partners. A template press release Links to further advocacy resources

Please get in touch if you have any questions or if you would like any more supporting documents: we’re here to help.


HOW TO START YOUR ADVOCACY CAMPAIGN Identify your key audiences. You do not deliver your work in isolation, so make a list of other organisations who would be affected by cuts to your budget and mobilise them to help advocate on your behalf. To engage your key audiences successfully, PARC your messages to be more impactful: • • • •

Be Positive: phrasing your message positively can help the recipient to be more receptive to what you are saying; Be Authoritative: provide facts and figures about your impact; Be Rational: try not to be emotive in your messages; Be Calm and helpful: keep a level head and instil confidence in others about your work.

Start by developing short, positive messages that highlight the impact of your work in a general sense – you will be able to use these messages in all of your letters. Think about both national initiatives you may have been involved in and work you are doing locally. For example:

The lives of XXXX people with dementia have been improved through our work with local care homes.

Our museum (which holds a Nationally Significant Collection) is enjoyed by XXXX visitors every year.

For more specific audience segments, you’ll also need to include language and messages tailored to their interests. See the next few pages for messages to include for specific advocacy target groups.


For the politicians Keeping up to date with local and national government priorities helps you to re-purpose national priorities to make a case regionally, stay abreast of opportunities to get involved with the national agenda and tailor your information in line with national agendas. Bear in mind that whenever there are Scottish Parliamentary elections coming up is the perfect opportunity for your MSP to get their face in the paper. This may be pledging their support to your museum, so it is as beneficial to them as it is to you. It is also important to check if there are any local council elections and by-elections taking place and keeping your contact database for local policymakers up-to-date. In total you will be represented at various levels by around twelve politicians and councillors. Once you have looked up who they are, you can choose which form of contact is the most appropriate for your organisation and most likely to be met with a positive response. When deciding who to contact, have a look at their online presence to find out who might be most interested in your work. Your museum may already have a relationship with some or all of the elected officials - where there is an existing relationship, it is crucial to keep cultivating this to further develop support. Here are some phrases politicians will find engaging:

For your local press and media Local media love to get behind their local institutions, especially if they can play a role in supporting them publically. Local papers, radio stations and residents’ newsletters will be likely to support you, but it’s very important that you make it clear that the messages you give them will not be interpreted as ‘XXXX Museum Faces Threat of Closure’, ‘XXXX Museum in Budget Crisis’, etc. Be sure to write to the editor asking for their support through positive coverage, emphasising your good work, but the fact that you have written to them is not the story. It’s also helpful to find and include one or two positive, up-to-date, nicely-composed photos that will help newspapers to demonstrate your work. Ideally these would be message-focused, but even a nice shot of the exterior of your building that is positive can help make an impact. Here are some phrases they may find engaging:


For key museum stakeholders (eg. Board/Trustees) These are likely to be among the most useful of your contacts. They are already engaged with what you do, they just need to be motivated to get in contact with people they may be able to influence. It is important to liaise with them to find out who they know and how this can tie in with your other correspondence – they may have an existing relationship with your local politicians or media contacts and be more likely to affect a positive outcome to discussions with them. Be sure to give them the stats to help them to start these conversations for you. Here’s some phrases to use with them:

For other museum stakeholders, eg. Friends and Members The people who visit you regularly and are already your supporters are your most important assets: they are likely to be among the more useful of your contacts in helping to advocate on a local and national level for your work. They are already engaged with what you do, and just need to be motivated and empowered to advocate further on your behalf. Ask your current volunteers, Friends, and Members who they know that makes decisions locally, and if they would be willing to help. Give them the tools, confidence, and stats to help them to comfortably start these conversations for you. Here’s some phrases to use with them:

For other partners There will be other organisations in your area who will be affected by the same budget cuts. By combining your messages you will have a very strong case with which to advocate.


Make it your own These are, of course, just examples. We encourage you to use these basics and develop your own messages to complement them. Our template letters contain many of these examples. The copy for the various letters has been written with a standard format and may contain examples that are not relevant to each case, so they should be used for guidance only. Bear in mind that many museums in your area may be using this same template. You should feel free to change the wording, the content, etc. Put your own style into it: nothing will look worse than one of your local councillors getting four identical letters with slightly different numbers! We would strongly recommend altering the template enough to ensure that your letters are unique, whilst maintaining the unity of the overall message. It also may go without saying… but please ensure you fill in anything in red and delete the notes in pale blue before sending. Letters should ideally be printed on one side of A4, on your standard headed paper so that the recipient has all of your contact details. So, make the letter your own, but don’t forget our three key messages… • • •

Museums play an important role in tackling inequalities; Museums are crucial to local and national placemaking; Museums make a substantial economic impact

…and try to reflect them in what you write. The combination of many museums making similar statements will carry much more weight.


TEMPLATE ADVOCACY MATERIALS for Scotland’s Museums

Galleries


Template for writing to your MSP Dear Mr/Ms Surname, I am writing on behalf of XXXXXXXX Museum in your constituency / list region (delete as appropriate – double check if they are a constituency or list MSP) in order to highlight the important work we do in the local area and to invite you to visit us at your convenience. Museums such as ours play a vital role in the lives of individuals, families and communities in Scotland. Their learning and outreach work bridge inequalities in education and health provision. They connect people with their community. They enhance the experience of visitors to Scotland and bring a positive economic impact: Scottish museums care for more than 21 million fascinating objects, attract over 27.6 million visits a year and contribute £1 billion to the Scottish economy. However, we are facing an uncertain future as our local authority makes decisions about how to deliver cuts across services / in a difficult economic climate. In terms of XXXXXXXX Museum, XXXXX people benefited from our work (this should be the total of visitors, outreach participants, community groups, volunteers, trainees, interns etc) this year alone. By advocating for us you are showing your constituents that you stand with them in support of a service that they clearly value. Our museum (include if you are – “which is home to a Recognised Collection of National Significance, awarded by Museums Galleries Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government”) is enjoyed by XXXXX visitors every year, giving an economic impact of £XXXXX to the local economy. XXXX children have enjoyed learning about our community’s past through our education programme and XXXX people have participated in our museum’s adult learning programme. We worked with XXX local schools over the past year to help deliver the Curriculum for Excellence, and the lives of XXXX people with dementia have been improved through our work with local care homes. We even hosted a year-long paid internship (include if you participated in Heritage Horizons or other internship scheme) as part of a Scotland-wide programme, creating jobs, encouraging new entrants to the museum sector, and removing barriers caused by educational inequalities. Running our museum involves XXXX volunteers contributing XXXX volunteer hours, keeping retired people active and engaged with the community, providing young people with vital work experience and providing social inclusion to everyone in between. We worked with XXXX local community groups over the past year to arrange exhibitions which showcase their heritage, instilling local pride in our community (use similar examples here if you like). Our museum is an integral part of our City of Culture bid / town regeneration plans / Creative Place bid / Beautiful Scotland floral bid / Business Improvement District / Chamber of Commerce. Our museum has worked with XXXX groups to find ways we can welcome them to the museum and improve their visitor experience. In short, XXXXX Museum plays a vital role in the lives of individuals, families and visitors to this community. A cut to our budget is a cut to education, health, place-making and the economic impact to the area so we hope that you will help us where it is within your power to do so, using any influence you may have with local councillors, press and social media. We would be delighted if you could visit us at your convenience, so that you can see first-hand the amazing work we do here and the local heritage we are preserving for future generations. Please get in touch with me directly on XXXX XXXXXXX or by email on XXXXXXXXXXXXXX and I will be happy to show you around our wonderful museum. With best wishes,


Template for writing to your MP Dear Mr/Ms Surname, I am writing on behalf of XXXXXXXX Museum in your constituency in order to highlight the important work we do in the local area and to invite you to visit us at your convenience. Museums such as ours play a vital role in the lives of individuals, families and communities in Scotland. Their learning and outreach work bridge inequalities in education and health provision. They connect people with their community. They enhance the experience of visitors to Scotland and bring a positive economic impact: Scottish museums care for more than 21 million fascinating objects, attract over 27.6 million visits a year and contribute £1 billion to the Scottish economy. However, we are facing an uncertain future as our local authority makes decisions about how to deliver cuts across services / in a difficult economic climate. In terms of XXXXXXXX Museum, XXXXX people benefited from our work (this should be the total of visitors, outreach participants, community groups, volunteers, trainees, interns etc) this year alone. By advocating for us you are showing your constituents that you stand with them in support of a service that they clearly value. Our museum (include if you are – “which is home to a Recognised Collection of National Significance, awarded by Museums

Galleries Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government”) is enjoyed by XXXXX visitors every year, giving an

economic impact of £XXXXX to the local economy.

XXXX children have enjoyed learning about our community’s past through our education programme and XXXX people have participated in our museum’s adult learning programme. We worked with XXX local schools over the past year to help deliver the Curriculum for Excellence, and the lives of XXXX people with dementia have been improved through our work with local care homes. We even hosted a year-long paid internship (include if you participated in Heritage Horizons or other internship scheme) as part of a Scotland-wide programme, creating jobs, encouraging new entrants to the museum sector, and removing barriers caused by educational inequalities. Running our museum involves XXXX volunteers contributing XXXX volunteer hours, keeping retired people active and engaged with the community, providing young people with vital work experience and providing social inclusion to everyone in between. We worked with XXXX local community groups over the past year to arrange exhibitions which showcase their heritage, instilling local pride in our community (use similar examples here if you like). Our museum is an integral part of our City of Culture bid / town regeneration plans / Creative Place bid / Beautiful Scotland floral bid / Business Improvement District / Chamber of Commerce. Our museum has worked with XXXX groups to find ways we can welcome them to the museum and improve their visitor experience. In short, XXXXX Museum plays a vital role in the lives of individuals, families and visitors to this community. A cut to our budget is a cut to education, health, place-making and the economic impact to the area so we hope that you will help us where it is within your power to do so, using any influence you may have with local councillors, press and social media. We appreciate that the culture budget is a devolved matter, but hope that the backing of our local MP will add weight to our message.

We would be delighted if you could visit us at your convenience, so that you can see first-hand the

amazing work we do here and the local heritage we are preserving for future generations. Please get in touch with me directly on XXXX XXXXXXX or by email on XXXXXXXXXXXXXX and I will be happy to show you around our wonderful museum. With best wishes,


Template for writing to your local councillors Dear Councillor Surname, I am writing on behalf of XXXXXXXX Museum in your ward in order to highlight the important work we do in the local area and to invite you to visit us at your convenience. Museums such as ours play a vital role in the lives of individuals, families and communities in Scotland. Their learning and outreach work bridge inequalities in education and health provision. They connect people with their community. They enhance the experience of visitors to Scotland and bring a positive economic impact: Scottish museums care for more than 21 million fascinating objects, attract over 27.6 million visits a year and contribute £1 billion to the Scottish economy. However, we are facing an uncertain future as our local authority makes decisions about how to deliver cuts across services / in a difficult economic climate. In terms of XXXXXXXX Museum, XXXXX people benefited from our work (this should be the total of visitors, outreach participants, community groups, volunteers, trainees, interns etc) this year alone. By advocating for us you are showing your constituents that you stand with them in support of a service that they clearly value. Our museum (include if you are – “which is home to a Recognised Collection of National Significance, awarded by Museums

Galleries Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government”) is enjoyed by XXXXX visitors every year, giving an

economic impact of £XXXXX to the local economy.

XXXX children have enjoyed learning about our community’s past through our education programme and XXXX people have participated in our museum’s adult learning programme. We worked with XXX local schools over the past year to help deliver the Curriculum for Excellence, and the lives of XXXX people with dementia have been improved through our work with local care homes. We even hosted a year-long paid internship (include if you participated in Heritage Horizons or other internship scheme) as part of a Scotland-wide programme, creating jobs, encouraging new entrants to the museum sector, and removing barriers caused by educational inequalities. Running our museum involves XXXX volunteers contributing XXXX volunteer hours, keeping retired people active and engaged with the community, providing young people with vital work experience and providing social inclusion to everyone in between. We worked with XXXX local community groups over the past year to arrange exhibitions which showcase their heritage, instilling local pride in our community (use similar examples here if you like). Our museum is an integral part of our City of Culture bid / town regeneration plans / Creative Place bid / Beautiful Scotland floral bid / Business Improvement District / Chamber of Commerce. Our museum has worked with XXXX groups to find ways we can welcome them to the museum and improve their visitor experience. In short, XXXXX Museum plays a vital role in the lives of individuals, families and visitors to this community. A cut to our budget is a cut to education, health, place-making and the economic impact to the area so we hope that you will help us where it is within your power to do so, using any influence you may have with local press and social media, and of course, your council votes against budget cuts.

We would be delighted if you could visit us at your convenience, so that you can see first-hand the

amazing work we do here and the local heritage we are preserving for future generations. Please get in touch with me directly on XXXX XXXXXXX or by email on XXXXXXXXXXXXXX and I will be happy to show you around our wonderful museum. With best wishes,


Template for writing to local media outlets – not for national Dear Mr/Ms XXXXXXXXXXXXX, I am writing to you as a prominent and influential local media outlet and social media channel on behalf of XXXXXXXX Museum, in order to highlight the important work we do in the local area and to invite you to visit us at your convenience. Museums such as ours play a vital role in the lives of individuals, families and communities in Scotland. Their learning and outreach work bridge inequalities in education and health provision. They connect people with their community. They enhance the experience of visitors to Scotland and bring a positive economic impact: Scottish museums care for more than 21 million fascinating objects, attract over 27.6 million visits a year and contribute £1 billion to the Scottish economy. However, we are facing an uncertain future as our local authority makes decisions about how to deliver cuts across services / in a difficult economic climate. In terms of XXXXXXXX Museum, XXXXX people benefited from our work (this should be the total of visitors, outreach participants, community groups, volunteers, trainees, interns etc) this year alone. By advocating for us you are showing your readers/listeners that you stand with them in support of a service that they clearly value. Our museum (include if you are – “which is home to a Recognised Collection of National Significance, awarded by Museums

Galleries Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government”) is enjoyed by XXXXX visitors every year, giving an

economic impact of £XXXXX to the local economy, and playing a vital role in the lives of individuals, families and visitors to this community. XXXX children have enjoyed learning about our community’s past through our education programme and XXXX people have participated in our museum’s adult learning programme. We worked with XXX local schools over the past year to help deliver the Curriculum for Excellence, and the lives of XXXX people with dementia have been improved through our work with local care homes. We even hosted a year-long paid internship (include if you participated in Heritage Horizons or other internship scheme) as part of a Scotland-wide programme, creating jobs, encouraging new entrants to the museum sector, and removing barriers caused by educational inequalities. Running our museum involves XXXX volunteers contributing XXXX volunteer hours, keeping retired people active and engaged with the community, providing young people with vital work experience and providing social inclusion to everyone in between. We worked with XXXX local community groups over the past year to arrange exhibitions which showcase their heritage, instilling local pride in our community (use similar examples here if you like). Our museum is an integral part of our City of Culture bid / town regeneration plans / Creative Place bid / Beautiful Scotland floral bid / Business Improvement District / Chamber of Commerce. In short, XXXXX Museum plays a vital role in the lives of individuals, families and visitors to this community. A cut to our budget is a cut to education, health, place-making and the economic impact to the area so we hope that you will help us where it is within your power to do so, using the influence you have as a prominent local media outlet and social media channel. We want to continue to serve our community and your support will help us to do this. We would be very grateful, if you are asked to take part in budget consultations, if you could voice how much you value us. We would be delighted if you could visit us at your convenience, so that you can see first-hand the amazing work we do here and the local heritage we are preserving for future generations. Please get in touch with me directly on XXXX XXXXXXX or by email on XXXXXXXXXXXXXX and I will be happy to show you around our wonderful museum. With best wishes,


Template for writing to local stakeholders and influencers Dear First Name, I am writing to you as a prominent supporter of our work/and influential local figure on behalf of XXXXXXXX Museum, in order to highlight the important work we do in the local area and to give you some figures to assist with any advocacy work with which you may be able to help. You know what the true impact of our work is, but to minimise the impact of budget cuts we need you to tell others about us. Your support, by meeting with or writing to anybody you know who can help us influence a positive budget outcome, would be greatly appreciated in these difficult times. Museums such as ours play a vital role in the lives of individuals, families and communities in Scotland. Their learning and outreach work bridge inequalities in education and health provision. They connect people with their community. They enhance the experience of visitors to Scotland and bring a positive economic impact: Scottish museums care for more than 21 million fascinating objects, attract over 27.6 million visits a year and contribute £1 billion to the Scottish economy. However, we are facing an uncertain future as our local authority makes decisions about how to deliver cuts across services / in a difficult economic climate. In terms of XXXXXXXX Museum, XXXXX people benefited from our work (this should be the total of visitors, outreach participants, community groups, volunteers, trainees, interns etc) this year alone. Our museum (include if you

are – “which is home to a Recognised Collection of National Significance, awarded by Museums Galleries Scotland on behalf of

the Scottish Government”) is

enjoyed by XXXXX visitors every year, giving an economic impact of £XXXXX to the local economy, and playing a vital role in the lives of individuals, families and visitors to this community.

XXXX children have enjoyed learning about our community’s past through our education programme and XXXX people have participated in our museum’s adult learning programme. We worked with XXX local schools over the past year to help deliver the Curriculum for Excellence, and the lives of XXXX people with dementia have been improved through our work with local care homes. We even hosted a year-long paid internship (include if you participated in Heritage Horizons or other internship scheme) as part of a Scotland-wide programme, creating jobs, encouraging new entrants to the museum sector, and removing barriers caused by educational inequalities. Running our museum involves XXXX volunteers contributing XXXX volunteer hours, keeping retired people active and engaged with the community, providing young people with vital work experience and providing social inclusion to everyone in between. We worked with XXXX local community groups over the past year to arrange exhibitions which showcase their heritage, instilling local pride in our community (use similar examples here if you like). Our museum is an integral part of our City of Culture bid / town regeneration plans / Creative Place bid / Beautiful Scotland floral bid / Business Improvement District / Chamber of Commerce. In short, XXXXX Museum plays a vital role in the lives of individuals, families and visitors to this community. A cut to our budget is a cut to education, health, place-making and the economic impact to the area so we hope that you will help us where it is within your power to do so, using the influence you have already. We want to continue to serve our community and your support will help us to do this. We would be very grateful, if you are asked to take part in budget consultations or are able to influence those who will, if you could be vocal about your support for our work. We would be delighted if you could visit us at your convenience, so that you can see first-hand the amazing work we do here and the local heritage we are preserving for future generations. Please get in touch with me directly on XXXX XXXXXXX or by email on XXXXXXXXXXXXXX and I will be happy to show you around our wonderful museum. With best wishes,


Template for writing to local partners Dear First Name, I am writing to you as a potential local partner organisation on behalf of XXXXXXXX Museum, in order to highlight the important work we do in the local area. We are all facing an uncertain future with the threat of budget cuts looming. Let us work together to communicate the combined value and impact of our work. Your support to help us influence a mutually positive budget outcome would be greatly appreciated in these difficult times. Museums such as ours play a vital role in the lives of individuals, families and communities in Scotland. Their learning and outreach work bridge inequalities in education and health provision. They connect people with their community. They enhance the experience of visitors to Scotland and bring a positive economic impact: Scottish museums care for more than 21 million fascinating objects, attract over 27.6 million visits a year and contribute £1 billion to the Scottish economy. However, we are facing an uncertain future as our local authority makes decisions about how to deliver cuts across services / in a difficult economic climate. In terms of XXXXXXXX Museum, XXXXX people benefited from our work (this should be the total of visitors, outreach participants, community groups, volunteers, trainees, interns etc) this year alone. Our museum (include if you are – “which is home to a Recognised Collection of National Significance, awarded by Museums Galleries Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government”) is enjoyed by XXXXX visitors every year, giving an economic impact of £XXXXX to

the local economy, and playing a vital role in the lives of individuals, families and visitors to this community.

XXXX children have enjoyed learning about our community’s past through our education programme and XXXX people have participated in our museum’s adult learning programme. We worked with XXX local schools over the past year to help deliver the Curriculum for Excellence, and the lives of XXXX people with dementia have been improved through our work with local care homes. We even hosted a year-long paid internship (include if you participated in Heritage Horizons or other internship scheme) as part of a Scotland-wide programme, creating jobs, encouraging new entrants to the museum sector, and removing barriers caused by educational inequalities. Running our museum involves XXXX volunteers contributing XXXX volunteer hours, keeping retired people active and engaged with the community, allowing young people with vital work experience and providing social inclusion to everyone in between. We worked with XXXX local community groups over the past year to arrange exhibitions which showcase their heritage, instilling local pride in our community (use similar examples here if you like). Our museum is an integral part of our City of Culture bid / town regeneration plans / Creative Place bid / Beautiful Scotland floral bid / Business Improvement District / Chamber of Commerce. In short, XXXXX Museum plays a vital role in the lives of individuals, families and visitors to this community, as we know you do too. A cut to our collective budgets is a cut to education, health, placemaking and the economic impact to the area so we hope that you will join us to add weight to the combined case for our culture budgets. We want to continue to serve our community and a strong, united message from local cultural organisations will allow us to do this. We would be very grateful, if you are asked to take part in budget consultations or are able to influence those who will, if you could be vocal about your support for our work, as we will be for yours. We would be delighted if you could visit us at your convenience, so that you can see first-hand the amazing work we do here and the local heritage we are preserving for future generations. Please get in touch with me directly on XXXX XXXXXXX or by email on XXXXXXXXXXXXXX and I will be happy to show you around our wonderful museum. With best wishes,


Sample Press Release PRESS RELEASE/ INSERT DATE HERE

INSERT YOUR LOGO

XXX MUSEUM CALLS FOR LOCAL SUPPORT XXXX museum has embarked on a campaign to raise awareness of their positive impact on the area and is asking for the community to get involved. As difficult decisions are being made about budgets in the area / across the country, xxx museum is hoping that increased awareness of their work will help to influence decisions being made that could affect their future.

“Our museum plays a vital role in the lives of individuals, families and visitors to this community. A cut to our budget is a cut to education, health, place-making and the economic impact to the area. We are asking people to be vocal about their support for us so that we can continue this work.”

Sample quote from your museum: XXXX from XXXX Museum said:

Insert details about what your museum does for the community – for example: • • •

Mention if you are a home to a Recognised Collection of National Significance, awarded by Museums Galleries Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government. XXXX people (this should be the total of visitors, outreach participants, community groups, volunteers, trainees, interns etc) have benefited from the work of XXXX Museum since XXXX. XXXX children have enjoyed learning about our community’s past through the museum’s education programme and XXXX people have participated in the museum’s adult learning programme. The museum has worked with XXXX local schools over the past year to help deliver the Curriculum for Excellence, and the lives of XXXX people with dementia have been improved through our work with local care homes. We even hosted a year-long paid internship (include if you participated in Heritage Horizons or other internship scheme) as part of a Scotland-wide programme, creating jobs, encouraging new entrants to the museum sector, and removing barriers caused by educational inequalities. XXXX museum relies on the support of XXXX volunteers who contribute XXXX volunteer hours. The activity helps retired people to stay active and engaged with the community and provides local young people with vital work experience. XXXX museum works with XXXX local community groups to arrange exhibitions which showcase their heritage, instilling local pride. It has played a central part in town regeneration plans / City of Culture bid / Creative Place bid / Beautiful Scotland floral bid / Business Improvement District / Chamber of Commerce.

Think about adding a supportive quote from a local business or well respected person in the community. To support XXXX museum... insert here what you want readers to do - how can they voice their support?

Are there public consultations going on, or somebody they should write to? Add details of any JustGiving or fundraising initiatives or events that you have coming up that you would like them to show support by attending?

ENDS • • •

Insert your organisation’s key messages Add visitor information, opening hours, website details and social media information. Include a relevant, decent picture of your museum to go with the story.


FURTHER RESOURCES The Culture Counts toolkit (http://culturecounts.scot/resources/toolkit/) is a great resource for those who need further guidance on advocacy. It is about culture in a broader sense, but is very helpful for museums to use. The toolkit provides: • • • •

help to find your local MSPs, MPs and Councillors and how to contact them; key evidence and data on the impact of culture; ideas about engaging with your local community; tips on lobbying politicians and getting involved in elections.

The MA has some great advice at http://www.museumsassociation.org/museumpractice/advocacy. The 2015 MGS Conference included a keynote presentation on advocacy from our colleague, Dr Lyndel King. Dr King is the Director and Chief Curator of the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, and a former Director of the American Alliance of Museums and the Association of Art Museum Directors. Although this is in an American context, Scottish museums will still be able to draw parallels and inspiration. You can view the video of Dr King’s keynote at http:/bit.ly/MGS2015Keynote1. The AAM also has some great advocacy advice at http://www.aam-us.org/advocacy/resources, and a fantastic report on how museums address health issues. Again, we should caveat that it’s an American report so is relevant to that context, but may still be used to draw parallels. AIM’s Economic Value of the Independent Museum Sector Toolkit (http://bit.ly/AIMEconomicImpactToolkit) provides a straightforward approach to help estimate the impact museums might have on their local economy. The Toolkit was produced in 2010 and revised in 2014 with updated tourism spend metrics, and more detailed geographic assumptions for day visits. The newly-updated Museum Association Code of Ethics for Museums is essential reading: http://www.museumsassociation.org/ethics/code-of-ethics. The new code promotes three essential principles: public engagement and public benefit; stewardship of collections; and individual and institutional integrity, and represents the general consensus of the sector on the ethical standards that are expected of all museums. The section on individual and institutional integrity is particularly relevant to advocacy work.


NEXT STEPS

ORGANISATIONS THAT CAN HELP YOU

Advocacy should not be a once-in-a-while activity. It should become a natural part of both your planned business model and your day-to-day activities (the Museum Association has a great flowchart to help you with this at http://bit.ly/MAadvocacyflowchart). One of the key outcomes of beginning to consider advocacy as part of your regular activities will be breaking down silo working and building connections throughout the cultural sector. We frequently sing the praises of other organisations that offer support to the museums sector via our blogs, training emails and tweets, but how much do you actually know about these various organisations? Here’s a quick look at what you as a museum can get, either free or very cheaply, to support your activity. Social Investment Scotland (http://www.socialinvestmentscotland.com) is a charity and social enterprise that provides loans to other charities, social enterprises and community groups across Scotland and the largest provider of loans to the third sector in Scotland. Since 2001 they have invested over £50million in over 210 organisations across Scotland, but don’t be put off by these huge numbers: finance is available for £10,000 upwards. For a good museum example, make sure you read the SIS case study on Almond Valley Heritage Trust’s project at http://www.socialinvestmentscotland.com/our-social-impact/casestudies/almond-valley-heritage-trust/. The Social Enterprise Academy (http://www.socialenterprise.academy/scot/) was set up to serve individuals working to make a positive impact in their communities and society. They do this through learning and development support, bringing leaders and social entrepreneurs together to learn with and from each other at training events. Their mission is to support individuals and organisations to enhance their social and environmental impact and build sustainable businesses. They can help you with learning and development opportunities, developing leadership and utilising personal strengths to build sustainable enterprises. That all sounds good, but what is a social enterprise…? Do you count as one? Check out the Voluntary Code of Practice at http://www.se-code.net/ and see if your museum matches the criteria (it probably does!). If this is the case, Senscot (http://www.senscot.net/) works to underpin the development of a strong and sustainable social enterprise community in Scotland with financial, regulatory and support infrastructure. They aim to link up and support social entrepreneurs, supporting cultural and creative Social Enterprise Networks within the museums sector. Senscot Legal (http://se-legal.net/) is a social enterprise providing affordable legal advice to other social enterprises, charities, community and voluntary organisations, and the wider third sector in Scotland. They provide a free initial consultation, and can help out with advice on governance, legal structure, company/charity law, employment and contract law, intellectual property, and property/leases. So, most of the things that a lawyer would advise on (bar a few areas), for a fraction of the cost. Just Enterprise (https://www.justenterprise.org/) is a programme designed to help Social Enterprises achieve their trading ambitions. Supported by the Scottish Government, Just Enterprise is committed to the growth and sustainability of Scotland’s third sector and their services are available to help museums succeed. They offer free one-to-one business support such as income generation strategies; help with costing and pricing; business and marketing planning; and help with tenders to help you become investment-ready. To date they have only provided support to a handful of museums and galleries, but many, particularly smaller independent ones, have an eligible legal structure and undertake trading activity, making them the ideal candidates to benefit from Just Enterprise’s support.


Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage (http://www.resourcingscotlandsheritage.org/) is a three-year programme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Catalyst Grants to deliver a capacity-building programme for heritage organisations across Scotland. Their training resources are available at http://www.resourcingscotlandsheritage.org/gettingstarted-resources. These should help you with building a case for support, focusing the messages you’ll need for advocacy and fundraising work. They offer training sessions on fundraising, as well as advice on legacies, membership and friends schemes, building a case for support, how to apply to trusts and foundations, annual giving and crowdfunding. The bursary is open to all volunteers or staff of heritage organisations in Scotland that wish to take part in a Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage event. There are case studies on their website, including a fantastic one about setting up Glasgow Women’s Library’s Friends scheme (http://www.resourcingscotlandsheritage.org/your-stories/2014/06/glasgowwomens-library/). The website is full of other free resources that you should take a look at when you have a minute. The Heritage Lottery Fund (https://www.hlf.org.uk/looking-funding/our-grantprogrammes) invests money accrued by the National Lottery into heritage. A number of HLF grant programmes are available to organisations who want to develop their skills and capacity in order to become more financially sustainable. Their Resilient Heritage grants of £3,000£250,000 can help you to build the capacity of your staff to better manage heritage in the long term. Heritage Endowments grants of £250,000, £500,000 or £1m can support your organisation to develop an endowment fund, supporting cultural organisations to fundraise from private donors, corporate sources, trusts and foundations. To provide inspiration for your own project, a list of Scottish recipients of transitional funding can be found at https://www.hlf.org.uk/our-projects/search-ourprojects/field_programme/10043/search_api_combined_1/10012#l2. Arts & Business Scotland (http://www.aandbscotland.org.uk/) work in partnership with Museums Galleries Scotland to assist the museum sector improve their fundraising skills and to support their boards through training and advice. More generally, they act as a conduit between the cultural and business sectors, nurturing creativity and cultural engagement across Scotland. They deliver sponsorship training and support to the arts to help build their capacity to relate to, and bring in funding from, the private sector. MGS sponsors the Enterprising Museum Award (http://www.aandbscotland.org.uk/arts-and-businessscotland-30th-annual-awards/) at the A&BS Awards annually. We hope you’ve enjoyed our quick look at the world of third-sector support, and that some of these tips will be helpful for your organisation. Don’t forget, we’re here to help, so if you have any questions about any aspect of museum operations, Museums Galleries Scotland (http://www.museumsgalleriesscotland.org.uk/) should be your first port of call. As the National Development Body for the museum sector in Scotland, we work collaboratively to invest in and develop a sustainable museums and galleries sector for Scotland. We work with 450+ museums and support them with national schemes like Recognition and Accreditation, as well as strategic investment, advocacy and skills development. No question is too small, so don’t struggle. If you need any help to facilitate meetings, MSP visits or any other interested and influential parties, please get in touch with us. Make sure you also sign up to our e-bulletin Connect at http://eepurl.com/ZHvtv, and we’ll keep you in the loop with funding and training news from MGS and the wider sector.


This publication is © Museums Galleries Scotland, 2016. Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) assert their right to be identified as the owner of this guidance document, which is designed to provide information only. Not-for-profit reproduction, with the exception of templates, is authorised up to a single section, or up to 5% of the total word count, whichever is greater, provided the source is acknowledged in full. Information is provided in the knowledge that no legal advice is offered. In the case of a need for any such expertise, consult with the appropriate professional. This toolkit does not contain all information available on the subject, nor has it been created to be specific to any individual or organisation’s situation or needs. Every effort has been made to make this publication as accurate as possible, however, there may be typographical and/or content errors. Therefore, this should serve only as a general guide and not as the ultimate source of subject information, and may contain information that is dated. It is intended only to educate and signpost to further information. MGS shall have no liability nor responsibility to any person or entity regarding any loss or damage incurred, or alleged to have incurred, directly or indirectly, by the information contained in this publication. In the interest of full disclosure, this publication contains external links, and while MGS take no responsibility for the business practices of these companies and/or the performance of any product or service, they make a recommendation based on good faith and professional expertise. Links are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute endorsement of any products or services provided by these websites or companies. Links are subject to change, expire, or be redirected without any notice, but please inform MGS if you encounter any such links and they will endeavour to update them.

Museums Galleries Scotland Waverley Gate 2-4 Waterloo Place Edinburgh EH1 3EG Tel: 0131 550 4100 F: 0131 550 4139 admin@museumsgalleriesscotland.org.uk www.museumsgalleriesscotland.org.uk Follow us on Twitter @MuseumsGalScot © Museums Galleries Scotland, September 2016

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Advocacy Guidance for Scotland's Museums and Galleries  
Advocacy Guidance for Scotland's Museums and Galleries  
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