Want to work differently? A grant from the AIM Hallmarks Awards can help you

Now open for applications, the latest round of the  AIM Hallmarks Awards will make grants totalling around £70,000 in England and just over £20,000 in Wales.

Funded by Arts Council England and supported by Welsh Government, the AIM Hallmarks Awards offer grants of between £5,000 and £15,000 to help AIM member museums and heritage sites to begin to use the principles in the AIM Hallmarks to improve the way they work.

So, what type of project has been previously funded and how can you ensure you are successful? We talked to Catherine Allan, Chair of Trustees and Co Director from Rhayader Museum & Gallery in Wales who were successful in Round 2 to see how the Awards have benefited them – and what tips they could share to help your application.

Rhayader Museum & Gallery

AIM: Hi Catherine, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. Can you explain why you decided to apply for the AIM Hallmarks Awards please?

CA: At Rhayader Museum and Gallery, we had already identified a project we wanted to work on and I felt that it would fit really well within the grant guidelines and would give us the opportunity to do the work. We had already trialled parts of the project – which was about recording local town and county shows – two years ago with volunteers so knew that what we wanted to do would be possible!

AIM: How did it enable you to work in new ways as an organisation?

CA: There were three aspects to this: using volunteers in new ways, using new technology and – especially – developing new kinds of community involvement. Encouraging people to record their community in various ways allows them to use new technology, take ownership of the process, to feel that their way of life is of value. It gives those who are not so skilled more confidence and improved social networks. It has allowed us to re-engage with sections of our community in ways we haven’t been able to do in a while.

AIM: How does the project AIM has funded fit in with your strategic priorities?

CA: Rhayader Museum and Gallery, has a mission statement which includes promoting participation in arts and heritage activity for social and cultural benefit, encouraging skill sharing and learning and using creative projects to celebrate and represent the area’s distinctive voices. We work in partnership with all ages and abilities to foster a sense of place, worth and confidence. As well as the project fitting in with the mission statement aims, it also fitted in with our aim as a museum, of growing our audience.

AIM: What did you apply to the AIM Hallmarks Awards to fund?

CA: We are a rural area and have four small agricultural shows around small town of Rhayader (population around 2,000.) Rhayader also has a large summer Carnival. Although some of the same people go to and take part in the Carnival, the events are very different in feel and content.

Carnival is a town celebration with a procession, a crowning of the Carnival Queen, visits from other towns with their floats and princesses and lots of people dressing up. Many different organisations take part and visitors come from far and wide. There is food and drink and live music all day coming from the local pubs and the streets are busy from late morning to evening.

The shows are much quieter and are the way the farming community and their families celebrate. Outsiders do come to them but they tend to be very local to the show fields or family members who have left the area. They feature events such as stock judging, handicraft and produce tent, duck and horse racing, pet shows etc. The bar is often a horse box.

It struck me that they also had a much more fragile feel. The shows are only just recovering from the foot and mouth outbreak in 2001. Foot and mouth is an ever-present danger, and with proposed changes in EU membership and farm subsidies, I felt we should be doing what we could to record a way of celebrating that might change substantially or even be lost. Recording both projects would also involve doing oral histories and collecting historic documents and photographs where possible.

There will also be film and written records for people to look at in the museum. Our geographic footprint will be improved as more visitors are able to access aspects of these events they may not have before. The project will allow people who would not normally be inclined to go into a museum to do so, or to access our work in different ways. Overall, the project will reflect back the community to itself and allow it to value how unique it is.

AIM: What was the AIM Hallmarks Awards application process like for you?

CA: My colleague, Krysia Bass, and myself both found the process of applying for a grant was much more straight forward than many. I am not a trained fundraiser and found it quite manageable.

AIM: That’s good to hear Catherine – so what advice or tips would you give to other organisations applying for an AIM Hallmarks Award in Round 3?

CA: I would say that the most important thing is to find a project you feel passionate about. If you don’t really care…why should anyone else? The second thing is obvious – make sure that what you want to do fits with AIM’s criteria. And lastly, have all the fairly tedious but necessary information and statistics about your organisation to hand.

AIM: We are looking forward to seeing how this unique project develops Catherine – so what do you think the legacy of the AIM Hallmarks Award will be for the museum and your community?

CA: I would say that the main legacies for our community will be that participants will be positively affected by the process of recording the shows. People will be able to look at what we produce and remember their experiences. Their children will be able to look back in time and see and hear significant people in their locality.

I hope we will benefit from a raised profile and good will. We will also be able to capture a way of life for future generations to learn from and enjoy finding out about. As we are a largely volunteer run organisation. I anticipate that people will see the value in our work and come forward to help us in the way they did when we were set up as a community arts organisation and community museum.

AIM: Thanks for your time Catherine. Finally, what would you say to encourage other AIM members to apply for an AIM Hallmarks Award?

CA: I would encourage people to go for the award. You will find the process easier than most. It will help you realise a project you feel passionate about or will help you to develop one. That in turn will allow you to revisit and re-evaluate who you are and what you do.

Application information for the AIM Hallmarks Awards

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.

The third round of the AIM Hallmarks Awards is now open for AIM members in England and Wales with applications closing on 15 May 2017 – but how could you use an award in your museum?

The AIM Hallmarks Awards can be used by successful applicants in two distinct ways:

*To fund an organisational review: This can involve either review and planning, or taking forward new ways of working. Some museums might want to use the AIM Hallmarks as a framework to review their organisational health and can apply for this funding for support in planning future development

*To contribute to a project that supports applicant organisations to behave or develop differently: Museums which have already identified development needs reflecting the principles of the AIM Hallmarks, can apply for funding to put their ideas into practice and progress programmes of work which will enable them to become more resilient and to prosper in the future. Projects can be linked to any of the Hallmarks but must seek to support change at a strategic level and/or to have an impact on organisational culture and behaviour.

The AIM Hallmarks Awards have already helped AIM members in England and Wales to review their organisational health or to develop new ways of working and we strongly encourage potential applicants to discuss their ideas with AIM’s Assistant Director, Helen Wilkinson, before applying.

You can contact Helen by email: helenw@aim-museums.co.uk or by phone on: 0771 966 7102

All information about the AIM Hallmarks Awards including guidance notes and application form can be found on the AIM Hallmarks Awards page.

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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.

This can involve either review and planning, or taking forward new ways of working. For example, in Round 1 of the AIM Hallmarks Awards, The Lightbox Museum and Art Gallery in Woking used their grant to work more effectively with millennials, which you can read about HERE. Organisational review projects funded include one for Amgeudffa Pontypool Museum.

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The Lightbox Museum and Art Gallery in Woking used their grant to work more effectively with millennials (Photo credit: The Lightbox)

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. Where possible, we are keen for projects to innovate, trialling approaches or ways of working which are either wholly new to the museum sector, or new to museums of a particular kind or size. In Round 2, for example, the Royal West of England Academy received funding to trial offering executive training away days to corporate clients as a means of income generation.

Helen Wilkinson, AIM Assistant Director, said: “We’re really open to a wide range of proposals – either for doing some serious thinking about the future of your museum, or testing out an idea you already have. We’re looking for fresh thinking and energy above all else – could you use a Hallmark Award to lay the foundations for a new way of working?”

Who Has Already Benefitted From An AIM Hallmarks Award?

In the second round of awards, five were made to museums and heritage sites in England, and three to museums in Wales.

Successful applicants in England were:

Radstock Museum in Somerset, awarded £12,000 for a project to remodel the main permanent displays in the gallery to reflect its name change to Somerset Coalfield Life at Radstock Museum. In doing so, the museum hopes to attract a wider and more diverse audience and enhance their learning offer to engage schools.

Seven Stories and the Mary Rose Trust both awarded funding for in house programmes of leadership development for staff (£8720 for Mary Rose Trust and £11,660 for Seven Stories).

Priest’s House Museum, Dorset, awarded £10,000 for an organisational review.

Brantwood Trust, awarded £7,842.00 for a project to share Ruskin’s ideas with a wider audience through collections digitisation and videos for its website.

Royal West of England Academy, awarded £9,060.00 for a project to develop packages of executive development training, using the museum’s collections, as a means of income generation.

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Priest’s House Museum, Dorset, awarded £10,000 for an organisational review

And in Wales:

Cardiff Story Museum awarded £8000 for a marketing review, to enable it to improve its financial resilience.

Rhayader Museum and Gallery, awarded £10,590 for a project to document local town and country shows, using volunteers in innovative ways.

Pontypool Museum, awarded £5000 towards the costs of an organisational review.

How To Apply

AIM Hallmarks Awards in England

AIM Hallmarks Awards in Wales

The third round of the AIM Hallmarks Awards is now open for AIM members in England and Wales with applications closing on 15 May 2017.

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

Or you can email Helen Wilkinson on helenw@aim-museums.co.uk.

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AIM Hallmarks Awards Round Two Now Open in England And Wales

This is a bilingual webpage / Mae hon yn dudalen we dwyieithog

AIM has today opened applications for Round Two of the AIM Hallmarks Awards. Grants will be available in sums of between £5,000 and £15,000 and we anticipate that the average award will be £10,000. The AIM Hallmarks Awards are supported using public funding by Arts Council England and the Welsh Government.

The awards support organisations in England and Wales by providing grants for museums to develop their work using the AIM Hallmarks of Prospering Museums. In Round Two £22,500 is available for museums in Wales and £50,000 for museums in England.  The Closing date for all applications is 7 October 2016.

The AIM Hallmarks of Prospering Museums identify what it is about how successful heritage organisations work that enables them to prosper and thrive and are intended to help museums begin to use the principles in the Hallmarks to improve the way they work.

This can involve organisational health checks using the AIM Hallmarks leading to developing new ways of working or using the Hallmarks to review areas of current activity to test how they can be strengthened.

Museums which have already identified development needs reflecting the principles of the Hallmarks can apply for funding to put their ideas into practice and progress programmes of work which will enable them to become more resilient and to prosper in the future.

Helen Wilkinson, AIM Assistant Director, said: “The Hallmarks Awards enable museums to test out good ideas or to review their work. We are really delighted to be able to offer these grants to support museums to find out how they can translate the great ideas in Hallmarks into practice.”

AIM is also running a Hallmarks event in Cardiff on 8 September, which will explore the ideas behind the AIM Hallmarks of Prospering Museums and explain the different opportunities to engage with the programme. If you are considering applying to the AIM Hallmarks Awards in Round Two, attending this session will help to inform your application.

AIM Hallmarks Awards Application And Guidance:

England: AIM Hallmarks Awards

Wales: Hallmarks of Prospering Museums in Wales

The AIM Hallmarks Awards Round Two closes on 7 October 2016

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Rownd Dau o Wobrau Dilysnod AIM Hallmarks yn awr Ar Agor yng Nghymru a Lloegr

Mae AIM heddiw wedi agor ceisiadau ar gyfer Rownd Day o Wobrau Dilysnod AIM, Bydd grantiau ar gael mewn symiau o rhwng  £5,000 a £15,000 ac rydym yn rhagweld y bydd gwobrau ar gyfartaledd yn £10,000. Mae Gwobrau Dilysnod AIM yn cael eu hariannu gan ddefnyddio cyllid cyhoeddus gan Gyngor Celfyddydau Lloegr a Llywodraeth Cymru.

Mae’r Gwobrau yn cynorthwyo sefydliadau yng Nghymru a Lloegr drwy ddarparu grantiau ar gyfer amgueddfeydd i ddatblygu eu gwaith gan ddefnyddio Dilysnodau AIM o Amgueddfeydd sy’n Ffynnu. Yn Rownd Dau, mae £22,500 ar gael ar gyfer amgueddfeydd yng Nghymru a £50,000 ar gyfer amgueddfeydd yn Lloegr. Y dyddiad cau ar gyfer pob cais yw 7 Hydref 2016.

Mae Dilysnodau AIM o Amgueddfeydd sy’n Ffynnu yn nodi beth am y ffordd y mae sefydliadau treftadaeth llwyddiannus yn gweithio sydd yn eu galluogi i ffynnu, a’u bwriad yw helpu i amgueddfeydd ddechrau i ddefnyddio egwyddorion y Dilysnodau i wella eu dulliau gwaith.

Gall hyn gynnwys gwneud gwiriadau iechyd cyfundrefnol gan ddefnyddio Dilysnodau AIM sy’n arwain at ddatblygu ffyrdd newydd o weithio neu ddefnyddio Dilysnodau AIM i arolygu meysydd o weithredu presennol i brofi sut y gallent eu cryfhau.

Gall amgueddfeydd sydd yn barod wedi nodi anghenion datblygu sydd yn adlewyrchu egwyddorion y Dilysnodau ymgeisio ar gyfer cyllid er mwyn troi eu syniadau yn arfer a datblygu rhaglenni o waith sydd yn eu galluogi i fod yn fwy gwydn ac i ffynnu yn y dyfodol.

Dywedodd Helen Wilkinson, Cyfarwyddwr Cynorthwyol AIM: “Mae’r Gwobrau Dilysnod yn galluogi i amgueddfeydd brofi syniadau da neu arolygu eu gwaith. Rydym wrth ein bodd i allu cynnig y grantiau hyn i gynorthwyo amgueddfeydd i ddarganfod sut y gallent gyfieithu syniadau gwych y Dilysnodau yn arfer.”

Mae AIM hefyd yn cynnal digwyddiad yng Nghaerdydd ar 8 Medi, a fydd yn archwilio’r syniadau y tu ôl i Ddilysnodau AIM o Amgueddfeydd sy’n Ffynnu ac yn egluro’r cyfleoedd gwahanol i ymgysylltu â’r rhaglen. Os ydych yn ystyried ymgeisio yn Rownd Dau Gwobrau Dilysnod AIM, bydd mynychu’r sesiwn hon yn helpu gyda’ch cais. Gwahoddir aelodau AIM i ginio gyda’r sesiswn hon yn dilyn yn y prynhawn i ddysgu rhagor am Wobrau Dilysnod AIM.

Canllawiau Ymgeisio Gwobrau Dilysnod AIM:

Lloegr: AIM Hallmarks Awards

Nghymru: Dilysnodau AIM o Amgueddfeydd sy’n Ffynnu yng Nghymru

Mae Rownd Dau Gwobrau Dilysnod AIM yn cau ar 7 Hydref 2016

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Financing Your Future: AIM Hallmarks Awards

Launched in December, the AIM Hallmarks Awards are intended to help AIM member museums, galleries and heritage sites in England to begin to use the principles in the AIM Hallmarks of Prospering Museums to improve the way they work: this can involve either review and planning, or taking forward new ways of working.

Some museums might want to use the AIM Hallmarks of Prospering Museums as a framework to review their organisational health and can apply to this fund for support in planning future development. Other museums, which have already identified development needs reflecting the principles of the Hallmarks, can apply for funding to put their ideas into practice and progress programmes of work which will enable them to become more resilient and to prosper in the future.

The AIM Hallmarks Awards are supported using public funding from Arts Council England. Grants are available for English museums, galleries and heritage sites that are AIM members in sums of between £5,000 and £15,000, and we anticipate that the average award will be £10,000. The closing date for applications is 5 February 2016.

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Plan for your future with the AIM Hallmarks Awards

AIM is keen to support projects which have the potential to offer helpful lessons to other museums and that are genuinely new for the applicant organisation. This might involve trialling approaches or ways of working which are either wholly new to the museum sector, or new to museums of a particular kind or size.

“We’re really open to a wide range of proposals – either for doing some serious thinking about the future of your museum, or testing out an idea you already have,” said Helen Wilkinson, Assistant Director of AIM. “We’re looking for fresh thinking and energy above all else – could you use a Hallmark Award to lay the foundations for a new way of working?”

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. Museums must be able to show that the work undertaken using the grant could not have taken place without external support.

Applications close at 5pm on 5 February 2016 and further information can be found here:

AIM Hallmarks Awards

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