Fundraising for Archives: Bespoke mentoring support sessions

Developing a fundraising strategy, bid writing, building a case for support, funding streams, setting up friends groups, crowdfunding campaigns…. these are just a few of the topics which have been discussed during the mentoring calls currently being offered by the ‘Fundraising for Archives’ Programme. At a time when archives are acutely aware of the need to diversify their funding models, the scheme – which takes the form of over-the-phone conversations and follow-up emails – offers support to those in the sector who are embarking on, or developing, their fundraising activities.

To date, representatives from 30 archive services throughout the UK have signed up for the programme, which aims to provide tailored and targeted guidance to aid progression from theory to practice, together with easily accessible, ongoing assistance.

COPY 1/565 - Edwardian maid using the telephone

COPY 1/565 – Edwardian maid using the telephone

Fundraising for Archives’ learning consultants have had extensive experience in delivering the training sessions which have been offered by the programme since its inception in 2016. These have been held in locations across the country and have included modules on advocacy, financial planning, measuring outcomes, fundraising strategy, crowdfunding and bid writing, to name just a few. They have developed course materials and toolkits which are accessible through The National Archives website, as well as e-learning courses, enabling services to undertake fundraising training wherever they might be based.

Through this experience, trainers have learned of the challenges and successes experienced by colleagues, and have supported fundraising activity throughout the archive sector.  The mentoring scheme – a key feature of the Fundraising for Archives project extension phase – seeks to build on the initial programme of training sessions by extending the reach and the scope of the support on offer.

Mentoring sessions address the fundraising needs of individual archive services. Trainers are happy to review materials which are being prepared, to offer advice about next steps and to discuss useful documents, sites and toolkits. They are also keen to share inspiring fundraising success stories!

Services can book in for mentoring sessions and access to useful resources at no cost to their organisation – whether they are not sure where to start with fundraising, are keen to build on existing experience, have hit some barriers or would appreciate an expert eye being cast over their materials. Services wishing to sign up for the scheme can email the team at

Sessions run until the end of March 2018.

Fundraising for Archives has received a £477,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Catalyst programme and is running from February 2016 until March 2018. We are working in partnership with the Archives and Records Association (ARA), the Scottish Council on Archives (SCA), the Museums, Archives and Libraries Division of the Welsh government (MALD) and the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI), aiming to reach as many people across the UK as possible.


  1. Dr Tony Wakeford says:

    The Friends of The National Archives has benefitted considerably from the Fundraising for Archives programme. Very useful indeed and has helped considerably to better inform and assist us in our understanding of the practical issues and viable means of raising funds. This is an important and beneficial programme and I do recommend to colleagues in other Friends groups to take advantage before the end of March.

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