My Place Marketplaces: Supporting local heritage groups

This spring, we trialled two My Place Marketplace heritage surgeries, offering 20-minute, one-on-one advice sessions for local groups in Wick (10 March) and Hawick (18 March). Representatives from 6 organisations joined our Diverse Heritage Strategy & Development Officer and the Communications and Events officer for face-to-face discussions of strategies and problem solving regarding diversity / inclusion and communications / marketing.

The organisations in attendance ranged in size. Respondents recorded 0-2 paid members of staff, but ranged widely in volunteers, from 6 to 30, and from 200-500 active members. The biggest challenges for the organisations highlighted by the respondents include: securing funding, ageing membership, how to reach audiences, using digital platforms, changing organisational culture, and general practical issues with day-to-day running.

We’re planning an online My Place Marketplace later this year, so be sure to sign up to our e-newsletter, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn to stay in the loop. In the meantime, we’ve compiled some helpful resources for local heritage groups below.

Securing funding

Fundraising from Private Sources (BRICK Works Guide):This guide offers interested audiences the tools and knowledge necessary to set up and deliver a sustainable fundraising strategy, focusing on attracting funding from private sources. It has become increasingly important that community-led programmes and services have a diverse funding structure which enables them to mitigate risks and ensure success.

Inspiring Fundraising: Inspiring Fundraising is a resource that aims to help everyone in the heritage sector in Scotland raise funds for their organisation, cause or project, effectively and with greater confidence.

National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF): NLHF fund projects that connect people and communities to the national, regional and local heritage of the UK. Since 1994 they have awarded over £880m to more than 4,700 projects in Scotland.

Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) Scotland: The AHF can provide grants, subject to availability, to help with assessing the viability of a project, or to help fund development costs for historic building related regeneration projects based in Scotland.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES): Historic Environment Scotland offers grants and funding schemes to support projects that promote and protect our historic environment. View their updated grants framework, which explains their new priorities for funding.

William Grant Foundation: The William Grant Foundation aims to ensure greater opportunities for those who are disadvantaged; strengthen the local communities in which the company operates; improve Scotland’s natural and built environment; and sustain the unique culture and heritage of Scotland.

Robertson Trust: The Robertson Trust funds and supports organisations working to alleviate poverty and trauma in Scotland. They also inform, champion and inspire the third sector, sharing their knowledge and networks.

Heritage Funding Directory: Managed by The Heritage Alliance and the Architectural Heritage Fund, the Heritage Funding Directory is a free guide to financial support for anyone undertaking UK-related heritage projects.

Funding Scotland: Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) manages a free online search engine to help you find funding for your charity, community group or social enterprise.

Youth engagement

Heritage Experiences Need to Be Created with rather than for Young People (Scottish Civic Trust): Read the key takeaways from our 2019 Spring Symposium ‘Our Past, Our Future: Young People & Heritage’, which was an opportunity to present projects and reflect on the progress made during the Year of Young People (2018).

Stone, Sea and Sky (Scottish Civic Trust): Produced for Doors Open Days 2019’s 30th anniversary celebrations, this toolkit is filled to the brim with ideas for engaging children and young people with the buildings, spaces and places around them.

Engaging Young People in Heritage (YouthLink Scotland): Since 2018, YouthLink Scotland has worked in partnership with youth groups across Scotland to ensure young people are at the forefront of citizen science and research. This resource is intended for use for anyone working with young people who would like to engage them with heritage using a youth-led research approach. 

Recommendations for Involving Young People with Heritage (Historic Environment Scotland Youth Forum): This report details the recommendations from the HistoricScot Youth Forum, with the hope to help shape opportunities for a diverse and inclusive workforce in the heritage sector and increase young people’s interest and involvement in their local heritage.

Blast from the Past: Young People Learn to Connect Heritage, Modernity and Personal Identity (Children Scotland): A recent report from Children in Scotland’s Heritage Hunters project shows how it has helped connect children and young people with the past, emphasising the significance to modern life and personal identity. But the end of project report also reveals a gap in engaging teenagers and young adults with museums and galleries.

Audience diversification

Co-creating Heritage Projects with Marginalised People (Scottish Civic Trust): Diverse Heritage Officer Jen Novotny discusses how to identify partners to work with, how to get in touch with potential partners, how to facilitate co-planning meetings and above all how to ensure that the partnership is mutually beneficial.

How to Engage Non-traditional Audiences with Heritage (Scottish Civic Trust): Director Susan O’Connor shares her experience with making heritage events more inclusive. Delivered as part of Pollokshields Heritage’s 2021 spring lecture programme.

Race and Heritage in Scotland (Scottish Civic Trust): In response to the Black Lives Matter protests in summer 2020, our 2020 annual conference focussed on how the Scottish heritage sector can address racism and build an inclusive future for Scottish heritage.

Strategy to Address Racism Against People of Colour (Scottish Civic Trust): In response to the Black Lives Matter and anti-racism movements of 2020, we drafted a strategy that outlines how we will address colour-based racism.

We Are Culture (Scottish Civic Trust): We collaborated with the National Trust in England to create a toolkit to help European Heritage Days coordinators co-create, deliver and evaluate inclusive events.

Exploring LGBTQIA+ Heritage in Scotland (Scottish Civic Trust): Our Diverse Heritage Officer Jen Novotny and Diverse Heritage Officer maternity cover Nicky Imrie reflect on Scottish Civic Trust’s and Scotland’s Urban Past’s projects to identify and record the Scotland’s queer heritage and explore how individuals think about complex and competing identities.

Sharing Stories (Scottish Civic Trust): We collaborated with the National Trust in England to research levers, barriers, and enablers to participation in European Heritage days by individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Organisations to Know (Make Your Mark): Partnering with local organisations that reach your target audiences is an effective way to diversify your membership and audiences. Make Your Mark has compiled a handy list of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion organisations and community groups across Scotland.

Digital heritage and social media

Using Social Media to Promote Heritage (Scottish Civic Trust): Communications and Events Officer Erin Burke discusses how community heritage organisations can use social media to promote their activities.

Digital Heritage Skills Workshops (Scottish Civic Trust): Scottish Civic Trust’s Digital Heritage Skills workshops offer tips on how to share heritage digitally. Each session includes an overview of the technology, practical guidance, tips and tricks, and where to find free software for your project.

How to Use Social Media (Scottish Civic Trust): A helpful guide on how heritage organisations can use social media, including choosing platforms, identifying audiences, planning content, making content accessible and evaluating reach.

Empathetic Social Media During a Pandemic (Scottish Civic Trust): Communications and Events Officer Erin Burke and Digital Content Officer Laura Paton gave tips to the Scottish Heritage Social Media Group on how to meaningfully engage with audiences during a time of crisis.

Heritage Digital: The Heritage Digital project is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund Digital Skills for Heritage funding stream and aims to increase the amount of free digital skills training and support available to heritage organisations.

Scottish Heritage Social Media Group: Peer-to-peer support for social media contributors within the Scottish history, heritage, archaeology and museum sectors.