In my role working with museums, historic sites, arts and heritage organisations, I sometimes hear that project budgets do not always allow an adequate amount for consultants'/freelancers' work, which may be because clients do not fully recognise the costs which consultants and freelancers incur in running their businesses. As so many cultural heritage projects are funded by grant-making organisations, it’s important that the figures in grant budgets for consultants and freelancers are realistic, in the same way as costs for equipment, construction, etc have to be realistic. This not only benefits the project being funded, but enables consultants and freelancers to continue to deliver high quality services to the cultural heritage sector.
So I decided to conduct a small survey, circulated to the Group for Education in Museums email list, the GEM Freelance Network and the Visitor Studies Group email list, to get an idea of the range of people's charges for various tasks. This was not a robust survey, just a “toe in the water” to get an initial idea of what was happening “out there” in terms of range of charges and people's comments about the issues involved, and to start a wider discussion about the subject.
Of the 41 people who responded to the survey, the results showed that the most common range of fees was between £200 and £350 per day, for tasks such as developing an activity plan, community consultation, visitor research, developing learning resources and evaluation.
This was not a robust survey, as I only had the capacity to do something very short, only circulated it to a limited group of contacts, and it didn’t go into detail about the freelancers’/consultants’ length of experience, geographical location, etc. But given that many HLF projects involve consultants, I thought it might be useful all the same.
It would be good to hear from others in the Community - whether clients or consultants / freelancers - about their experiences of budgets for work carried out by consultants and freelancers.
Looking forward to hearing what you think!