Your local audience is a great asset and shouldn’t be overlooked when looking for funding for projects and revenue. People who live or work near your heritage site can be the biggest enthusiasts for it, they may visit it regularly, or at the very least walk past it and know where it is, they may feel it forms part of their community and local landscape, and may feel it links to the heritage of where they live or their personal heritage. This audience is a brilliant source of not just attendees of events and ticket sales but volunteers and Friends memberships, local newspaper articles, local business giving ‘support in kind’ and can also be really handy for bringing in money. When fundraising its obviously important to make sure you don’t overlook the tried and tested old favourites of local bake sales and coffee mornings, sponsored activities and Pub Quizzes, perhaps think about a themed quiz around your heritage? Some organisations have done some low cost local giving campaigns, such as West House in Pinner, who are building a new Museum dedicated to the artistic works of Heath Robinson. As part of their fundraising they have schemes such as ‘buy a brick’ where for £25 local businesses can show their support by buying a brick towards the new building. In return they get a certificate to put in their window, helping with local awareness of the project (http://westhousepinner.com/the-appeal/).
If you’ve run a successful fundraising activity I’d love to hear about it. Or perhaps you’ve seen a unique, innovative or inspiring example of local fundraising that you could share with us?