The Inspiring Fundraising toolkit is an online resource which aims to help everyone in the heritage sector in Scotland raise funds for their organisation, cause or project, effectively and with greater confidence. 

The toolkit is the legacy of the four-year Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage partnership programme. Led by Arts & Business Scotland the partnership behind the programme consisted of Archaeology Scotland, Built Environment Forum Scotland, greenspace scotland and Museums Galleries Scotland. The RSH programme was funded by The National Lottery and successfully delivered fundraising training and advice to 804 individuals from more than 519 heritage organisations throughout Scotland between its launch in 2014 and its conclusion in March 2018.

A key legacy from the RSH programme, the new “Inspiring Fundraising” digital toolkit is an online resource that encapsulates many key elements of the training delivered through the RSH programme, using a combination of films, animations and case studies in a range of accessible formats, including British Sign Language and audio-description. It offers users a step-by-step guide to effective fundraising, from understanding the principles of fundraising to developing and implementing a successful fundraising strategy.

The partners are also releasing the findings of a major new report into the current funding landscape for Scotland’s heritage sector.  

The State of Heritage Funding Now” report highlights the ‘double whammy’ effect of decreasing lottery funding as a result of declining National Lottery ticket sales and a fall in local government budgets for cultural and related services, which is compelling heritage organisations to look elsewhere for alternative sources of funding. Despite this trend, the new research shows a continued strong reliance by the heritage sector on grant and lottery funding with only a third of heritage organisations surveyed currently sourcing any funding from corporate support and levels of corporate support remaining broadly static within the sector over the past four years.

The report suggests that the RSH programme has played an important role in improving fundraising skills within Scotland’s heritage sector over this period but that many organisations still struggle to find the time and capacity to implement effective fundraising strategies.

The report has been drawn up following extensive desk research, face-to-face consultation with more than 40 heritage sector stakeholder organisations and a detailed survey completed by more than 160 organisations from across Scotland’s heritage sector.

It concludes with a series of 20 individual recommendations aimed at developing a more comprehensive picture of funding in the Scottish heritage sector and placing future funding of the sector on a more sustainable long-term footing.