As you know every year M&G NSW sets aside money for the Volunteer Initiated Museum grants. This family of grants are targeted to community-run museums and is divided into four categories, the most popular of which are the Small Grants.
Small Grants are given for amounts of up to $2000 and are mostly expended on showcases, mannequins and collection management databases. That’s all well and good, but because Small Grants are the most sought after category, they have a less than 50% success rate. So your chances of getting one are just not that good.
So we are throwing down the gauntlet this year and challenge you think BIG (well, bigger than a Small Grant that is).
Why not give one of the other categories a try?
Think of them this way. The Skills Initiative Grant is the big brother of the family. Spending time with a big brother will ensure a good time. He’ll introduce you to new people and fun activities. Think full-scale workshops and partnerships with other museums in your region and conference attendances. Do you need a regional training workshop on a cataloguing software program, some specific Disaster Planning, or a Significance workshop? Then take the Initiative and ask a big brother!
Then, for the mother of all VIM grants head straight to the Development Project Grant. This is where you really get bang for your bucks; designed to fund projects with long-term outcomes like developing a strategic plan or changing over an entire exhibition room, this is where real change happens.
And last but not necessarily least, the Leg Up Grant will help get you out and about. Attend a training session somewhere, do a workshop, revise the old or learn something new. If you see training events happening in NSW that could benefit your museum, apply for a Leg Up–and remember, you can send two volunteers on the same application!
Here’s an example–this workshop explores new tools for oral histories. If you have stories to capture and tell, this might suit you.
If you have a trainer in mind for a meeting you’re already holding for your museum, a Leg Up can help fund their speaker fees and travel expenses. We can suggest a consultant or specialist trainers to suit your needs.
Don’t forget you can apply for a Leg Up Grant to help fund attendance at the annual stakeholders Day at MAAS. This year it’s tentatively scheduled for the 13 November, which means we’ll get to see your face at the IMAGinE Awards night as well.
So, forget the small this year and think big VIM.