The Western Cape has numerous museums that conserve and provide access to fascinating objects of artistic, cultural, historical or scientific importance. However, like many other South African institutions, museums need to raise funds if they are to continue offering their valuable services.
To help museum professionals sharpen their proposal development skills, the South African Museums Association (SAMA) held a training workshop presented by Inyathelo, The South African Institute for Advancement, on 20 August. The topic was ‘Building support for your organisation’ and the workshop took place at the Inyathelo conference venue at its Woodstock headquarters, Cape Town.
SAMA is a national association of museums with regional branches across the country. It has been serving members through training, community-building and advocacy for over 80 years. SAMA Western Cape has about 70 members from across the province.
“The Western Cape region of SAMA aims to hold two workshops annually, open to all members,” said Helen Joannides, the chairperson of SAMA Western Cape. “We wanted to fulfil a need for input and expertise in the field of fundraising and proposal writing.”
Picture:(Left to right) Regina Isaacs, Manager: Heritage Objects Unit of the South African Heritage Resource Agency; Koyo Kouoh, Executive Director of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa; Mirjam Asmal, Director of the AVA Gallery; Nazeema Mohamed, Executive Director of Inyathelo; facilitator Gillian Mitchell.
Some 23 SAMA members attended the workshop, mainly from across the Western Cape, as well as a SAMA member from KZN and another from Port Elizabeth.
Inyathelo Executive Director Nazeema Mohamed said: “At the core of our work is the concept of Advancement. We talk about Advancement rather than fund-raising because our research and experience in the field has taught us that attracting resources is more than visiting donors and requesting funds.
“Advancement is an integrated approach that incorporates various organisational practices to position an organisation externally to attract resources. The approach incorporates 10 essential elements which, when working soundly and in an integrated manner, give expression to strong organisations.
“The 10 elements of Advancement are the very basics of good organisational practice. These include good and ethical governance, strong leadership, strategy and planning, relationship-building, human capacity, voice and visibility, monitoring and evaluation and sound financial management. When all these areas of an organisation function optimally, the 10th element of Advancement ‒ fundraising tools ‒ becomes most effective.”
The workshop was facilitated by Gillian Mitchell, who consults, writes and trains in Advancement and philanthropy for civil society organisations and higher education institutions. Panellists included Mirjam Asmal, Director of the AVA Gallery, Koyo Kouoh, Executive Director of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, and Regina Isaacs, Manager: Heritage Objects at the South African Heritage Resource Agency.
The one-day programme covered topics such as ‘Understanding the fundraising cycle’, ‘Using a proposal as a fundraising tool’, ‘Matching your case for support with a donor’s case for giving’ and writing training and feedback.
Inyathelo was registered as a non-profit trust in 2002. Its mission is to build a strong, stable civil society and democracy in South Africa by contributing to the development of sustainable organisations and institutions.
Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement | 021 465 6981 | Second floor, The Armoury, Buchanan Square, 160 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, Cape Town.