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  • An INTO Handbook for Heritage Trusts (Weekly blog, 7 May 2017)

    Posted on May 8, 2017
    A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General

    Delegates at the 2nd Caribbean Conference of National Trusts in Port of Spain, 2016

    Handbook for Heritage Trusts

    This week, I have been thinking a lot about our new manual, ‘From Start Up to Sustainability: An INTO Handbook for Heritage Trusts’.

    The idea of the Handbook is to showcase the work, philosophy and organisational structures of National Trusts around the world. It is intended as a resource both to people and groups thinking of establishing a National Trust. But also for existing Trusts to be inspired by the activities of other INTO members.

    It will demonstrate what is unique and special about the National Trust approach, why they matter and what they can achieve in all parts of the world.

    We are working with Dr June Taboroff on this project. June is a culture, heritage and tourism specialist with experience in over forty countries.  Moreover, she has worked as consultant for the EBRD, the European Commission, UNESCO and the World Bank, amongst others.   The 2107 Handbook will build on her very useful earlier document.   It’s such a pleasure to be collaborating with June again after first getting to know her over 15 years ago!

    Celebrating 20 years of the National Trust of Slovakia, 2016

    Handbook themes

    We envision a valuable reference manual that is attractive and easy to read, full of great tips from across the INTO family organised in topics like:

    • Starting a heritage trust (legal status and issues, staffing, volunteers)
    • Engagement and participation (visibility, communications, social media)
    • Resilience and sustainability (governance, planning, strategic alliances, business planning, demonstrating effectiveness)
    • New trends (emerging and post-conflict nations, urban scale heritage, visitor services, meeting challenges)

    I think our main challenge will be focus. There is so much material out there! Needless to say, we anticipate both a paper and on-line version, which will probably include a series of digital appendices, building on the Knowledge Base.

    Do please get in touch if you’d like to find out more about the Handbook project.

    INTO family

    I joined the National Trust (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) in 1999, when I was responsible for the Trust’s work with overseas heritage conservation groups, running the European Exchange Programme and managing the European Network of National Heritage Organisations. I was part of the early planning and discussions about INTO and in 2008 took on its management. Now, I love all National Trusts equally!

    And every day I discover more and more about the wonderful organisations that make up the INTO family.  Each Trust is different, taking into account local situations. One thing they do have in common is a desire and mandate to involve people in the preservation, protection and promotion of heritage for the benefit of future generations.

    Volunteering webinar

    Successful engagement and involvement are vital to all of us.  So, we are planning an all-member webinar on volunteering on Friday 9th June at 1pm GMT.

    The overall goal of this discussion will be to benchmark volunteer contribution across the INTO network. For example, what percentage of members’ workforce is voluntary; how are volunteers recruited and trained; do members have the volunteers they need or are they planning to grow; do they have a long-term strategy; are there common challenges?  We will finish with solutions and our workshop leader, Shila Brown (a former NTEWNI Volunteering Manager) has offered ongoing mentoring support in the autumn.

    Whilst this discussion will inform the Handbook, it will also act as taster before we all gather at ICNT 2017 in Indonesia in September. Watch this space for further details!

    Other news …

    In other news, I’ve been working on papers for our EC/Board meeting this Thursday, including the 2016 Annual Report which features the Asia Heritage Network (AHN) gathering in Bali last year on its front cover.   Whilst INTO is clearly a global family, strong regional representation was always envisaged.  We are currently looking at ways to deepen and extend our reach and voice through the burgeoning INTO Africa but also through groups like AHN, the Caribbean Conference of National Trusts and Europa Nostra.

    Lastly, we spent today with our lovely neighbours at the Grange Festival, this time with fire juggling … an example of great engagement (outdoors, embracing modern cultural forms, tapping into the Zeitgeist with a broader leisure offer, etc, etc, etc)!

    Thanks for reading!

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