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  • Secretariat Report (December 2017 – January 2018)

    Posted on January 24, 2018

    Oliver Maurice, Fiona Reynolds, Irena Edwards (Czech National Trust), Catherine Leonard, Peter Nasmyth (National Trust of Georgia) and Antony Gibb (National Trust for Jersey) at INTO’s 10th anniversary

    Latest news from the INTO Secretariat

    Our first on-line Secretariat Report (November 2017) was widely welcomed.  So here is a similar-style note of the last two months.

    December and January have been relatively quiet and a good opportunity to consolidate.  Thus we have been looking forward to the new Business Plan and objectives for next year.  And at the same time looking backward to our personal yearly reviews and the 2017 INTO Annual Report.

    The London winter has not been without its more exciting moments however.  The celebrations around INTO’s 10th birthday, 25 years of the Darwin Initiative, 5 years of Fit for the Future and the start of the 2018 Year of European Cultural Heritage were particularly noteworthy. In addition we continue to facilitate important connections and networking between our member organisations.

    As before, the report is arranged around the four strategies of our plan: Family, Growth, Voice and Strength.

    – Catherine and the Secretariat team


    The winners of our INTO Africa ‘Encourage African Youth‘ video competition were announced in December, bringing this stage of the project between INTO members in Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zimbabwe to an end.  Here is the moment when the Heritage Club of the Henry Fergusson Junior Secondary School found out that they had won … Probably our favourite video of 2017!  

    We have also been working with CCFU on the first stage reporting of the Arcus Foundation grant.

    Our new draft Business Plan 2018-2020 goes to the Board on 6 February.  After which we will be sharing with the INTO membership.

    Colleagues at the US and Scottish National Trusts have found common ground with their respective Tenement Houses. They would like to see whether there were other INTO members looking after properties which tell the lives of the common man/woman. So let us know if you’re interested!

    Wondering how to spend your holidays in 2018? Why not consider our INTO Working Holidays programme? You could maybe join a group like this in Romania?!  

    More opportunities will be posted on the INTO site in March.

    Founded in 1988 to protect Anguilla’s natural, cultural and built heritage, the Anguilla National Trust is INTO’s newest member.  Director, Farah Mukhida says “The importance of our work is even clearer when we have to deal with natural disasters like Hurricane Irma.” 

    This article about the Anguilla National Trust appeared in the latest INTO column in the NTEWNI magazine.


    Supporting our members in the achievement of their goals by providing opportunities to collaborate and share ideas, resources, skills and knowledge; and developing a global heritage offer that celebrates what is unique and special about the National Trust approach.

    The International Conference of National Trusts (ICNT) is the first action under the family strand.  The next ICNT takes place from 27-30 March 2019.  Consequently Oliver, Bill and Catherine have been working closely with the Bermuda National Trust team and the ICNT Panel on the theme, programme, speakers and funding.

    Collaboration is another important element of this strategy.  We connected National Trust colleagues in Canada and the UK regarding an important new acquisition project. INTO Trustee Justin Albert spent time with the Gelderland Trust advising on their recent reinterpretations. Catherine met our Chinese INTO members, the Ruan Yisan Heritage Foundation and connected them with the Foundation for Jewish Heritage for assistance with the endangered Ti Lan Qiao Historic District in Shanghai.  With Justin’s help we have progressed a staff exchange programme between National Trusts in Italy and the UK.   We connected INTO members in Galicia with colleagues in Ireland and the UK about a potential EU-funded project on the ‘Camino Inglés’.  Lastly NT colleagues have recently visited Heritage New Zealand to explore the future of Hinemihi, the Maori meeting house at Clandon Park.

    Bill and Oliver have been working closely with the INTO Africa Working Group. It looks likely that the National Trust of Zimbabwe will host its inaugural Conference in September this year.

    Catherine has been in discussion with Mary Anthony of the 1772 Foundation about helping organise a study trip to the UK for their Board in October.


    Building global capacity for heritage conservation by nurturing National Trusts – new and existing – and growing the movement.

    We received three proposals in the latest round of the Small Grants Programme, which the Panel are now considering.  The SGP has been a great way of helping INTO members with critical projects.  We plan therefore to build on that success as we develop our new Technical Assistance Programme (TAP-INTO).

    The mentoring pilot continues with INTO Secretariat volunteers acting as mentors in some of the pairs. Julie Thompson is now exploring the idea of a peer-to-peer or CEO mentoring scheme.

    Supporting burgeoning Trusts is a key part of the growth strategy and Catherine has spent time with the National Trusts of Czech Republic and Georgia advising on the next stages of their development.  It seems likely that the National Trust of Georgia will formally launch later this year – Watch this space!

    Membership growth is another important part of this strategy and we were pleased to welcome the Anguilla National Trust and British Virgin Islands National Parks Trust to our ranks at the end of last year.


    Speaking out with authority and purpose on global conservation issues critical to INTO’s membership; celebrating what is unique and special about the NT approach; and supporting our members with their influencing.

    Our most noteworthy voice moment over this period was our 10th anniversary.  An opportunity to celebrate all the excellent work INTO has achieved over the past decade.  Fiona’s speech highlighted:

    • Membership growth from 22 in 2008 to 76 in 2017
    • New Trusts established with INTO’s help in the Czech Republic, Georgia and Portugal
    • 120 working holidays advertised on behalf of our member organisations
    • 5 ICNTs in 4 continents with over 700 delegates from more than 70 countries
    • 9 game changing small grants awarded
    • Speaking on behalf of our members at 7 out of the last 9 COPs

    But perhaps more importantly it was a chance to look forward to the next decade.  Or at least the next few years.   As a result we will be discussing the new draft business plan for 2018-2020 with the INTO Board at our meeting on 6 February.

    Voice is also about networking and connections.   Over the last two months, Catherine attended Heritage Day, the Fit for the Future Network Harvest, the Associations Congress and the launch of the 2018 Year of European Cultural Heritage.  In addition she gave a lecture about INTO with a focus on gardens.   And lastly was invited to join the board of a new Commonwealth Heritage Forum.

    The Board will discuss our plans for voice moments in 2018 in more detail at their meeting on 6 February. Communication is a key focus of the new business plan and 2018 will see INTO being more vocal!


    Building financial stability and demonstrating best practice in our governance and organisational culture.

    We finally registered our new INTO CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) at the end of November. The next step is to prepare a vesting declaration to transfer all the assets, liabilities and undertaking of the current Charitable Company, INTO Foundation and Charter Organisation into the new body.

    As noted above, a new Business Plan will be discussed by the Board shortly.  And we are thrilled to be on the verge of finalising an exciting new funding partnership.  If successful, it will mean an increase in Secretariat staffing alongside greater visibility, funding and technical assistance.   We will of course let you know the outcome very shortly! 

    The Board will hold its 2018 face-to-face meeting in New York at the end of June.  An opportunity to spend longer than our usual hour and a half on the important issues of governance, finance and strategy.  We will be contacting INTO members in advance with a short survey to inform those discussions.

    Jackie Hunt continues to efficiently manage membership renewals.  Look out for your 2018 invoices!

    In conclusion the Secretariat has been working on personal and team objectives for the coming months. We have also been talking to some new volunteers, all with considerable experience in the international heritage sector.   We all look forward to working alongside you in 2018.  It’s going to be a great year!

    More Secretariat news

    We are planning a webinar on data, trends and insights.  INTO members operate in an increasing data-orientated environment.  We thought it would be useful to hear from you what is impacting on your organisation and how you are responding to that.   Watch this space!

    We have persuaded Bob Gordon, our wonderful volunteer Accountant, to stay on for a while. Hurrah!

    Catherine’s blogs are available here.

    Find out more about the INTO Amicus supporters programme here.

    The International National Trusts Organisation is a non-profit organisation registered as a limited company in England & Wales No 06718966 and a Registered Charity No 1128224.  Our registered office is 20 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0DH.


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