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  • Growing your own (Weekly blog, 16 June 2019)

    Posted on June 16, 2019
    A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General

    Growing INTO and National Trusts

    Growing the movement was on everyone’s minds at our latest Trustee teleconference this week.  Moreover our report to the Helen Hamlyn Trust was a key item on the agenda, which is summarised below.  (The full Secretariat Report for the last quarter can be found here.)

    At the end of 2018, we received a very generous grant three-year grant from the HHT.   The aims of the project are to increase INTO’s ability to grow and support the international family of National Trusts, and to develop and promote our global message more visibly.

    The way we are doing this is firstly through the appointment of a new Deputy Secretary-General, Alexander Lamont-Bishop. Secondly by helping our member organisations grow, develop their campaigns and share best practice.  This work is organised through a new Technical Assistance Programme called TAP-INTO.  And lastly by increasing our profile amongst prospective members, partner organisations, supporters and opinion formers.

    INTO the future

    Since his appointment in March 2019, INTO’s new Deputy Secretary-General has been proving himself an energetic, persuasive and effective resource for INTO. Hired from the heritage and international development sector, Alex’s fourth day on the job was the first of the biennial INTO conference in Bermuda. Whilst there, he was able to immediately begin work on growing the INTO family.  Moreover, three new trusts have signed up since the conference and two more are in the pipeline.

    Growing for gold

    We launched the travel grants aspect of the technical assistance programme on the last day of the Conference.  We reviewed the first-round applications earlier this week.   The focus was on the Americas and Caribbean, allowing us to build on the impetus generated in Bermuda.  I’m afraid I can’t yet say which were successful, but we received some great applications.  And we look forward to funding as many of them as possible.

    The TAP-INTO travel grants programme provides grants of up to £2,000 to INTO member organisations. Costs are for travel to support partnerships between INTO members, with projects facilitating an exchange of knowledge and expertise.   The programme will be open to the rest of the world on 1 July.


    Alongside the travel grants, we have also developed ASK-INTO.  This is a way to match expertise between member organisations and has included senior British planning experts advising the National Trust Fiji on the maximisation of site potential to Bermudian expertise advising the Cayman Islands National Trust on mitigation of the impact of cruise ship tourism.

    ASK-INTO and TAP-INTO are complimentary.  Furthermore, after a period of phone and online communication one trust can then request funding via TAP-INTO.

    We are also in the early stages of planning for a National Trust Incubator programme. This is due to take place in the UK in early 2020.  It will be a residential programme for potential, nascent and young National Trusts. These organisations will send representatives to gather and learn more about the National Trust model and movement. Taking place in the UK, INTO will make use of its close connections to senior staff within the National Trust here to provide a meaningful and change-making programme of work.

    INTO’s Voice

    Alex has also begun tackling INTO’s communications profile.  This has included a communications audit, as well as commissioning the development of a new visual identity.  As we continue through 2019 we expect to identify and deliver more opportunities to promote INTO’s voice, in tandem with those of its members.

    As part of this process, Alex has in addition held a series of member consultations.  These interviews have been extremely beneficial in building knowledge at INTO of our membership, their priorities and current situation.  They will help us understand where we need to grow our offer to members and the kind of programmes that may be of interest.

    In 2019, we were delighted to announced that His Highness, Gaj Singh the Maharaja of Jodhpur and Hashim Djojohadikusumo, the Indonesian entrepreneur have become INTO Ambassadors.  Both have committed to be high-level advocates for INTO and the National Trust movement and will lend credibility to our work because of their well-recognised accomplishments.   We look forward to working with them more closely over the coming years!

    Family, Growth, Voice and Strength

    And so, the Helen Hamlyn Trust grant is really helping us deliver on our three key strategies.  The Trustees were pleased with progress made and challenged us to work harder on Strength (good governance and transparent finances) and Family (reciprocal visiting).  More to report on that front very soon!

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