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  • International National Trusts: Secretariat News (June – September 2019)

    Posted on September 11, 2019

    Latest news from the INTO Secretariat

    In our strategy for 2018-2020, we committed to building on INTO’s successful track record of transferring knowledge and expertise between National Trusts.  As part of the INTO family, our members are always happy to share their experience but resource constraints at home can limit the assistance they are able to offer.

    The grant from the Helen Hamlyn Trust has enabled us to support more of our members in the achievement of their objectives by providing more opportunities for collaboration.  This is being achieved through increased Secretariat staffing, the establishment of our new Technical Assistance Programme (TAP-INTO) and the development of more tools and resources like the forthcoming INTO Incubator programme.

    In this quarter, we have been delighted to see the results of joint projects involving the National Trusts of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, Scotland, Jersey, Saint Helena and Canada.   And we have welcomed new members, the Gullah / Geechee Nation and St Eustatius Monuments Foundation.

    – Catherine, Alex and the Secretariat team


    The INTO Incubator is now open for applications and we are just starting to promote this exciting new programme!

    With Alonzo Henry, Head of Operations at the Saint Helena National Trust, on a fascinating site visit to AveburyAlex spent a week connecting with colleagues at the National Trust for ScotlandCatherine represented INTO at the Innocastle study visit to GelderlandNick Lawrence, Assistant Director of Operations at the NTEWNI, providing in-situ advice to the National Trust for Canada

    Karin Taylor, Head of Planning at the National Trust for England, Wales and Northern Ireland writes about her secondment to the National Trust for JerseyCatherine addressing the Czech National Trust‘s Symposium in Prague

    With Natalie and Justin’s help we are moving forward with plans for our Reciprocal Visiting pilot


    ICNT news: Our attention has turned from Bermuda to Belgium as we begin planning the Antwerp Conference.  It will take place from 19-23 April 2021 and there is some more information about it in Catherine’s blog.  The golden thread of the conference is partnership and networking.  What can we learn from each other about working together?  What strategies can we share?   How can we ensure that our organisations balance heritage, social and economic values?   How do we build bridges between those values?  The ICNT panel will convene for the first time on 20 September.

    Reciprocal visiting: One of the ways of strengthening what it means to be part of the INTO family, is reciprocal visiting.  Bilateral arrangements already exist between some INTO members, but in Bermuda, we agreed to extend this offer across as many organisations as possible. This will not only strengthen the idea of a global heritage collective but will also provide a structure and means to simplify and standardise the reciprocal visiting offer.   We are now preparing an MOU for members to sign, with the aim of launching the new programme in 2021.

    TAP-INTO: Our travel grants programme provides up to £2,000 to INTO member organisations to support members with projects facilitating an exchange of knowledge and expertise.   In June, we selected six successful projects and at the end of August a further three.

    ASK-INTO: Alongside the travel grants, we have also developed ASK-INTO.  This is a way to match expertise between member organisations and has included requests around fundraising, inalienability, organisational strategy as well as connections to particular organisations or countries.


    Membership growth: We have welcomed two new members over the quarter: Gullah / Geechee Nation and St Eustatius Monuments Foundation.  More information on all our members can be found here.

    Following an invitation from our valued partners, INTBAU, Alex will be representing INTO at a conference in Pakistan later this year. One of the aims is identifying potential new INTO members in the region, like the Heritage Foundation of Pakistan.

    Our member organisations in South Korea (one government body, one ngo) reached out for advice on state/ngo relationships, acquisitions and membership growth. Furthermore, a colleague based in Portugal has approached INTO about establishing an organisation, modelled on the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  (More about the NT model in in Catherine’s blog.)

    INTO Incubator: Centred around a residential week in the UK, the INTO Incubator draws on best practice from across the INTO family to support the development of new Trusts, with expert advice on issues such as governance structures, business planning and public engagement.  Preparatory work (webinars, research) will begin in December, with the week 29 March – 4 April 2020 spent at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester. Limited bursaries are available and applications will be invited via the INTO website.

    Regional Groups: Our goal is to strengthen and grow regional representation and Alex has been working with the British Council in Kenya to involve INTO Africa members in a symposium on Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth from 26th – 28th February 2020.  The Cross-Cultural Foundation of Uganda and the Zanzibar Stone Town Heritage Society will be involved.  We plan to bring the two remaining INTO Africa members to Nairobi at the same time.


    Communications: Alex has been working on INTO’s communications profile and has now completed the Communications Plan and new visual identity.  With support from Bill and other members of the Secretariat team, Alex has also developed a regular newsletter, which has been well-received by members.

    Websites: Alex has secured agreement from the NTEWNI to develop a new website for INTO, along with the new domaine name (  Bill continues to support the Zimbabwe National Trust with its website and recently moved it to a different server, as well as providing on-going technical assistance.  The INTO Farms site will be closed very shortly.

    ‘Arms Wide Open’: INTO is uniquely positioned as the leading authority on the work and philosophy of National Trusts around the world. Indeed INTO is the only organisation that represents the interests of the National Trust movement at the global level. Our Arms Wide Open document draws on the wisdom of the INTO family to crowd-source solutions to shared challenges, namely how to increase diversity, inclusion and equality.

    Ambassadors: Catherine and Alex had an introductory meeting with Hashim Djojohadikusumo and one of the areas of discussion was IUCN.  INTO is applying to join the International Union of Nature Conservation so that we can represent our membership on this important global forum. We have received letters of support from the Saint Lucia National Trust, the National Trust of Fiji and the UK National Committee.

    We are planning to involve His Highness, Gaj Singh the Maharajah of Jodhpur in our 2020 Board Meeting, with the help of our friends at the Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development of which he is also a supporter.

    Speaking opportunities: Catherine joined senior colleagues from the National Trusts of Bavaria, Italy, Slovakia and England, Wales and Northern Ireland at the fifth anniversary of the Czech National Trust in Prague in June.  She spoke about how National Trusts are involving people in the protection and enjoyment of heritage.   An outcome of the event is that a Czech post-graduate student will join INTO as an intern in October.  Ondřej Chrást’s research into financial sustainability will provide useful case studies and material for all our members.

    Alex addressed a group of Belgian garden experts at the end of June and Catherine spoke at the Innocastle symposium in the Netherlands.


    Governance: INTO Limited was officially dissolved on 11 June 2019.  INTO is now only a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation), reporting just to the Charity Commission (of England and Wales).

    Jacqui is now working on the INTO management accounts, with Bob’s help.  We have engaged an accountant to undertake an independent examination of the first year’s accounts for the CIO.

    Member consultations: As part of his induction and communications planning, Alex has held a series of member consultations.  These interviews have been extremely beneficial in building knowledge  of our members (now 80), their priorities and current situation.  This will help us understand where we need to grow our offer to members and the kind of programmes that may be of interest.  Alex’s recent visit to the National Trust for Scotland is a natural extension of this ‘getting to know our members’ process.  And also an opportunity to share with you some of the great work they are doing.

    An outcome of the visit is a developing partnership between the National Trust for Scotland and the National Trust Sri Lanka for which we are now seeking funding and/or other support.

    Innocastle: At the end of June, we were with the Gelderland Trust on a study visit for the Innocastle project.   The programme involved visiting a number of country houses, a symposium with stakeholders from the province and various partner meetings.  The Innocastle project is financed by Interreg Europe, with a total budget of €1,120,335.00 (85% ERDF, 15% co-financing).  It not only allows us to promote the National Trust model but also includes funding for our new Communications Officer role.

    Funding applications: In our 2018-2020 Strategy, we committed to delivering sustainable resourcing that responds directly to INTO and its members’ needs; nurtures existing mutually beneficial relationships with members, supporters, partners and constituencies; and enables expansion.  While membership fees will remain a vital and stable foundation, Alex has been scoping out approaches to existing and new funders over the coming year.  We also had a great visit with Mary Anthony and Gillian Lang of the 1772 Foundation this month.

    In all, we continue to deliver our 2018-2020 Strategy with a team of both paid staff and volunteers.  And the fact that this Report mentions twenty-three INTO members speaks volumes for the progress made!

    If this post does not display correctly, you can download it here as a pdf!

    Coming up

    Delegates with Prince William Lobkowicz at the Lobkowicz Palace

    Catherine will be speaking about INTO and our Arms Wide Open report at The Heritage Alliance’s International Event next week.

    Alex is representing INTO and our members at the forthcoming Climate Heritage Network launch in Edinburgh.  Oliver is working with Alex and Andrew Potts to co-ordinate our representation at COP 25.

    We are delighted to welcome Charles Alluto, Chief Executive of the National Trust for Jersey, to the NTEWNI headquarters on 28 October.

    Karin Taylor will be undertaking a secondment to the National Trust of Fiji in the new year.

    Alex will be joining National Trust delegates from inter alia Trinidad and Tobago and England, Wales and Northern Ireland at the Past Forward Conference next month.

    Catherine will also be in America connecting with INTO members the Trustees of Reservations and the National Trust for Historic Preservation in November.

    Catherine’s blogs are available here.

    Find out more about the INTO Amicus supporters programme here.

    Remember, you can now save on hotel bookings and help INTO at the same time with Goodwings!

    The International National Trusts Organisation (INTO) is a non-profit organisation registered as a charity England and Wales (No 1175994).  Our registered address is 20 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0DH, UK.

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