INTO is a coalition of National Trusts and similar organisations from around the world, united by their common interest in the conservation and enjoyment of our shared heritage – built and natural, tangible and intangible. We bring people together to exchange information, develop and promote best practice, and work to effect change.
INTO aims to give relevance to the work of the National Trust movement in the 21st Century by providing a communications framework that connects organisations around the world (website, e-bulletins, conferences, webinars), an expert network and knowledge bank, capacity building support, training, strategies for collective advocacy, and a forum for advancing intercultural understanding and the development of civil society.
You can find out more about the benefits of membership in our Membership Guide.
There are three categories of membership, Full Member, Candidate Member, Associate Member, and Affiliate Member. INTO has established qualifications for membership which are listed below.
Download the Membership Criteria PDF
Download the INTO-Membership-Form WORD version.
Download the INTO-Membership-Form PDF version
Download the Membership fee structure
INTO Membership criteria
1. A Full Member of INTO shall:
a) Be a corporate body which has as its principal purpose the conservation of the cultural and/or natural heritage, and which is professionally engaged in programs and activities designed to further such a purpose;
b) Operate substantially independently and autonomously of government. While a corporate body engaged in heritage conservation may be established under government authority, receive government funding, or have government representation in its governance structure, it must remain substantially independent from governmental influence with respect to its governance, operations, and policies;
c) Be a voluntary organisation governed by directors, trustees, or other individuals who do not receive any remuneration for their services (unless such services are performed as employees), and for which the remuneration of persons who are employed to carry out management or executive functions are not such as to materially prejudice the purposes of the voluntary organisation;
d) Be created and established for public benefit and not for profit; that is, the governing charter or statutes of the organisation, as well as its actual practices, must not permit any part of the income, capital, or property of the organisation to be used to benefit any director, trustee, shareholder, promoter, founder, member, or donor or any other private interest, except for reasonable remuneration for services provided to, or on behalf of, the organisation;
e) Be active in developing policies, analyses, or assessments that promote the conservation of heritage in its country of operation, thus having a capability to promote and influence policy;
f) Be able to demonstrate a strong commitment towards public education, public advocacy, and raising public awareness about the benefits of conserving the heritage of its country of operation;
g) Endorse the September 2003 Edinburgh Declaration for the Improved Protection of Cultural and Natural Heritage at the National and Local Levels;
h) Upon application undertake to be compliant with the INTO Charter and once admitted as a member strive diligently to remain compliant
i) Have been in operation for at least three years
j) Be able to produce the previous two years’ Annual Reports and Audited Accounts as well as the founding deeds on applying for membership of INTO
k) Be a membership organisation, or—if such a structure is not recognised or permitted under the laws of the country in which it operates—to be accountable to an involved and engaged constituency;
l) Be actively engaged as heritage practitioners preferably managing heritage properties, sites or nature reserves. Although the organisation may or may not itself own properties with cultural or natural value, it must be engaged in their management or assist in the coordination of management or site stewardship activities, or in the development and promotion of heritage management policies, so as to be able to
demonstrate best practices in heritage conservation, i.e. be holistic in their approach to heritage and not merely a narrow issue organisation;
m) Be of national standing and engaged preferably on a national level or at least on a provincial, state or identifiable regional basis within the specific country in which it is organised, and in which it operates. It is expressly recognised that more than one corporate body may qualify for membership in any given country.
2. Candidate Member. Any corporate body may qualify as a Candidate of INTO if it meets the criteria in paragraph 1 other than subparagraphs 1(i), (j), (k), (l) and (m).
Organisations that qualify as Candidates may aspire to become Members over time and will be nurtured accordingly by INTO until such time as they are able to fulfil all the criteria in subparagraphs 1(i) – 1(m) inclusive
3. Associate Status. Any corporate body may qualify as an Associate of INTO if it meets the criteria in paragraph 1 other than subparagraph 1(h), 1(i), or 1(j). Associates of INTO shall not be considered Members, but shall have such rights and responsibilities as determined by the Executive Committee or the Congress. Organisations that qualify as Associates may aspire to become Full members over time and will be nurtured accordingly by INTO.
4. Affiliate Status. Any corporate body, governmental agency, international organisation, or other entity that, while not meeting these membership criteria can demonstrate that it is engaged professionally in the heritage conservation sector may qualify as an Affiliate of INTO. Affiliates of INTO shall not be considered Members, but shall have such rights and responsibilities as determined by the Executive Committee or the Congress.
5. Substantial Compliance Rule. For good cause, full membership may be granted to organisations that substantially meet the qualifications stated herein even though they may not meet all requirements, for example where organisations effectively serve as autonomous National Trust entities within a large region, cultural sector, or natural environment without being “engaged on a national level.”
6. Determinations. Determinations as to the application of these Membership Criteria shall be made by the Membership Committee in its sole discretion.