Reproduced by permission of Birmingham Libraries and Archive

Developing a fundraising strategy

Evidence demonstrates that the most effective fundraising organisations have a strategic approach, which connects their fundraising to their strategic plans and advocacy work. However, in a recent survey of repositories only 33% of respondents had a fundraising strategy. 

We advise archive services to develop a strategic approach to fundraising. This should include:

  • creating a case statement, evidencing the need for funding support
  • an analysis of potential funding sources and who might be competing for these
  • identifying appropriate funding techniques and the resources needed to implement them
  • outlining responsibilities within the organisation relating to delivering the strategy
  • setting targets and realistic timescales
  • identifying a budget for implementation

We also provide guidance on managing performance, establishing development trusts and strengthening governance for archive services.

Other archive services have found the following resources helpful in preparing their strategies.


  • Association of Independent Museums: a respected sector group, consulted on national policy and providing a thriving network for members
  • The Directory of Social Change publishes a wide range of books on fundraising topics. This is a general overview of principles and strategies, funding sources and fundraising techniques
  • The Heritage Alliance: a guide to sources of financial support for anyone undertaking creative projects related to the UK's heritage
  • run by the Institute of Fundraising, it provides useful 'know-how' to help with planning fundraising activities
  • Institute of Fundraising: the professional membership body for UK fundraising. This website has a range of freely accessible information on fundraising practice and regulation. The Information About fundraising page provides links to information about a range of fundraising techniques
  • Mission models money: working to transform the way the arts use their resources to support the creation and experience of art
  • Museums Practice, January 2008: targeted at museums and is accessible to members of the Museums Association, or subscribers to Museum Practice
  • Catalyst Arts: Podcast of presentation by Jennifer Davies, Development Director, Philharmonia Orchestra on 'Strategy, structures, systems' from Catalyst Arts: Fundraising and capacity building workshops (2011)
  • Code of Fundraising Practice: the Institute of Fundraising (IoF) has launched a new, single Code of Fundraising Practice


Print publications

  • N Botting and M Norton, The complete fundraising handbook (Directory of Social Change, fifth edition, January 2007)
  • E Anderson and A de Mille, Fundraising for museums (second edition, Association of Independent Museums, April 2006) provides an outline of basic rules for fundraising for museums, and summarises the risks and cost/benefit of various fundraising approaches

Older guidance

The following older guidance, targeted at archives, may be of interest for reference:

Other resources on our website

Read case studies and find out about lottery and public funding sources, and private funding sources.

You can also read the relevant reports in our research reports section of the website or you can read our 'Funding the Archives Sector' action plan 2012-2015:

Funding the archive sector action plan 2012-2015 (DOC, 0.08Mb)

This page contains DOC files. See plug-ins and file formats for help in accessing these file types.