British Association of Friends of Museums
Helping people to support museums and heritage
The British Association of Friends of Museums exists to advise, encourage, and celebrate the many groups that support museums and heritage, for the benefit of all their users, now and in the future.
Friends, volunteer and member groups cherish and support a wide variety of organisations (museums and heritage), in many different ways. BAFM acts on their behalf to help them to extend and enhance this support.
We aspire to be a supportive and inclusive organisation, and an effective advocate on behalf of our members and their organisations.
We recognise the value and significance of places, collections and stories to all of us, and that museums and heritage are essential parts of a flourishing community. We believe that everyone should be able to explore and enjoy these resources.
Friends’ organisations, member organisations, volunteers, and other support groups give their time, energy and expertise to help museums and heritage organisations to prosper, for public benefit. Their contribution is invaluable, irreplaceable and precious.
We recognise that the most effective form of this support is offered at local level: fundraising, running events, working as volunteers, offering advice, and speaking out for museums and heritage. Our priority is to help build a stronger local presence for all those who love and support museums and heritage, and to enable them to work together more effectively.
At the heart of this is a network of Regional Co-ordinators. Individually and collectively, they:
- Bring Friends’ and other groups together through information sharing and networking events on themes such as fundraising, advocacy and activities to support museums and heritage.
- Act as a link to a wide range of support networks in their region and further afield.
- Serve as the first point of contact for Friends and other groups seeking advice about their own role and development.
BAFM is a volunteer-led organisation. Its aims are to:
- To raise the profile of and be an advocate for Friends, membership and volunteer groups, by providing compelling evidence of their contribution to the work of museums and heritage, and their role within their communities.
- To develop the Regional Co-ordinators Network as a source of support, advice and advocacy.
- To develop its own voice as a national advocacy body, working with other national and regional organisations to make the case for museums and heritage.
Its activities include:
- Administering the insurance scheme on behalf of members
- The provision of information to Friends, directly or by signposting to other sources, on matters such as governance, charitable status, fundraising, and museum and heritage management, in response to the expressed need of members. We are also able to guide Friends to lawyers for legal advice.
- Supporting excellence through our award schemes: the Robert Logan Award for young people working in museums and heritage, a travel award open to all museum and heritage volunteers, and the newsletter awards.
- Communicating with Members at National level through the BAFM Journal (hard and electronic copy) and e-newsletter, and at International level through the World Federation of Friends of Museums (WFFM) e-newsletter.
- Running the annual conference as an opportunity to bring Friends’ groups together, sharing and celebrating their expertise and achievements.
Agreed at BAFM Council
1st December 2017