We are aware that our members are concerned about the impact the corona virus will have on their activities and several groups have approached us for advice. BAFM is not issuing its own guidance but we do recommend that you consult the following sources of information. Be aware that advice is changing from day to day so look out for updates, and follow the advice of your museum.
For the latest NHS advice see
The Heritage Alliance has produced a Guidance Hub document with links to sources of advice
The National Council for Voluntary Organisations has produced a guidance page with links to advice about meetings and events, and to the pages of funders which may be helpful if you are working on a finder scheme.
The Charity Commission has extended the deadline for charities due to file their annual return that cannot do so at present.
On behalf of the board of BAFM I would like to extend my best wishes to all our members at this very difficult time and hope you are able to keep safe and well.
Alex Walker, Chair



1. The following BAFM information sheets are available to download and print in pdf format:

2. The Association for Independent Museums (AIM) also offers a series of “Success Guides” that are free to download on a range of important topics including fundraising, the visitor experience, recruiting volunteers, museum cafes, retailing, international work, venue hire, governance, business planning, social media, risk management. However, much of the content of these are aimed at museums’ operation, and members may need to be selective about using sections of relevance to their work.
Click here: AIM Success Guides.


BAFM National Conference Sketch Courtesy of Reading Urban Sketchers - Huma Jahan

If a Friends’ group requires advice or assistance in the running of their local organisation BAFM would always advise an approach to the appropriate Regional Co-ordinator (these are listed on the Contacts page of this website). They are in place to provide support to all Friends’ groups in their region. There are many ways in which they can help or, failing that, point you in the right direction. But it is acknowledged that sometimes detailed research may be required. These days there is so much information to assist Friends’ groups on the world-wide web. So, rather than produce further factsheets itself BAFM provides a list of the key topics encountered in operating Friends’ groups, together with an indication of the websites where advice and assistance will be found. Most of the resources listed here apply to charities, but even if your group is not one you will still find helpful advice in these websites. As this area of activity is expanding and changing all the time BAFM would be pleased to learn if you are aware of other sources not yet listed here, which could be useful to other Friends’ groups – or indeed, of any other topics you feel should be covered. Please contact the BAFM Editor,  email:

Illustration courtesy of Reading Urban Sketchers – Huma Jahan, see,,


The Association of Chairs is there to support chairs of charities or non-profit organisations to lead their boards effectively. It is a membership organisation for chairs or vice chairs. They offer advice, networking, seminars and research.
Their Beacon programme for smaller organisations includes workshops, webinars and resources. The Association has recently entered into a partnership with the Association of Independent Museums (AIM).
It costs a minimum of £50 a year to join, but the website is free.


The Charity Commission registers and regulates charities in England and Wales, to ensure the public can support charities with confidence. Their website contains a vast array of services and information. There are also sites for Scotland and Northern Ireland – see below. It also contains a publications list of the Commission’s detailed guidance on a range of issues in running a charity, from which documents can be downloaded. All of the topics related in this ‘Other Information’ section are covered so this would be a good place to start. A free site.
England & Wales -
Scotland –
Northern Ireland –

There is a site at the Small Charities Coalition which provides advice, assistance (including trustee training) and resources to charities. It is free to join and to receive updates.


The Charity Commission produces a guide (Publication CC 29 – ‘Conflicts of interest: a guide for charity trustees’). It can be downloaded free from their website. See the Charity Commission section for contact details in Scotland and Northern Ireland.


From 25th May 2018 stricter rules apply on how organisations handle personal data – through the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. It is important to all Friends’ groups, as it seeks to control the collection, use and storage of ‘personal information’.  Thus if you have members of your groups, it is most likely that you will be handling personal information’. Please do not ignore this. The best advice from BAFM is to go to the ‘Information Commissioner’s Office’ (ICO) website –  On the first page you have options – go for the yellow one (‘For Organisations’). You can choose to go direct to the ‘GDPR’ area or the ‘Small Organisations’ one. It is most likely that you will need the latter. In this part there is a lot of advice to explain GDPR & what your organisation should do.


It is important that friends’ groups are able to address these two questions:

  1. Do the activities of the individuals/companies you have dealings with conflict with your charitable aims?
  2. Are you at risk of alienating your supporters or beneficiaries by dealing with such individuals/companies? It is acknowledged that most museums will have a museum’s policy regarding ethics, however the friends’ group needs to consider whether this covers all aspects of their activities.

If your answer to either or both of these questions is “yes” you are advised to go to these websites for examples of ethics policies, and further advice.


We appreciate that dealing with financial matters is of concern to most Friends’ groups – whether it be book keeping, accounts, tax returns, on-line banking, gift aid or insurance, etc.  We have offered some useful links below, but we reccommend that you get a suitably qualified and competent person to give specific advice. The key resource for information here is the Revenue and Customs service. Its site has an area especially for charities. The Charity Commission also offers guidance for charities (CC 12 – ‘Managing a Charity’s Finances’ and others). See the Charity Commission section for contact details in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

NPC (New Philanthropy Capital) is a charity set up in 2001 to support the charitable sector. Their services aim to make charities’ money go further, and include advice, reviews, impact measurement and grant-making support. Services are chargeable but the website contains much information and there is a free newsletter.


In 2016 the Fundraising Regulator was established to set and maintain the standards for charitable fundraising. It ensures that fundraising is responsible, open, honest and accountable to the public. A free site, but you can register (at a small cost) which gives you an accreditation.

Wikifund was created by a private company to provide everything to do with fundraising – for all NGO’s, not for profit organisations and social entrepreneurs. It operates like Wikipedia pages in that everyone shares their information and can add to the site. It has how to guides, case studies and other resources. A free site.


ICSA: the Governance Institute has been existence for 125 years, providing communication, advice, guidance and training. ICSA stands for the Institute of Charted Secretaries and Administrators, thus it is a paid membership body, but the website (free) contains much information.


These are particularly relevant where a Friends’ group supports a museum that is specialist.


NCVO champions the voluntary sector by collecting, representing and supporting voluntary organisations, helping them make the biggest difference they can. It has over 14,000 member organisations – a third of the voluntary workforce in England. NCVO provides expert support and advice, helping charities save time and money, and keeping them up to date with the news that affects them.

It runs the Trusted Charity Mark. It also provides low cost on -line training including the trustee’s role and responsibilities, volunteer management and running an event.


Members of the Friends’ groups who come in contact with young or vulnerable people may have to be put through the Disclosure and Barring Service (DSB) checking process organised by the museum. Formerly the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), this ensures that individuals that work with young or vulnerable people are adequately screened.