BAFM ‘HANDBOOK FOR FRIENDS’
Copies of the BAFM Friends Handbook are available to all at no cost. The handbook is available from the BAFM Administrator – firstname.lastname@example.org (full address see below).
BAFM VOLUNTEER MANAGERS’ AND ADMINISTRATORS’ HANDBOOK
Copies of the BAFM Volunteer Managers’ and Administrators’ Handbook are now available in two different formats: hardback (£10), or as a CD (£5). Prices include postage. This is available from the BAFM Administrator – email@example.com (full address see below); please enclose payment made payable to ‘BAFM’.
BAFM has a pro bono arrangement with a top London charity law firm. They can offer brief advice on relevant legal matters that a member group has been unable to resolve locally. If the matter requires more detailed advice than can be provided within the terms of the pro bono agreement they will quote a charity rate fee. In some cases it may be that adequate legal opinion could be obtained from a law firm in the member’s area. Some museums may already have a legal firm associated with their Board that can help but in a situation where there is a conflict of interest a separate opinion may be necessary. In every case the enquiry must be placed with the BAFM Administrator (see below).
BAFM ADMINISTRATOR & MEMBERSHIP SECRETARY
141a School Road,
Bristol BS4 4LZ
Tel: (w) 01179 777435
FREE INFORMATION SHEETS
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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. www.associationofchairs.org.uk
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 - www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission
Scotland – www.oscr.org.uk
Northern Ireland – www.charitycommissionni.org.uk
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. www.smallcharities.org.uk
CONFLICT OF INTEREST & LOYALTY
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. www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission 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 – www.ico.org.uk 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:
- Do the activities of the individuals/companies you have dealings with conflict with your charitable aims?
- 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.
- The Museums Association Code of Ethics is worth looking at: MA Code of Ethics
- There is also the World Federation of Friends of Museums Code of Ethics: WFFM Code of Ethics
- There is a good site with useful information about ethics at: www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/charity/
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. www.gov.uk/charities-and-tax/overview The Charity Commission also offers guidance for charities (CC 12 – ‘Managing a Charity’s Finances’ and others). www.gov.uk/government/organisations/charity-commission 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. www.thinknpc.org
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. www.fundraisingregulator.org.uk
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. www.wikifund.info
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. www.icsa.org.uk
SUBJECT SPECIALIST NETWORKS
These are particularly relevant where a Friends’ group supports a museum that is specialist.
- Geological Curators Group www.geocurator.org
- Association of Curators for Collections from Egypt and Sudan accessn.wordpress.com
- Islamic Art and Material Culture Subject Specialist Network www.krc.orient.ox.ac/iamcssn/index.php.en
- Dress and Textile Specialists www.dressandtextilespecialists.org.uk
- Natural Sciences Collections Association www.natsca.org
- Money and Medals Network www.moneyandmedals.org.uk
- Musical Instrument Subject Specialist Network (website under construction ?)
- Understanding British Portraits www.britishportraits.org.uk
- Society for Museum Archaeology www.socmusarch.org.uk
- Social History Curators Group www.shcg.org.uk
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.
YOUNG & VULNERABLE PEOPLE
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.