Funded by Arts Council England through AIM’s National Portfolio Organisation funding, the AIM Hallmarks Awards will provide grants totalling around £55,000 each year over the next three years and are available in two strands:
Main grants of £4000 to £12000: will enable museums to implement the key ideas of the AIM Hallmarks. We will support projects that have an impact on museums’ ways of working, culture, strategy or business model. These will be open to all Accredited AIM member museums in England.
Small grants of £3000 – £6000: will support museums to improve their financial sustainability through either cost saving or income generation. These will only be open to Accredited AIM member museums in England in AIM’s small museum category (that is, museums with up to 20,000 visitors a year).
“The Hallmarks Awards are designed to allow museums to make a long term, positive impact on the way they work,” said Emma Chaplin, Director of AIM, “and we welcome new and innovative approaches where museums have embraced the Hallmarks framework and have spotted an opportunity for their museum to prosper.”
The closing date for both strands will be 20 November 2019
There will be one further round in each of the years 2020 – 2021.
How Can The AIM Hallmarks Awards Support Your Museum?
If you are unsure how these awards can support your museum – or the types of activity that we fund – look at the following two case studies from successful applicants in 2018 to help you form your own application.
Small Grants: The Gurkha Museum Trust
The Gurkha Museum is at an exciting time of development, as they are developing a new set of brand guidelines and new marketing materials. An AIM Hallmarks Award of £5,000 was given to the Trust to help develop their marketing strategy.
The Gurkha Museum is now deep into its 5 year plan, which will see the Museum’s galleries and collections develop in a refurbishment but will also see the development of commercial, marketing and fundraising activities to help the Museum to develop key income streams to cement sustainable income for the Trust.
The Museum has set its largest marketing budget yet for 2019, with lots of ideas in the strategy to take the promotion of the Museum forward. A brand evolution and guidelines will be the first step in this plan meaning the Museum has a clean and fresh look to encourage, among other things higher visitor numbers, event attendees and trading customers.
The museum team decided to apply for an AIM Hallmarks Award based on a research report compiled to examine the Trust (and specifically the Museum’s) levels of resilience in a competitive heritage market. The report suggested that in order to increase relevance of the Museum and its wider mission – as well as the profile of the Trust’s other asset, the National Cooperative Archive Collections – it should focus its appeal to local markets and engage with different audiences beyond the traditional ‘Cooperator’ or ‘Pilgrimage’ visitor from overseas cooperative backgrounds.
Funding via the AIM Hallmarks Awards will now allow the Trust to be able to capitalise on income which will in turn support other activities in the museum and archive context. This funding now means that the Trust can explore new markets of revenue such as evening events, performances, private children’s parties and potential wedding venue hire in the future. In addition to a more flexible offer, routine events will be able to operate in a safer and more comfortable environment.