Flourish Project July 2016 Update

Chiltern Open Air Museum recently hosted their first Legacy event, bringing together the skill set of  project partner, Claire Routley PHD (our legacies expert) and local probate solicitor, Sarah Steele, who kindly donated her time to run the session. Attendees included people with different associations with the Museum, including trustees, staff relatives, volunteers and even a vicar from a local diocese, interested in finding out how to attract legacy giving in their own parish.

Sarah gave an informal presentation on Wills and alterations to Wills. She also explained the recent tax changes, particularly in relation to gifts made to a charity of at least 10% of an estates value, in order to benefit from a 4% reduction in inheritance tax. A further legacy session will be arranged for November during National Wills Week, where Sarah has offered to carry out a Will changing surgery.

The legacy event ended with a tour of the Museum which highlighted the impact of recent legacies on the development and care of the Museum’s historic building collection and behind the scenes in COAM’s stores. As a result of the event, the Museum received 6 legacy pledges that day.  Shortly after the Legacy event, the Museum held a 40th anniversary celebration weekend, where the Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire made a speech asking guests to contact their solicitors and write the Museum into their wills.

Linking in with the legacy event has been the production of a revised legacy leaflet, capturing the personal stories of past and present legacy givers, all illustrated with eye catching visual reminders as to what the Museum represents and means to its supporters. Claire tells us that legacies are greatly encouraged by good use of excellent imagery and very little text and she has scientific evidence of this so do take note!

One of the key fundraising learning points under the project, shared by the local hospice was the value of running a raffle at every fundraising event. Recently, at Chiltern Open Air Museum over £1,000 was raised in this way across two events demonstrating that this can be a way of maximising income from supporters who might not have given otherwise.

Tring Local History Museum taught us the value of asking if members wish to make donation within their Museum literature. As a result of this, they have received regular donations each year in excess of £1,000.

Following a consultation with the Flourish diversity consultant, Daffodil Forbes, a ‘By Donation Day’ will be held at the Chiltern Open Air Museum, in September 2016 for the local heritage weekend with invitations to groups from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds to come on that day. Several groups from different backgrounds are in discussion with us about coming to visit the Museum with some assistance with their travel to make it possible for them to visit. Some of these groups are based in the Wycombe area and we have agreed to work in partnership with Wycombe Museum as a focus point for visits and travel and encouraging visits to both museums.

Over the past couple of months I have invested time and energy into cementing our past and existing corporate partnerships, as well as forging new ones within the local business community. A menu of tiered optional benefits, has been created, in the form of a corporate sponsorship flier (available on request please contact funding@coam.org.uk)


The corporate proposition offers a mutually beneficial arrangement, aimed at maintaining strong relationships. By approaching local organisations, benefiting where possible, from personal introductions or warm contacts and inviting key decision makers to visit the Museum, we have recently formed six strong associations with a diverse range of businesses and matched sponsors to a number of suitable visitor attraction events, taking place in the current season. The associate company benefits from having the opportunity to promote and display their own services and products on site, as well as receiving positive publicity, through visible support of their local charity heritage museum, within our own website and via wide reaching social media connections.

Thank you for taking the time to read the Flourish blog and please look out for the September edition.