Spark! for Trustees of volunteer run museums

***Please note, new closing date – applications now closing on Friday 8 December***

Following the successful Spark! format of training for museum leaders, the fourth Spark! programme is aimed at supporting trustees of volunteer-run museums.

If your trustees and Board want to improve their governance and operational activities, then this is the programme for you. Specifically, it aims to strengthen shared problem solving, building networks of support, and working together, through a series of online workshops, action learning sets and individual coaching sessions.

Who is this for?

This programme is designed for Trustees of volunteer-run museums, though those from museums with a small number of paid staff will also be considered. It is being developed for trustees who have spent some time in role, as opposed to new Trustees who should consider the AIM Trustee Induction workshop.


  • 2pm – 4pm Tuesday 23 January  – workshop 1
  • 2pm – 5pm Tuesday 30 January – Action Learning Set 1
  • 2pm – 4pm Tuesday 13 February – workshop 2
  • 2pm – 4pm Tuesday 19 March – workshop 3
  • 2pm – 5pm Tuesday 26 March – Action Learning Set 2
  • 2 x coaching sessions for each participant

Provisional Content

  • Understanding good governance, legal responsibiilties and risk management
  • Differentiating Chair, Trustee and volunteer roles
  • Committees, Working Groups, and trustees holding ‘lead responsibilities’
  • Relationship building with funders and understanding their requirements
  • Managing fundraising and shaping grant proposals
  • Overseeing effective communications
  • Achieving a balanced and effective Board with relevant knowledge, skills, and experience,
  • Succession planning and effective Board recruitment
  • Using honorary advisers in a volunteer run/small-staffed museum
  • Planning ahead, personal development and self-management
  • Reporting to e.g., the Charity Commission, Companies House
  • Sources of support.

Programme leaders

The programme will be designed and delivered by Ruth Lesirge and Hilary Barnard of HBRL Consulting. Hilary and Ruth have designed and delivered the previous Spark! programmes, are the authors of Successful Museum Governance (AIM 2020), run the Trustee Induction workshops, and ran the Leaders and Enablers residential programmes for AIM. They are experienced in planning and developing programmes for Museum Leaders and Trustees. They have a successful track record in working with museums and
heritage and the wider charity and not for profit sector.

How to apply

For more information on this new programme or to make an application, contact Margaret Harrison, AIM Head of Programmes on with the following information:

  1. Your name, role, and organisation
  2. The number of Trustees on your Board
  3. What you hope to get out of the programme with regard to your own and the Board’s governance effectiveness
  4. Describe your Board’s working relationship with your Director
  5. Outline your organisation’s key governance challenge over the last twelve months

Deadline for applications: Friday 8 December. 

***Please note, this is a new closing date, previously 8 January, now Friday 8 December***