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Heritage event fundraising: Festival of Archaeology

July 20, 2022
Heritage event fundraising: Festival of Archaeology

How are Heritage organisations engaging their visitors, and driving donations with events? 


We thought by speaking with a couple of our customers in the sector, it would be a great way to showcase how it's possible to capture new audiences and the all important public donations upon which many charities and services will need to be sustainable.

Telling stories and celebrating discoveries are a key part of this year's The Festival of Archaeology which is aimed at creating awareness around all things archaeology and heritage. 


What's the Festival of Archaeology about?

Incorporating hundreds of in-person and virtual events delivered by community groups, heritage organisations, universities, commercial units, and more in-person and online across the UK, this years event, held from 16th-31st July 2022, takes a look at the theme of 'Journeys' and how they intertwine with the discoveries and stories found within the sector.  



Using a nationwide event to capture interest and grow your audience


Sussex Past

Sussex Past are a Sussex based society, devoted to bring together experts in the historical field in order to further explore the county's rich history, conduct valuable research and educate others on the importance of Sussex's heritage. They have been around for 175 years, making them the oldest county archaeology society in England! 

"As the oldest county based archaeological society in the UK we have a proud tradition of making history and heritage more accessible to people, whether that’s through visiting our properties, attending educational sessions or using our collections and research libraries. In total more than 120,000 people a year visit our sites in addition to our thousands of members, who we regularly engage with at events, walks, talks and conferences."   
- Sussex Past


Building a resilient recovery from the pandemic

Like many charitable organisations who rely on public donations, Sussex Past felt the effects of the pandemic, as a large percentage of their support comes from visitor footfall and this was not possible during the UK's multiple lockdowns.  

Fortunately, they've shown huge resilience, adapting their services to offer online and physical events: 

  • Allowing people to donate online, and in person through the Donation Station by GWD 
  • Encouraging visitors to become one of their 2,500 members  
  • Putting on events and promoting them online and through socials 
  • Hiring out their venues for events, such as weddings 

The network puts on regular events across multiple sites and by visiting the sites, visitors are helping support their work by providing income which helps protect the heritage of Sussex for generations to come.

The Donation Stations allow Sussex Past to encourage those who can and want to support their work, in their own time and at their own personal discretion. 


Lewes Castle and Museum - Sussex Past

For this year's Archaeology Festival, they are giving people the opportunity to try out being an archaeologist with hands-on activities at Lewes Castle, Michelham Priory and Fishbourne Roman Palace; learning about the role archaeologists play in helping us to understand the past.

Families can also drop in to Lewes Castle to meet their Finds Liaison Officer who will help to identify your finds and share with you some of the recent local finds that have been recorded on the data base.  You can also explore how to look up what has been found close to where you live. 

Want to know what else is on? Visit their website

See more about the Donation Station


Skinny Donation Station in Gloucester museum

Museum of Gloucester


Located in the city of Gloucester, this museum holds over 750,000 historical objects in an internationally known collection dating back to Roman times.  

Like many museums, Gloucester had to close its doors to the public during the pandemic, causing a lack of support through donations.

They have since installed one of our contactless donation devices as another means of income for the organisation, alongside online donations, ticketed events and venue hire. 

"We would not have a museum without a constant commitment to supporting local archaeology, finding new artefacts and continuing to tell the story of Gloucester and the wider county. And preservation and conservation (plus collecting) is so important to continue to tell the story of the city to our varied audiences for now and for many years to come…" 
- Museum of Gloucester


Partnering with The Folk of Gloucester, the festival will celebrate all things archeaological to the local community, opening up the collection to all.


It will be possible to handle some of the museum's artefacts, from Roman, Anglo-Saxon and Medieval times. Dress up and hold history in your hands with their incredible collection of objects!

Ideal for summer holidays trips, the Museum is looking forward to welcoming all visitors!

Want to know what else is on?
Find details here



Illustrations by: @RHdrawsthings 

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Topics from this blog: Donation Station Heritage


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