An Intern’s Journey; Chapter 5: The Importance of Support

One of the great things about this internship is that each day I seem to be working on something new and exciting! This made it difficult to chose a topic to write about for this week’s blog post. But after creating a fundraising campaign Banting House National Historic Site for Giving Tuesday, I thought I would give a behind the scenes look of the importance of support!

Last week, a lot of my work centered on researching and creating both a social media plan and campaign for the online charitable movement Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday). Giving Tuesday is an online movement with the aim of helping charities, museums, institutions and programs around the world. Given that many charities and organizations have been severely impacted by closures, this year’s Giving Tuesday is even more important.

Like many small museums and local heritage sites, Banting House, relies on the generosity and support of the community in order to maintain its daily operations. With this in mind, I started to develop campaign ideas for this year’s Giving Tuesday (December 1st, 2020). I began with researching how other museums have participated in the Giving Tuesday campaign, what sort of campaigns they had and how they promoted it on social media. After compiling a document with all the research, it was time to sit down and see how Banting House can create its own successful campaign!

Goals were one of the most important aspects of creating a successful campaign. Since 2020 is the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the idea of insulin, I thought that incorporating this into the campaign would be a great idea! With this in mind, our goal for this Giving Tuesday is 100 donors (representing the 100th anniversary) at $25 (representing the number of words in Dr. Banting’s hypothesis for insulin).

$25 dollars may not seem like a lot, but to a museum with a limited budget, it can have a large impact! Any donation means that museums can continue their daily operations, preservation, conversation, education and programming and web development.

For example, three donations at $25 would allow us to purchase a WordPress plan, which would allow us to continue to share research, updates and news and add features that will better help our visitors navigate our site!

The next step was to create a social media plan that would help promote the campaign leading up to Giving Tuesday. This included researching stories from Banting House NHS that showcase the importance of donations, creating visual images and standards for the campaign, signing up for webinars and websites to showcase the campaign and writing necessary text to be populated during the campaign period.

Now that it is all said and done, it was a great experience! I learned a lot about the importance of support and donations for museums and how to create campaigns and social media plans.

While there will always be some uncertainty as museums start to open up, it’s super important to support your local museums and heritage sites, like Banting House, all year-round! Small museums and heritage sites need your help and support!

My takeaways for the week:

  • Fundraising, volunteers, donations and sponsorship are integral and vital components of museums and heritage sites.
  • Many small local museums and sites operate on limited budgets, often with no corporate funding, meaning that they rely on the community’s support!
  • The age of technology has made donations easier! There are movements, campaigns and platforms online that are dedicated and centered on helping charities, organizations and institutions raises the necessary funds.
  • Supporting a museum goes beyond financial donations and can be as simple as sharing a Facebook post or liking an Instagram photo! Engagement with a museum online helps get their message out to more people!
  • Supporting local museums, heritage sites and organizations that help preserve history and culture will be as significant as ever as these sites and institutions begin to reopen.

This post was written by Kat MacDonald, an intern at Banting House NHSC. Kat is currently completing her M.A. in Public History at Western University.

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