Museums Association Benevolent Fund

Offering support during the Covid-19 pandemic
The Museums Association Benevolent Fund exists to support MA members facing financial hardship and to provide financial support for professional development.

We recognise the severe impact that the Covid-19 pandemic is having on the financial situation of those working in and with museums. In light of these difficult circumstances, the MA Benevolent Fund is providing a number of new funding opportunities to support individuals in the sector at this time.  

Covid Hardship Stream

The Benevolent Fund Covid Hardship Stream will offer 40 grants of £500 to individual MA members whose finances have been significantly affected by the current pandemic. It is open to individual members who have held membership for two or more years and can demonstrate a genuine and measurable need. 

We will make the assessments on a case by case basis, and priority will be given to those in severe financial distress, including applicants who:

  • Have been made redundant during the current period
  • Have little or no savings
  • Are in freelance and contract work that has been curtailed during this period and support is unavailable or at a very low level. 

Inclusive Membership

We recognise that the barriers faced by individuals with protected characteristics in the workplace have been exacerbated during this crisis. The Benevolent Fund has allocated funding to cover the cost of MA Essential Membership to 150 individuals who face barriers due to:  

  • Ethnicity
  • Disability
  • Socio-economic background
  • Gender identity or sexual orientation (LGBTQ) 

These inclusive memberships are for new members. They will allow access to our online annual Conference, regular webinars, our Museum Essentials online learning course, as well as to all the usual Essential membership benefits.

The deadline for applications is 4 September 2020

If you have any questions about the Inclusive Membership offer, please contact

Additional support for professional development

The Benevolent Fund offers grants to support:

  • the advancement of education, training and development of members participating in programmes and events organised by the Museums Association, including working towards the AMA and the FMA
  • the advancement of education, training and development of members participating in programmes and events organised by other external providers – funding of this nature is only available to current core programme participants and/ or programme alumni.

The Benevolent Fund will allocate additional funding to support professional development this year, and we encourage members to apply.

The AMA is going from strength to strength - with weekly email updates, online AMA Q&As and online AMA Support Groups looking at ethical and topical issues. Mentoring continues virtually and the proliferation of online learning opportunities makes professional development more accessible to many. The current situation also finds the sector, individual disciplines and individuals responding to new ways of working and museum practice all of which contribute to being a well-rounded museum professional - learning is the new normal.

Tamsin Russell, workforce development officer, Museums Association

All applications for CPD funding will be reviewed on the last day of each month. To ensure inclusion we will be monitoring diversity characteristics.  


Benevolent Fund donation appeal

We are opening an appeal for donations to the Benevolent fund specifically to generate additional funds for the Covid Hardship stream. All donations received will be allocated to the Covid Hardship stream and will be used to make further grants as above, until further notice.

You can donate using the Donation button below.  

If you wish to donate using another method please contact

Please note that you are not required to enter contact information but should do so if you wish to receive an acknowledgement for your donation, as well as a Gift Aid form should you wish to Gift Aid your donation. 

All contact and application information supplied will be kept strictly in line with GDPR and will not be used for any other purposes than listed above.