Sam Leather – Trusts and Foundations Researcher


What I do
I volunteer with the development team. Development, I hear you say. What does that mean? Many people are unaware that the Museum is a registered charity, and this team is responsible for its fundraising. I have been collaborating with Katie Guest, the Museum’s Trust and Foundation Fundraiser, to research lists of available trusts and foundations whose philanthropic interests align with the Museum’s vision for its future development. This type of funding can support many aspects of the Museum’s work from new buildings, to preserving the collections and buildings to education, STEM and community work.

What I love
I have had a great time working with Katie on this project. I’ve had a glimpse behind the scenes of how the RAF Museum funding process works, and as a history student an opportunity to brush up on my maths skills. Similar remote projects in the future would be an enterprising way to broaden the RAF Museum’s volunteer base and improve communication to visitors.

What I get

This project was a great opportunity to test my intelligence gathering and ICT skills. I have also learnt new skills, and adapted others. For example, working from home requires a different set of communication skills. Fortunately transitioning to a virtual workspace was not much of a problem. My generation is used to living a sad existence behind a screen. Getting to grips with the software had its own learning curve, but its use offers great scope for interacting with volunteers at the museum. Certainly, it would be an effective way to lure in a younger demographic for volunteering roles; once you play with the settings to stop sounding like you are ten feet underwater that is.