The International National Trusts Organisation (INTO)

11 tips on building resilience

BlogsEventsProgrammes January 29, 2021

A blog by Catherine Leonard, Secretary-General

On 28 January we partnered with National Trust of Trinidad & Tobago for a webinar on INTO’s 2021 theme of ‘Building Resilience’. This was a fantastic lead into our conference INTO Online 2021, where we’ll continue to focus on this theme. We were overwhelmed with the positive feedback, and we’d like to thank our partners and all the participants.

We all learned so much and took pages of notes. This blog is an attempt to bring some of those ideas and resources together in one place. There is a full report of the discussion here and if you would like the recording, please contact us.   We’re also sharing 11 tips and learnings from our speakers in the grid below.

Lots of great ideas. So encouraging to listen to others with the same challenges and all the innovative ideas and solutions to overcoming them. Thank you.
- Kofo Adeleke, Legacy 1995, Nigeria

Webinar summary

The discussion revealed underlying factors influencing how National Trusts have responded to the pandemic. And many of these are directly linked to our values.  We heard about building relationships and showing we care about people.  Not always charging for things – but not being scared to ask for money when we need to. Delegates also talked about working fast and creatively. Adapting to the changing needs of our different audiences and society in general.

And this is not something new. Over twelve decades, the National Trust movement has responded to the concerns and preoccupations of each new generation with courage and enthusiasm.

Over the past year, we’ve leveraged technology in extraordinary ways and done things we might have thought unthinkable in the past. We have surprised ourselves and, in some cases, the publics we serve.

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11 tips for building resilience

INTACH Palakkad

Mission House, Cayman Islands

National Trust for the Cayman Islands

Petra National Trust

An Taisce the National Trust for Ireland

Bahamas National Trust

INTACH Palakkad

Resilience: Home learning workbook

The National Trust of Trinidad & Tobago

Petra National Trust

Resilience: Friends and family

The National Trust of Trinidad & Tobago

National Trust for the Cayman Islands

Chudow Castle, Poland

Chudow Castle Foundation, Poland

Building resilience

INTO members have collaborated with new and sometimes unusual partners, strengthening our ability to reach a wider public and adding volume to our collective voice.   We’ve reengineered, in some cases, rebuilt our organisations.  This has been painful and exhausting but we’re proud of the fact that we have survived this far.

We recognise it’s not all over yet but we also know that we must not expect things to just pop ‘back to normal’ at some unknown point in the future.  Normal has changed.  Normal means different things now and in the future.

But despite all this change, what has remained constant is our resilience and audacity.  As Neisha Ghany, Vice-Chairman of the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago, said in summing up ‘the monuments we look after have endured wars, pestilence, famine, hurricanes.  They are still standing.  And so are we.  Now we have an opportunity to make our organisations and work truly essential.   By focussing on and responding to current needs.

And it is much easier to accomplish these things when we work together.  Many of us are islands but we don’t need to act like islands.

The choice of speakers was very good, and even digitally there was a real sense of common purpose and determination. Clearly organisations are finding new ways to serve their communities and remain relevant. What a group of bright leaders you assembled, and what great ideas.
- Dr June Taboroff, Heritage Consultant


Our Technical Assistance Programme TAP-INTO supports knowledge sharing between our members. These visits typically provide advice, strategic planning or training in technical areas like membership growth, communications, volunteering or engaging new audiences.

Find out more here

Further reading

Full Report of the Building Resilience webinar

INTO members and staff share thoughts on how the global National Trust movement is rising to the C-19 challenge

Catherine Leonard's feature presentation

Read our Secretary-General's exploration of the five main themes emerging from the INTO membership as they seek to cope with COVID-19, recuperate, recover and flourish

Interview with David J Brown

Conversation between INTO Secretary-General, Catherine Leonard, and David J Brown about our Sustaining Resilient and Equitable Communities research

Impact of COVID-19 on heritage sites of the world’s National Trusts

Read David Brown's guest blog outlining our Sustainable Tourism / Sustaining Communities project work and the research undertaken in July and August 2020, with support from American Express

TAP-INTO COVID-19 grants

Find out how INTO has supported our members through the pandemic as they adapt, rethink and move quickly in order to safely reopen their doors and stay connected

Manx National Heritage

INTO Places

Many INTO organisations welcome each others' members free of charge to their properties. Find out more about the programme on our INTO Places page.

Learn about INTO Places