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Annual Museum Survey

Annual Survey of Museums 2017-18

South East Museum Development’s Annual Survey of Museums has now been launched!

This benchmarking survey is aimed at museums in the region who are Accredited or currently Working Towards Accreditation and the information received from your surveys will help us – and you -  to demonstrate the social and economic impact and importance of museums and heritage sites both locally and regionally to funders and stakeholders, helping to sustain investment in our sector.

This year we are collecting data from across our region and as a vital part of the sector in the South East your survey returns are hugely important, not only to support us in our advocacy but so we can get a clear picture of your annual activities and support you better as your regional museum development provider.

You can complete the survey online using the link below: 

Smart Survey - Annual Survey Link

Why do we collect data?

The data we collect through the Annual Return will help us to demonstrate the social and economic importance of museums, both locally, regionally, and nationally, to funders and stakeholders, and will provide museums with data to enable them to benchmark performance. For example, Annual Survey data will help us to understand:

•    How many people visit museums in the South East.
•    How museum visits in the South East contribute to the local economy.
•    How many people participate in learning activities provided by museums in our region.
•    How our sector benefits from volunteer time.
•    How many people the sector employs in the region.

Data of this kind can be a powerful tool for museums when approaching funders. It is also powerful advocacy to governing bodies, demonstrating the impact of continued investment in museums on the local area and wider region.

We are now working in partnership with other Museum Development providers in England, adopting a shared approach that will help demonstrate the value and impact of museums nationally. All Museum Development services across England will be gathering data from museums for the Annual Survey.

What’s in it for you?

Once we have the results of the survey we will share the final report with you. The report could then be used to support the following: 

  • Advocacy – evidence to make the case for your social and economic value in order to sustain investment
  • Performance benchmarking – consistent data to compare your museum’s operational context
  • Informing strategy – knowing your operational context will support your business planning
  • Fundraising – the data can be used as evidence to support funding applications or to express your value with the public

How to complete the survey

The survey is short and will be easy to complete by a volunteer or member of staff with a good overview of their museum’s work. The questions cover visitor numbers and audience engagement; financial operations; volunteers and staff; educational work as well as challenges and opportunities for the future. 

The information that you provide should be for the period 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2018.

  • Please complete the survey online here:
  • There is a paper copy of the survey below to help aid you in completing the survey
  • All figures should be for the financial period 1st April 2017 to 31st March 2018.
  • You can save and return to the survey at any time by clicking 'Save and Continue Later' at the bottom of any page of the online survey.
  • Please complete the survey by the Extended Deadline of the 29th October 2018.

If you are a multi-site, or a museum that hosts another Accredited collection within your museum, please contact for a bespoke survey form, if you have not already received a form by email.

Download South_East_Museum_Development_Annual_Survey_of_Museums_2017_18.pdf...

Questions about the survey

  • The survey is being carried out by the South West Museum Development team on behalf of South East Museum Development.
  • If you have any questions about completing the survey you can contact

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey and we look forward to sharing the results with you.