Singing the praises of Scotland’s third-sector champions

1an1oh

Scotland is alive with third-sector support, and while we frequently sing the praises of other organisations that offer support to the museums sector via our blogs, training emails and tweets, how much do you actually know about these various organisations? Here’s a quick look at what you as a museum can get, either free or very cheaply, to support your activity. And where better to start, than at the very beginning, like Julie Andrews once said.

 

Do… some dough, some lovely dough…

Social Investment Scotland is a charity and social enterprise that provides loans to other charities, social enterprises and community groups across Scotland and the largest provider of loans to the third sector in Scotland. Since 2001 they have invested over £50million in over 210 organisations across Scotland, but don’t be put off by these huge numbers: finance is available for £10,000 upwards. For a good museum example, make sure you read the SIS case study on Almond Valley Heritage Trust’s project.

 

Re… Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage…

Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage is a three-year programme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Catalyst Grants to deliver a capacity-building programme for heritage organisations across Scotland. They offer training sessions on fundraising, as well as support and advice on legacies, membership and friends schemes, building a case for support, how to apply to trusts and foundations, annual giving and crowdfunding. Travel bursaries are available to enable you to attend a training where travel costs would otherwise prevent you from attending. The bursary is open to all volunteers or staff of heritage organisations in Scotland that wish to take part in a Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage event. There are case studies on their website, including this fantastic one about Glasgow Women’s Library’s Friends scheme. The website is full of other free resources that you should take a look at when you have a minute.

 

Me (well, us)… a name for MGS…

Museums Galleries Scotland is the National Development Body for the museum sector in Scotland and works collaboratively to invest in and develop a sustainable museums and galleries sector for Scotland. We work with a sector of 450+ museums and support them with national schemes like Recognition and Accreditation, as well as strategic investment, advocacy, skills development and public social partnerships. Our next training session covers Board Development, and is a two-day programme supporting senior members of staff with responsibility for reporting to their board and board members to develop an entrepreneurial approach to aid the sustainability and success of their organisation.

 

Fa… funds to improve how you’re run…

The Heritage Lottery Fund invests money accrued by the National Lottery into heritage. A number of HLF grant programmes are available to organisations who want to develop their skills and capacity in order to become more financially sustainable. Their Resilient Heritage grants of £3,000-£250,000 can help you to strengthen your organisation, and build the capacity of your staff and volunteers to better manage heritage in the long term. Heritage Endowments grants of £250,000, £500,000 or £1million can support your organisation to create or develop an endowment fund that will provide a long-term annual income, supporting cultural organisations to fundraise from private donors, corporate sources, trusts and foundations. A list of Scottish recipients of transitional funding like this can be found here – maybe they can inspire you to apply for your own similar project.

 

So… a social enterprise…

The Social Enterprise Academy was set up to serve individuals working to make a positive impact in their communities and society. They do this through learning and development support, bringing leaders and social entrepreneurs together to learn with and from each other at training events. Their mission is to support individuals and organisations to enhance their social and environmental impact and build sustainable businesses. They can help you with learning and development opportunities, developing leadership and utilising personal strengths to build sustainable enterprises.

 

La… some laws to follow so…

That all sounds good, but what is a social enterprise…? Do you count as one? Check out the Voluntary Code of Practice and see if your museum matches the criteria (it probably does!). If this is the case,  Senscot works to underpin the development of a strong and sustainable social enterprise community in Scotland with financial, regulatory and support infrastructure. They aim to link up and support social entrepreneurs in Scotland, supporting cultural and creative Social Enterprise Networks within the museums sector. Senscot Legal is a social enterprise providing affordable legal advice to other social enterprises, charities, community and voluntary organisations, and the wider third sector in Scotland. They provide a free initial consultation, and can help you out with advice on governance and legal structure, company/charity law, employment and contract law, intellectual property, and property/leases. So, most of the things that a lawyer would advise on (bar a few areas), for a fraction of the cost.

 

Ti… a drink with Just Enterprise…

Just Enterprise is a programme designed to help Social Enterprises achieve their trading ambitions. Supported by the Scottish Government, Just Enterprise is committed to the growth and sustainability of Scotland’s third sector and their services are available to help museums succeed. They offer free one-to-one business support such as start-up advice; income generation strategies; help with costing and pricing; business planning and marketing planning; and help with tenders to help you become investment-ready. To date they have only provided support to a handful of museums and galleries, but many, particularly smaller independent ones, have an eligible legal structure and undertake trading activity, making them the ideal candidates to benefit from Just Enterprise’s support. Disclaimer: they probably won’t provide drinks.

 

That will bring us back to dough, dough, dough, dough…

Arts & Business Scotland work in partnership with Museums Galleries Scotland to assist the museum sector improve their fundraising skills and to support their boards through training and advice. More generally, they act as a conduit between the cultural and business sectors, helping to nurture the relationships that will enrich creativity and cultural engagement across Scotland. They deliver sponsorship training and support to the arts to help build their capacity to develop relationships with, and bring in funding from, the private sector. Arts & Business Scotland advocate, train and run programmes designed to increase individual giving for the arts and deliver board training and development to arts organisations to build their capacity. MGS sponsors the Enterprising Museum Award at the A&BS Awards, which is open for nominations until Friday 30 September.

 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our gentle waltz through the world of third-sector support, and that some of these tips will be helpful for your organisation. Don’t forget, we’re here to help, so if you have any questions about any aspect of museum operations; want to make connections elsewhere in the sector; want to train your staff; need help with getting decision makers to understand your public value; or need some cash to help you fund projects; MGS should be your first port of call. No question is too small, so don’t struggle, just get in touch. Make sure you also sign up to our e-bulletin, Connect, and we’ll keep you in the loop with funding and training news from MGS and the wider sector.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*