On course for great training courses

copyright Ian Georgeson for Johnston Press

It may seem like a long time ago that we hosted our Money Matters symposium but the positive messages continue into our summer and autumn training programmes. We’ll continue to focus on financial sustainability, with an emphasis on generating income to support your mission as well as opening up alternative funding routes.

The Money Matters symposium was a fantastic success, with 86% of attendees leaving with both an understanding of how to think in a more enterprising way, and a greater awareness of the range of funding sources available. 100% of attendees said they felt more aware of the different ways to generate income. The symposium left people with a sense of empowerment…

“I had never previously considered corporate sponsorship as I knew little about it and now feel equipped to seek such sponsorship”

…with an increased enthusiasm for approaching fundraising afresh…

“I plan to attend the follow-on courses… Earlier this year we made an unsuccessful bid to the HLF Transition Fund which would have seen us on the path to better financial sustainability. We’re planning our next move towards this goal”

…and with a changed mind-set on the positive impact of different routes to sustainability…

“I am going to be proactive about trying to secure corporate sponsorship/support”.

So, how will MGS be helping museums achieve financial sustainability? Well, first up after our summer break (if you could call it that) will be our Capital & Recognition Fund Surgeries on Tuesday 16 and Wednesday 17 August. Capital grants of up to £40,000 and Recognition grants of up to £60,000 are available, so book a telephone appointment with our Investment Manager to discuss your ideas.

Next up, on Monday 8 September, is Arts & Business Scotland’s Introduction to Fundraising. This one-day course is aimed at those new to fundraising who wish to build their knowledge, skills and confidence. You will gain an overview of the current Scottish funding landscape for arts and culture and leave with the resources that will support effective fundraising.

Reporting the social impact of your organisation in compelling and imaginative ways will open doors to funding opportunities in the future. Find out why it’s important to capture impact, how you could do this to secure funding at this free Social Impact Workshop delivered by Social Investment Scotland and MGS on Wednesday 14 September.

We’re teaming up with Social Enterprise Academy for Developing Smart Sustainability, a three-day programme (Monday 19 – Tuesday 20 September, Wednesday 26 October) designed to support learners grow an idea into a successful project for their museum. The programme will support learners to bring together a business plan including: planning for sustainability, financial management and strengthening entrepreneurial confidence to meet the challenge of developing and supporting a sustainable museum.

On Thursday 22 September, Arts & Business Scotland will give hints and tips on Being a Board Member. This half-day seminar will help board members to understand their roles and responsibilities. The session will cover how to navigate legislation; understanding formal, informal, legal and financial responsibilities; the dividing line between their role and that of the professional staff; and the difference they can make as an advocate for the organisation.

While most of us work in a non-profit manner, we all know that a wee bit of profit is always a good thing. It lets us fulfil our basic objectives as well as more ambitious projects. So, how do we get hold of some? On Tuesday 27 September, the Association for Cultural Enterprise and MGS will share their Top Retail Tips, helping you to identify your customer, plan your product, monitor your retail numbers and give the visitor a reason to buy.

The Association for Cultural Enterprises will then be teaming up with Publishing Scotland to host a Publishing Study Day in at the City Art Centre in Edinburgh on Wednesday 28 September. Hear about hot topics in the world of museum publishing from practitioners in an event aimed at organisations with publishing arms including museums, galleries and libraries.

We’ve all heard of ‘managing up’, but how do you apply this when you report to your board? On Wednesday 5 October & Wednesday 23 November, the Social Enterprise Academy and MGS will deliver Board Development, a two-day programme for senior staff. Network and learn from peers, understand roles and responsibilities, explore how to work collaboratively with the board.

We’ve been talking a lot recently about our advocacy approach so here’s your chance to apply the theory to your real world situation. On Thursday 6 October, MGS will host a Museum Messages workshop, which will help you demonstrate the impact of your work to decision makers by creating the right messages to ensure success.

Next up on Wednesday 12 October, and doing exactly what it says on the tin, is Arts & Business Scotland’s Introduction to Sponsorship. Aimed primarily at those who have little sponsorship experience, they’ll look at the basic principles and questions like “why do businesses sponsor the arts? How do you identify potential business sponsors and how should you pitch your story?” This training is for you if you are considering seeking business sponsorship for your activities or projects.

Do you have a project that you think will benefit from funding but don’t know how to articulate it? Join Arts & Business Scotland on Thursday 13 October for Telling It Like It Is: Effective Copywriting. Aimed at those who need to develop a case for support for their project or cause, it explores the copywriting process in the context of putting together an effective case for support.

Phew! That’s loads to keep your skills up to date as we head into winter. Hopefully you’ll learn some new skills to be able to apply to your work this year and into the future. Remember to keep an eye out for more upcoming training on our website, where you will also find further details on all of the MGS courses we’ve mentioned here. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

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