Glasgow Women’s Library

Unique in Scotland, Glasgow Women’s Library is a vibrant accredited museum, learning and information hub housing a lending library, archive collections (including the UK’s National Lesbian Archives) and contemporary and historical artefacts relating to women’s lives, histories and achievements. GWL is not core funded and raises running and general admin costs primarily through donations and fundraising activities.

GWL used a HLF Catalyst grant to pay a skilled person to lead in building its Private Fundraising capacity whilst mentoring and up-skilling GWL Board / staff members and developing / embedding a long-term strategy framework. This project has grown GWL’s Friends scheme, creating a significant and steadily expanding body of private donor support that will help make the organisation more financially independent, provide it with an active source of additional feedback and consultation, engender new and valuable partnerships and allow the organisation to achieve its strategic aims.

Although GWL has not had any resourcing to develop its Friends programme or legacy giving in the past, the organisation has a very wide range of supporters, donors of materials and goodwill. However, with refurbishment of their permanent larger premises, an expanded staff team and huge growth in users, GWL needs to develop and embed new robust and effective regular private fundraising initiatives. Support from HLF has enabled the team to up-skill and increase the capacity of staff using a new framework and strategy owned and used by all at GWL. The ‘Glasgow Women’s Library Makes Friends’ project has immeasurably and positively impacted on the work of the Creative Development and Change Managers at GWL and consequently increased the capacity of GWL to sustain its life-changing learning programmes and continue to conserve and make accessible important heritage materials.

For further detail on the development of GWL’s friends’ scheme view the video case study below: