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Financial Resilience
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Focus On: Financial Resilience

Each month we’re taking a look at one of the ten priority areas of the strategy for Scotland’s museums and galleries.

With museums across Scotland affected by financial pressures, the financial resilience priority area is a vital part of the strategy.

Discover how your museum or gallery can work towards financial resilience by reading through the advice and information on this page.

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What is the financial resilience priority area?

Scotland’s museums and galleries will operate on sustainable business models that reflect good financial practice and confidently demonstrate their value to society.

Good governance and planning, a diversity of skills, income, and audiences, collaborative and creative approaches, and the ability to demonstrate the impact of our work are all critical to building financial resilience.

You can read the financial resilience priority area and actions in full on our strategy hub.

Find out how to build the financial resilience of your organisation by exploring the resources below.

Our 2022 Survey for Scotland’s Museums and Galleries revealed that – of the 177 organisations that responded – only 42% had a fundraising plan or strategy for their museum or gallery.

Find out how to develop a fundraising plan by following this guide from Shared Enterprise.


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Financial resilience resources

Financial resilience case studies

These case studies highlight how museums and galleries have used marketing, fundraising, and retail to generate income and reach new audiences.

Inspiring Fundraising

This toolkit aims to give Scottish heritage organisations the skills and confidence to raise funds. Find out how to develop strategies, write a case for support, and attract new sources of funding.

The Economic Impact of Scotland’s Museums and Galleries

This report, commissioned by Museums Galleries Scotland, makes a strong case for the value of the museum sector.

Tax exemptions and relief for museums and galleries

Your museum or gallery may qualify for tax exemptions or relief. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations has a useful breakdown of what this could mean for your organisation.

Fundraising resources

The Chartered Institute of Fundraising website has a range of information for cultural organisations.

Risk and reserves

Managing risk is key to resilience. Have you identified any financial risks which may affect your organisation? Find out more about identifying and managing risk by visiting the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) website.

The SCVO website also highlights the importance of maintaining a reserves policy. Planning for uncertainty will support the long-term sustainability of your museum or gallery.

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Do you have a plan to develop your online audience and attract new visitors?

A loyal and engaged audience is essential to financial resilience. Find out how to raise your profile and attract new supporters with our handy marketing and social media guides.

Do you know how to find and apply for grants?

Read our introductory guide to build your confidence in this area.

How diverse are the skills on your board?

Attracting a range of trustees with the right skills can support a successful financial and fundraising strategy. Find out how you can diversify your board by reading this Arts Council England guide and visiting this page on the SCVO website.

MGS funding

The financial resilience aims of Scotland’s museums and galleries strategy are reflected in our grants outcomes and expectations.

Depending on the requirements of the fund, applications must address one or more of our grants outcomes. Your project might focus on our first outcome, which aims to strengthen the long-term future and financial sustainability of museums and galleries.

Visit our funding section to read our grants outcomes and expectations in full.

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Find out more

Financial resilience is essential to all three strands of Scotland’s museums and galleries strategy: connection, resilience, and workforce.

Our next edition will focus on the health & wellbeing priority area of the strategy. If you have any resources, case studies, or questions relating to the financial resilience or health & wellbeing priority areas, please get in touch.

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