by Kathryn Blair Colbert
MGS Grants and Applications Chair
MGS Fundraising Chair
The MGS is a charitable, not for profit organization. Operating grants from the Manitoba Government have remained unchanged for a number of years now and have remained frozen at $11,200 per annum. When compared to the eight other provincial heritage agencies in Manitoba, the MGS has fared poorly and has been funded the least of these agencies.
For Fiscal Year 2021-22, revenues were generated from membership dues (30.7%), grants (28.5%), donations (31.9%), research services (2.9%), library resources (1.8%), communications (1.7%), and miscellaneous income (2.3%). Donations contributed significantly to the operating funds of the MGS.
A review of the financial report for Fiscal Year to Date 2022-23 ending a different picture emerged. Donations for the fiscal year were only $11,696. This is significantly less than forecasted and far short of the previous year’s activity of $21,098.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic created a number of challenges for MGS. Our offices were closed for nearly two years. Being closed meant not being accessible to the public and our members. Membership has decreased. The number of visitors to our resource centre have also decreased.
Most of our community education had to be cancelled, including revenue generating classes, along with the various events within the heritage community. This chance to increase our membership base and bring users into our facility was obviously a huge loss.
Our heritage community survival has always relied on the significant involvement and commitment of volunteers. The duration of the pandemic has resulted in a loss in the number of volunteers. The loss of their talents, skills, and abilities have had negative consequences to our organization. We are slowly making inroads by recruiting new individuals to our organization.
Expectations of on-line services have increased as clients prefer to work from home and on-line. We have spent an inordinate amount of time and effort in updating our website and database. There is a need for continued growth and innovation. This requires funding for technological and software upgrades including back up systems and the planning, development, and implementation of innovative programs (Cummins Map Project, Pedigree and Family Group sheets, KOHA update to version 21.05.22, digitization of cemetery records). These expectations and others will require additional financial resources to better meet the needs of our members, volunteers, and clients.
Donations are the lifeblood of any not for profit organization. Non-profit fundraising allows the organization to fund its mission, pay overhead costs, develop educational programs, and make improvements that will benefit future clients. Fundraising is an essential component to the MGS business model. We have a series of fundraising activities planned for the coming year, starting with the Great Canadian Giving Challenge!
Again this year we are taking part in the Great Canadian Giving Challenge. For each dollar donated to MGS in the month of June, we will get one entry into a draw for $20,000.
We ask that you please consider making a donation between June 1 – 30 and help us not only with your donation, but a chance to win $20,000. Thank you for your kind consideration.