Benefactor Appeal Launched at AGM

Over 400 members of The Quilters' Guild enjoyed a successful Conference at the University of Nottingham last weekend (5 - 7 April) with lectures, exhibitions, workshops and traders.  At the Annual General Meeting, the trustees launched a Benefactor scheme to attract donations from members in support of the Quilt Museum and Gallery in York.

To date the appeal has received a very positive response.  One member suggested taking a collection at the end of the closing ceremony, which she would 'top up' to £500 - the equivalent of one Benefactor pledge.  The collection raised £458.97 and the member has confirmed that her cheque for £41.03 is in the post!

Our President, Tina McEwen, has written the following open letter to members.  Anyone wishing to download the Benefactor Q & A sheet with pledge form can do so by clicking on the link.

Dear Members

I am writing to you to tell you something significant that happened at our recent AGM and Conference and to ask for your help.

The event was a great success and was thoroughly enjoyed by those attending.  As part of the AGM business we updated those present about Guild finances and activities.  

You will be aware that last year, a decision was taken to keep the Quilt Museum and Gallery in York open, provided that we could negotiate a new rent with our landlords. This was duly done and the Trustees have also set a series of projects in motion to augment The Guild's income and broaden our membership benefits.  From November to March we promoted a new membership offer which has been successful.

In response to members’ suggestions, last year we set up a Friends of the Quilt Museum scheme, at a cost of £15 per annum.

Inevitably these initiatives will take time to produce significant new income streams. The St Anthony's Fund, which has supported the Museum and Gallery, is now exhausted.  When the decision was made to stay at St. Anthony’s, we knew that we might need to dip into Guild reserves, but, clearly we do not want to do too much of that.

You will see from the Annual Accounts that The Guild’s finances are currently in good shape and it is both The Guild's intention and duty to keep them that way.

However, the Trustees felt that it was appropriate to propose something exceptional at the AGM in order to top up the St Anthony’s Fund and give the new initiatives that they have set up time to work.  Vivien Finch presented the accompanying paper outlining a Benefactor Scheme to the meeting and asked for support. The initial response, from those attending the Conference and AGM, has been positive.

I do want to stress that this request is wholly exceptional and we know that only a few people will be able to contribute.  People outside The Guild and corporate bodies are also being approached.  

We know just how much you all do for The Guild and your efforts are greatly appreciated.  If you do not feel able to be a benefactor, simply bringing in another member or becoming a Friend of the Museum would be wonderful.  You can help if you shop on-line by joining www.easyfundraising.org.uk, where retailers will give a commission to The Guild for every pound you spend - costing you nothing at all!

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  I would like to sum up by reminding you that The Guild remains in good financial order and the trustees will work to ensure the future safety and stability of The Guild.

But, we do need your help.  Anything you can do, however large or small, will make a difference.

Yours sincerely

Tina McEwen

President