From the Executive Director | The Legacy Circle: A Key to Our Future


by Terry Beswick

This month, I’d like to take a moment to talk with you about planned giving — one of the most important ways individuals can support the GLBT Historical Society. But first, a brief summary of why it matters.

At our annual gala last year, we announced Vision 2020, our campaign to establish a new home for the GLBT History Museum by 2020, when the lease expires on our current small museum in the Castro. The proposal won widespread support, and we’ve made steady progress in laying the groundwork needed to move forward.

Our long-term goal is to create a full-scale queer public history center dedicated to preserving and showcasing LGBTQ history and culture. The facility would bring together our museum and archives along with operational spaces needed to support research into our past. We hope to partner with a developer and with the City of San Francisco to establish this facility. We’re working right now to take necessary steps to develop such partnerships.

Giving an Enduring Gift

When everything else falls into place and we open the doors to the new museum, we’ll still need to cover the costs of running such an institution on a day-to-day basis. Which brings me to the point of this month’s column: planned giving.

Of the 230 people who responded to our recent member survey, 21 said they have included the GLBT Historical Society in their wills or estate plans, and 20 more said they’d like to. We are deeply grateful to all of these forward-thinking folks. We’re certain many more would like to know their legacy will live on through the work of the society: collecting, preserving and sharing the stories of LGBTQ people so our past will be recognized today and in the future.

So we can honor everyone who designates the Historical Society as a beneficiary in their estate plans, we’ve launched our new Legacy Circle. If you prefer, we’ll hold your name in confidence — or if you wish, we’ll list you publicly, since that’s a great way to encourage others to follow your example. Your legacy gift, however large or small, will help the Historical Society thrive and put in place the resources needed to create our New Museum of LGBTQ History and Culture.

We look forward to welcoming many of you to the Legacy Circle. For full details plus a brief form you can use to let us know you’ve made the GLBT Historical Society a beneficiary of your estate, visit our new Legacy Circle page.

Terry Beswick is executive director of the GLBT Historical Society.