From the Executive Director | Planning Our Future: Five Years, Five Priorities

Photo: Gareth Gooch

by Terry Beswick

I’m proud of the progress the GLBT Historical Society has made over the last couple of years: expanding our archives, staging new exhibitions, scaling up our programming and engaging the community in all our work. Meanwhile, we’ve continued planning for the years to come — and in particular, for the creation of a full-scale LGBTQ public history center.

Last spring, we embarked on a strategic planning process to strengthen both our current and future initiatives. We undertook a membership survey; interviews with organizational stakeholders including volunteers, patrons, members, donors, staff and board; and a series of facilitated workshops.

Funded by Grants for the Arts and the San Francisco Arts Commission of the City and County of San Francisco, the result is our new “Five Year Strategic Plan: 2018-2022.” This vital document highlights five major goals to guide us in our work and measure our progress going forward:

  • Goal 1: Continue to build our archival collections, while improving access to the collections and the diversity of communities and individuals they represent.
  • Goal 2: Establish a permanent home for exhibitions, archives and programs where the stories and cultures of our diverse LGBTQ communities can be shared.
  • Goal 3: Develop collaborations with other institutions (K-12 schools, colleges and universities, professional associations, archives, libraries, museums, nonprofits, community groups) to reach young people and other diverse audiences with the lessons of LGBTQ history and culture.
  • Goal 4: Communicate effectively who we are and what we have to offer.
  • Goal 5: Develop organizational structures and policies to increase stability and ensure sustainable growth.

Beyond these overarching priorities, the strategic plan clarifies our mission, vision and values and sets out specific objectives. To read the full text, click here. Thank you to all who contributed to this report, and to our members, donors and volunteers whose invaluable efforts help us bring the LGBTQ past to life.

If you’re not a member of the GLBT Historical Society, please join today. And if you’re already a member, please consider donating. Every dollar up to $25,000 that we raise during our year-end campaign will be matched by three generous supporters: Al Baum and Robert Holgate, the Bob Ross Foundation and the Excelerate Foundation. Double your donation by giving now.

Terry Beswick is executive director of the GLBT Historical Society. 

Reprinted from the December 2017 issue of History Happens, the monthly newsletter of the GLBT Historical Society. To subscribe to the newsletter, click here.