The Robert McLaughlin Gallery digitally transforms its operations with support from the Community Services Recovery Fund
From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, community service organizations, including charities, non-profits and Indigenous governing bodies, across Canada have shown impressive stamina and creativity in their response to the diverse and increasingly challenging needs of their communities. The Community Services Recovery Fund responded to the needs and supports for the sector so they could adapt for the long-term.
Before the pandemic, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG) had identified that a lack of digital tools would hinder growth. Our priority during lockdowns was our community – we focused our digital strategy on engagement. Still, the RMG had significant revenue loss in 2020-2022: 83% drop in learning activities, 82% drop in fundraising, and 73% drop in venue rentals and the shop.
The RMG received $78,404 in funding from the Community Services Recovery Fund to digitally transform operations by transitioning to cloud based accounting software, adopting and integrating a point-of-sale system, and moving to more advanced fundraising software. This project will help the gallery adapt to new ways of working through electronic payments, integration of financial tools to reduce manual processes for our reduced staff complement, and increasing membership and donation revenues.
While projects like these may not have as much obvious impact for the RMG’s role in the community, making these changes frees up valuable staff time to deliver more programming and modernizes our back-of-house function. The RMG launched their new CRM database, Keela, in the summer and have worked with consultants Samantha Zimmerman and Anna Mathew to manage the transition to new financial systems.
The RMG is grateful to the Community Services Recovery Fund, $400million investment from the Government of Canada, to support community service organizations, including charities, non-profits and Indigenous governing bodies, as they adapt and modernize their organizations.
“By alleviating the administrative burden on our staff, we will free up time to focus on our core activities. Our operations team can focus more attention on visitor services, tours, staff wellbeing, and membership engagement. There are rare opportunities to invest funds in system and processes; we’re excited for this project to bring our operations up to date.”
- Lauren Gould, CEO, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery
- The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG) believes that art cultivates connected and caring communities. As an artist-centered and community-oriented public art gallery in Durham Region, we bring people from diverse backgrounds together to engage with art that inspires new perspectives, generates meaningful conversations, and creates a sense of belonging. Annually, the RMG welcomes thousands of patrons to engage with our: exhibitions, education programs, volunteering opportunities, event spaces, shop, artist-in-residence program, and digital programming. Admission to the RMG is FREE.
Manager, Marketing and Communications
The Robert McLaughlin Gallery
About The Robert McLaughlin Gallery
The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (RMG) is the largest public art gallery in Durham Region. We believe that art cultivates connected and caring communities. As an artist-centered and community-oriented public art gallery in Durham Region, we bring people from diverse backgrounds together to engage with art that inspires new perspectives, generates meaningful conversations and creates a sense of belonging. We build relationships with diverse artists and communities through art. The RMG works in collaboration with artists, partners, and audiences to present dynamic and inspiring collections, exhibitions and programs in an inclusive and equitable environment.
Today, the RMG’s collection of over 4,700 works focuses on telling the continuing story of Canadian abstraction. Each year we present Permanent Collection exhibitions alongside special exhibitions of contemporary art and artists. We prioritize engaging diverse audiences in new and familiar ways through our programming. We foster community connections and partnerships to create a greater sense of belonging. We reimagine the gallery, making space for all. Annually, we welcome 38,000 visitors and 10,000 participants to engage with us and what we offer.
About The Community Services Recovery Fund
The Government of Canada delivered the Community Services Recovery Fund through three National Funders – Canadian Red Cross, Community Foundations of Canada, and United Way Centraide Canada. The National Funders distributed funding to eligible community service organizations, including charities, non-profits, and Indigenous governing bodies, providing services in communities across Canada.