Message from our President – July 2024

Peter Wright

peter wright manchester lit and phil president

July 2024

 

Dear friends and supporters of the Manchester Lit & Phil,

I hope this update finds you well and you are looking forward to enjoying the summer break.

 

That time of year already

With the summer solstice behind us and the 23/24 season coming to an end, planning for the next year is well underway, and lots of work is going on behind the scenes as we close our financial year and start putting together the budget for 24/25.

It feels like a time to reflect, take on board what we’ve learned over the last year and to start planning the next phase of Manchester Lit & Phil’s new future.

Members will already be aware, and I have also mentioned briefly in previous website posts, that our Lit & Phil is facing a few challenges. We are developing and progressing several initiatives to help ensure a thriving and sustainable society.

Very simplistically, our key aims are to:

  • Increase attendance – more bums on seats
  • Diversify our audiences – different bums on seats
  • Achieve financial sustainability – invest wisely / identify funding opportunities / manage operational costs
  • Ensure compliance – meet all the legal requirements of operating as a charity.

If you are a member and want to know more about the strategic direction and plans, our AGM is planned for September 17th. More information on this event will be available in late July.

 

Making the Lit & Phil more visible

One of the things we hear most often from new audience members is,” Why did I not know you existed?”

Well in June, we had two great examples of collaborative events aimed at  increasing  awareness of what the Lit & Phil offers: the We Invented the Weekend and Universally Manchester festivals.

These types of  partnership events give us an opportunity to make ourselves more visible, talk to people about Manchester Lit & Phil, give  new audiences a taste of what we offer, and encourage those attending to sign up for the mailing list and hopefully attend a future event.

I was lucky to spend time with the Lit & Phil volunteers at We Invented the Weekend. It was great to see people stop and listen to the talks we offered. There were also a lot of conversations with people expressing interest in attending future events and visiting the website. We will be monitoring the site to see what impact this has, and we also offered a unique discount code so that we can see people booking tickets because of this activity.

I want to thank Rachel Croft, Susan Hilton and the volunteers for all their efforts in making these events possible.

We will be looking for more of these opportunities in the future. If you’re interested in collaborating with us on an event or project, then we’d love to hear from you.

 

Larger Events

On the 2nd of October, we will be hosting Sathnam Sanghera, who will be in conversation with Professor Alan Lester at the Contact Theatre.

This is the first of a series of events in bigger venues, where we will be looking to attract a larger audience. These events will feature well-recognized speakers, which will again increase awareness of our activities and tempt people to try us for the first time.

 

Volunteers

Thank you to everyone who has contacted us about volunteering since my last call-out. I want to acknowledge that our engagement and follow-up have been patchy. We will seek to appoint a volunteer leader soon to manage the process and be a single point of contact. We will also contact you early in July to  see if you are still willing to support us.

 

To close, I want to thank you all for taking the time to read this update. If you have any feedback or ideas on the newsletter, please contact me.

I wish you all well over the summer months.

Peter Wright 

President 

 

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