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Celebrating membership and the benefits for organisations

It’s our vision for Glasgow’s communities to flourish with the support of a strong voluntary sector. And it’s our passionate, inspiring, and diverse membership community that helps to drive this mission forward. By providing support, opportunities, and tools, we help our members to build relationships, benefit from collaboration, and address challenges. Together, we’re stronger and can help influence change. But what else does joining GCVS offer? And how has membership evolved to respond to the sector?

As we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we take a look back at our membership programme, hear from those who have benefited from it or helped shape it, and highlight why others should join.

GCVS offers a tiered membership programme that provides access to a wealth of professional knowledge and practical support – giving your organisation or group the chance to thrive and achieve its full potential. There is also flexibility built in, from free membership for organisations with no paid staff to Membership Plus which includes our popular Payroll and HR services built in.

You will receive discounts on training and even venue hire, as well as better insight into the expertise on hand to assist you. Plus, you’ll be invited to exclusive events.

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What do our members say?

We recently spoke to Weekday Wow Factor, a Glasgow social enterprise and charity who are working to rebuild local communities after trauma experienced by Covid and recent economic challenges. They have been a GCVS member since 2017. Pasna Sallis, Director, told us why they joined GCVS and what benefits they’ve enjoyed:

“Being a Social Entrepreneur, GCVS is an important networking opportunity to meet like-minded third sector organisations who may have a similar social mission and challenges. It is also my ‘go to’ advice organisation for Human Resources too. I really like the Newsletters which are informative and include information for funding opportunities, both local and national.

“We benefit as an organisation from the networking and learning, but the ultimate beneficiary are community members who get an improved and diverse service as we have the right support and collaborations for our organisation.

“I also really enjoy the networking and development opportunities through learning and sharing. The support provided is a rock to Weekday Wow Factor.”

Glasgow’s Golden Generation (GGG) is a charity that care for older people citywide, providing a range of services to combat isolation and loneliness. Richard Donald their Chief Executive highlighted why they have been members for many years.

“GGG has been a long-term member of GCVS; gaining significant value from the membership in terms of overall support to our charity.  Firstly, the bridge from Glasgow City Council and the third sector is vital and is well managed by the GCVS team. This involves information sharing, networking opportunities and regular invitations to seminars. The range of network meetings are useful to gain updates, create introductions and cast opinions to peers, as well as gaining feedback from senior officials via local authorities. GGG has further benefited from political introductions, and this has provided platforms to have voices heard at parliament on behalf of the older people that we represent.

Funding updates are extremely beneficial and can be relied upon to provide updates on new funds that are available. The HR service can provide multiple solutions to a range of staffing issues, supporting Payroll and Health and Safety compliance. With increasing pressure on charities with HR compliance, GCVS offer an affordable solution to gain broad expertise in multiple areas.

GGG would thoroughly recommend membership with GCVS.  It’s a very small sum to pay for an extensive range of highly beneficial services.”

Hilda Campbell, CEO of COPE Scotland who provide support and resources for mental and emotional wellbeing told us:

“We joined GCVS to connect with other third sector services and find a way to have a collective voice for sharing ideas, developing policy and building relationships with other sectors.

I often suggest GCVS where people are looking for help regarding funding applications or advice, as well as sharing it as a space for meeting others and having a voice heard.”

Annexe Communities work with communities in Partick and surrounding neighbourhoods to make a positive difference in people’s lives, their families, and their community. As another long-standing member of GCVS, they shared:

“It’s important for the community and voluntary sector to connect and collaborate with each other. GCVS helps achieve this in Glasgow – connecting organisations and offering specialised, quality support for our sector.

As a manager of various community and voluntary sector organisations, I’ve been using the payroll service for more than 35 years and laterally the HR service – always fantastic service and great advice!

It offers great support and invaluable service for voluntary sector organisations in Glasgow.”

View Over Glasgow From Queens Park With Autumn Leaves and Snow on the Hills in the Background

Membership Through the Years

Throughout the years, our membership services have evolved as priorities have changed and the sector has adapted to new challenges and technologies. Workforce Development Manager, Melissa Duffy, reflected on her previous role in the membership team back in 2007. Though she enjoyed building relationships and supporting members with in-person events, Mel doesn’t miss the more manual aspects of the role, such as sending renewal letters by post!

“I remember going out to our members and would support them with things like helping to host an AGM so they were following the formal procedures. It was great to build those connections. Now the advances in our systems mean we can respond to enquiries more efficiently and help reach even more organisations with our support”.

Sallie Condy, Head of Sector Development also spoke of the organisation’s development:

“I’ve been here for over ten years and at the heart is a group of people who pull together and support each other for the benefit of local communities. We share knowledge, find resources and experts that can help, and innovate together. Additionally, membership offers added benefits and connections to others in the sector.

In my area, I’ve seen capacity-building support evolve in response to changing sector needs. Covid saw rapid change and over the years we have added wellbeing, recruitment, health & safety, human rights and equalities, and all aspects of managing a community asset to our programme.

It may sound cliché, but I speak to people everyday who want to make a difference and believe in what they do.”

Who can join?

We welcome voluntary organisations, charities, community groups and social enterprises. Our members play an active role in shaping our work and helping to influence policy. They can nominate Board members and vote at our AGM.

Chief Executive Ian Bruce told us:

“Groups and organisations of all sizes in Glasgow are welcome to join us and become part of a great, collaborative movement working for voluntary groups like yours in the city.

“We’re looking forward to building on some of the opportunities we introduced last year where our members could come together, have their voice heard and the meet like-minded individuals. Building connections and collaborating on key issues is a top priority for us, and we have heard how much our members enjoy it too so that’s just one of many ideas we hope to build on.”

Find out more about eligibility and member benefits here.

When you join GCVS you add your voice to influence change and improve the lives of people in Glasgow. 

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