Archive for November, 2017

Business to Arts Announces Michelle Reid as Arts Programme Manager

November 17th, 2017

Business to Arts Awards 2017 Picture Conor McCabe Photography

Following a public recruitment process, we are very happy to announce that Michelle Reid has been appointed to the position of Arts Programme Manager.

Michelle has been Project Executive at Business to Arts since mid 2017 and has worked across a variety of our projects including She will commence her new role on December 18 2017.

Speaking about the appointment, our Chief Executive, Andrew Hetherington said:

Michelle has achieved a great deal in her short time with Business to Arts and in her previous roles. I’m delighted with this promotion. Her combination of conference management, relationship management, technology skills and participation in the arts are important characteristics that enhance our team. Her acceptance of the Arts Programme Manager role marks an exciting new period for our work with artists and arts organisations and we look forward to developing Business to Arts’ Affiliate Programme and further with her.”

Michelle’s previous experience spans 10 years of professional conference and association management. Having worked in Berlin, Abu Dhabi and Dublin, Michelle has extensive experience in international and domestic events covering sectors such as technology, healthcare and culture. Michelle’s expertise lies in client account management, programme management, as well as event production.

Michelle is a recent graduate of University College Dublin with a Masters in Cultural Policy and Arts Management (2017), having previously obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Politics from Trinity College Dublin (2006). She trained in TV Production, Directing and Presenting at Park Studios and also holds a Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing from the Digital Marketing Institute (2016).

To read more about Michelle see her profile on the about us section of our website and on linkedin. & Bank of Ireland celebrate 2yrs of partnership with a redesign & three new categories on

November 15th, 2017
Lesley Tully, Head of Design Thinking, Bank of Ireland and Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive, Business to Arts & Fund it with Elaine Fallon, founder, Brookwood Pottery at the newly opened Brookwood Pottery studio, a 2017 successful project raising €16,600. Today marks the second year of & Bank of Ireland's partnership with the launch of three new categories on Project creators can now submit projects related to enterprise, heritage & environment. See for details. Picture Conor McCabe Photography. MEDIA CONTACT :

Lesley Tully, Head of Design Thinking, Bank of Ireland and Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive, Business to Arts & Fund it with Elaine Fallon, founder, Brookwood Pottery at the newly opened Brookwood Pottery studio. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

Today, Bank of Ireland & celebrate their two-year partnership with the announcement of three new project categories. Project creators will now be able to submit projects focused on enterprise, environment and heritage. To date, over 1,400 projects have been pledged to on

2017 has seen the team complete the latest phase of technological developments to the site, including site redesign and faster submission and launch processes for creatives and entrepreneurs.

Over the last 6 years, Fund it has firmly established itself as Ireland’s leading reward-based crowdfunding platform. Having attracted pledges from 66 countries, global funders across every county in Ireland have been funded. Over 70,000 people have funded Irish performances, technology, films, events and projects in music, art, fashion, publishing, tech and gaming since the site launched in March 2011.

In 2017, Paschal Cassidy, along with a volunteer committee, ran Fund it’s most successful project to date, successfully raising over €32.5k through 454 pledges to save the Ballyglunin train station, better known as ‘The Quiet Man’ train station from dilapidation. Apart from raising the highest target for a single project, Paschal garnered the support of celebrities such as Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne.

To celebrate the final 2017 ‘Fund-it Wednesday’, Bank of Ireland and Business to Arts are hosting a special event at the Bank of Ireland Workbench on Grand Canal Square where a number of previous project creators will speak about their crowdfunding experiences including musician Shane Hennessey and Brookwood pottery studio owner Elaine Fallon. This lively discussion session aims to give insight into all you need to know about crowdfunding as an alternative way to unlock funds for a start-up through engaging with your customers, friends or social media followers.

Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive of Business to Arts and Fund it reflects on the partnership:
“2017 has been a fantastic year for with Bank of Ireland as our partners and we are very happy to announce the launch of three new categories –enterprise, heritage and environment. Mobile optimisation and new technological developments offer our users a further enhanced experience. supports Irish projects, both regional and national, and we look forward to welcoming new project creators to our site via our new categories.”

Lesley Tully, Head of Design Thinking, Bank of Ireland said:

“Bank of Ireland is delighted to support as they expand their reach via three new categories and a highly sophisticated new platform, creating even more opportunities for the creative industries throughout Ireland to engage and develop a new community of contributors, collectors, buyers and supporters. Supporting the startup community is key to the overall strategy at Bank of Ireland and we strive to fully support the increasing number of enterprising people looking to make a change with their ideas. We are delighted to support and look forward to seeing what new startups engage through the new categories announced today.”

Last Saturday, potter Elaine Fallon of Brookwood Pottery opened the doors of a new pottery studio in North Dublin for the local community. Through a successful campaign on Elaine raised €16,600 to help finance the refurbishment and purchase of pottery equipment in Santry. Brookwood Pottery opens from Wed – Sat 10 – 6 pm and enquires about classes or parties can be made on

Elaine Fallon, owner of Brookwood Pottery states:
“I have worked for the last 5 years from a home studio in a garage at the end of my garden and space has always been an issue for me. People love our pottery and after commenting on their favourite piece of pottery, the next question is always “Do you do classes?!” Well I’m really happy to say that at last we can. Not only do we now have the space to welcome children and adults to learn traditional pottery making, we also have a gorgeous shop at the front of our unit for our work and a selection of top Irish makers over the Christmas season. None of this would have been possible without the help of Fundit. By reaching out to others and asking for their support we managed to start something really unique. One of the best aspects of the campaign for me was learning how willing others are to help and what goodwill there is out there. It has been a vital help to us to move forward and has been a wonderful, heart-warming experience for me personally.”

Preparing for Brexit (Part One): possible transport and customs changes affecting the Irish Cultural Sector by John Ward

November 9th, 2017
John Ward - CEO Maurice Ward
John Ward, CEO Maurice Ward and Co Ltd

As a transport provider and customs broker to the cultural sector, Maurice Ward & Company Limited deal with customs issues in relation to loans, touring exhibitions, permanent import and export of artwork on a regular basis.

The intention of this document is to outline the possible scenarios to consider post Brexit and provide some guidance on possible changes and how to prepare for them. With so many uncertainties about the shape and form of Brexit, this document is taking a worst-case scenario of a hard Brexit. The UK will become a country, fully outside the European and the Customs Union.

This article will discuss three main areas:

  1. Increased responsibility in front of Irish Revenue
  2. Cash flow and binding tariff information (BTI) considerations
  3. Increased administrative and educational cost

Current Situation for Transporting between the UK and Ireland
Our EU membership and the policy direction of Customs Union over the last 20 years has brought us to a situation where trading with the UK and any other member of the EU is very simple and straight forward. It is as easy to deliver a consignment from Dublin to London as Dublin to Cork. This is the result of a long-term EU policy reducing barriers to EU trade, implemented by the EU Customs Union. Life in a trading and delivery sense, has never been better in our ONE EUROPE.

Things are set to get much more difficult…

Post Brexit: Trading with the UK

I outline some areas of interest for principles engaging in trade with a post Brexit UK.

1. Increased Responsibility in front of Revenue Commissioners
Customs and Excise are an operating unit within the Revenue Commissioners. They are responsible for collecting Duties, VAT and other taxes on consignments originating from third countries. Customs are also responsible for monitoring compliance in accuracy of data submitted by importers and exporters on their imports/exports to/from UK. Customs collect primary data on trade between Ireland and Non-EU countries in the form of Value, Weight, Origin, Destination and commodity etc. In a post Brexit era, most export and import consignment will require a formal import or export customs declaration to be submitted to Customs via their Customs Broker. Principles trading with the UK now are obliged to submit accurate information about commodity, value, weight etc. The declaration is in the form of the SAD (Single Administrative Document), a declaration form common in all EU Countries, submitted electronically to Customs usually by a customs broker.

In effect as Exporter of Record (EOR) or Importer of Record (IOR) a principle trading with the UK has a legal responsibility in front of Revenue on their trade with the UK. The Revenue compliance process is currently effected in a post audit situation with the principle usually examined for a defined period of trading. In cases of consistent miss-declaration, under declaration or inaccurate declaration significant financial penalties including possible criminal prosecution may arise.

To be clear, if you are engaged in Importing or Exporting to or from the UK in a post Brexit era it is your responsibility to give clear and accurate data to the Customs Broker/ Freight Forwarder executing the Customs declaration on your behalf.
Key Point: Be aware of your responsibilities in front of Revenue, IOR and EOR.

2. Cash Flow and BTI (Binding Tariff Information) Considerations
Each commodity must be classified by way of a Customs Tariff Code (HS Code). This is a global system of commonly classifying goods for customs purposes. It primarily established the duty / Excise rate applicable on each product. It is important that importers and exporters have their products properly classified in front of Customs to avoid possible costly penalties and fines.

Customs have a classification unit based in Nenagh solely to assist exporters and importers classify their products.

From an Arts perspective, we are fortunate that Original Works of Art (OWA) are currently classified as Zero % Duty. Irish VAT on Import at 13.5% of the CIF Dublin value. However, prints are not classified at OWA. Prints happen to be subject to 13.5% VAT but this rate could be higher in other jurisdictions.

Most commodities imported from the UK will be subject to 23% VAT on Import and possible Duty payments depending on the HS Code. These are payable to Customs prior to release of cargo by Customs.
The same process applies to UK Importers who will now have to pay VAT and Duty to UK Customs on their imports from Ireland, prior to release of their cargo by UK Customs.

Key Point: Know your product (HS Code) and plan for possible increases in cash flow consideration in the form of duty / vat payments to Customs. If you are exporting to the UK the same criteria will apply to your customer.

3. Increased Administrative and Educational cost
An extra immediate cost for traders with the UK is an additional cost of the provision of Export SAD or Import SAD declaration applicable on each consignment payable to your Transport Company or Custom Broker. This will either be shown separately or built into an increased transport price.

Increased awareness and education of your responsibilities and how things work in the supply chain are advisable. Plan your Brexit by working closely with a qualified transport partner who also has a complete understanding of the Customs Process.

Interview with John Crumlish, Galway International Arts Festival for the 2017 Arts, Festival & Music Sponsorship Summary Report

November 1st, 2017



Briefly describe your activities with your main corporate sponsor. Why do they work for GIAF? How have you developed them?

Our sponsorship offerings are bespoke – we work out the objectives with each sponsor and work out tailored packages to suit their needs. The partnerships have to be win-win and we always try to develop relationships that go beyond the financial to deliver more for both parties. We have been lucky in that sponsors have allowed us avail of their superior marketing skills and intelligence e.g. Ulster Bank have given us access to their web designers, who came in and critiqued the GIAF website and are now watching it to see how it’s functioning and seeing how people are using it.


GIAF is considered a strong sponsorship rights-holder, what do you think makes GIAF a leader? Would you ever compare yourself to other arts organisations?

We look at other sectors for comparisons, for example sport and large-scale music. When you look at the research, Rugby is consistently at the top. They do sponsorship so well that they’re almost too congested.

What business objectives are you seeing from your sponsors, and how do you report on the impact the relationship has had on meeting these needs?

Sponsors are looking for solutions to business challenges such as sales, customer retention, customer perception, relationships with businesses and/or the community. For 2-3 months in advance of the festival, we would have a lot of direct contact with key sponsors to insure we are where we should be.  Post-festival we report on our impact usually with a presentation or review document that contains the key metrics that are of interest to our sponsor. This review process usually happens between September and December.

What structure do you have for managing/maximising these relationships internally – do you have a dedicated team/staff member?

Hillary Martin is our Communications and Development Manager, so together we manage the sponsorship relationships. Bringing someone on whose sole role is sponsorship relationship management will be the next stage.

What are the major barriers/obstacles you face with developing your sponsorship portfolio?

To be honest, securing sponsorship is up to us. If we don’t succeed with a proposal, it’s because we weren’t attractive enough or the timing is not right. I think people are listening in the market at the moment and the environment has got much better in the last few years. I do think that the more traditional sponsorship agreement is disappearing. There is more depth in relationships now, which I think will be better for cultural organisations in the longer term.

If you are unsuccessful with a sponsor, if you ‘weren’t attractive enough’, do you change your offer, or do you just see it as not the right fit at the right time?

You would always try to get feedback as to why it didn’t work. But you can just be unlucky and be presenting at the wrong time for a company’s plan. In one case, I was three years too early. The last sponsorship I got in, at the end of the agreement email it said ‘timing is everything’.

You may end up with a partner you never thought you would have or a potential partner you thought would work does not work out at all.

Do you have a minimum lead-in time for any potential new sponsor that you’re approaching?

It depends, but in general I think you need somewhere from a year to two years approx. You need to develop an awareness of the company’s needs and how the company operates. Particularly in very big organisations, you need to figure out what their challenges are and then how the various departments within the company relate to one another. There is a certain amount of time required to developing and refining your proposal and then time for the company to respond to it. There hopefully then follows a series of meetings where ideas are progressed and then finally an agreement gets over the line.

In what ways do you feel more corporate sponsors could be attracted to cultural sponsorship in Ireland?

I think sponsorship for the arts is about case building over time. That’s where I see Business to Arts coming into it. People need to get comfortable with the notion of it. They are very comfortable with sport because most of the people who make the decisions are probably comfortable and interested in sport and know a lot about it.

The other thing to remember is brand. People sponsor brands.

Interview with Aoife Flynn for the 2017 Arts, Festival & Music Sponsorship Summary Report

November 1st, 2017

Business to Arts asked Aoife Flynn, Head of Audiences and Development at IMMA, a few questions to help shine a light on their sponsorship activities

11 Lucian Freud Installation view 1Briefly describe your activities with your main corporate sponsors. Why do they work for IMMA? How have you developed them?

We have four main multi-year sponsors – Goodbody, Matheson, Hennessy and The Dean Dublin. They each work with us in very different ways and each support different elements of the programme. Hennessy support the purchase of new Irish work for the IMMA Collection, Matheson support the production of new work at IMMA, both Irish and International through commissions, workshops and exhibitions; Goodbody support IMMA 1000; which is a fund that supports our work with Irish artists through residencies, acquisitions and commissions, and The Dean Dublin are our hospitality partners giving us a home from home to host artists, curators and other supporters. We also work with Credit Suisse and BNP Paribas as the ‘Freud Circle’ to specifically support the Lucian Freud works at IMMA; a landmark resource of fifty art works for Ireland on loan until 2021, and our major events partners O’Hara’s Irish Craft Beer – an excellent independent Irish company who support hospitality at our openings and events.

IMMA is considered a strong sponsorship rights-holder (based on Business to Arts research for the Arts, Festival and Music Sponsorship Summary Reports), what do you think makes IMMA a leader?

The sponsorships are successful from an arts point of view because all of our partners are genuinely bought into our vision and want to support Irish art and artists. Our sponsors trust that IMMA is making the right decisions, and are not seeking to dictate or input to artistic programming. We won’t compromise artists and their work and our sponsors have a mature understanding of that.

When prospecting for sponsors, we really sought out that quality – looking for partners that aligned with the programme, not aligning the programme to sponsors. They are all forward-thinking companies who really understand the value of contemporary artists to a thriving and mature economy.

When developing an offering, we look at certain things we want to do in the programme, and see what areas might be suitable for a partnership. Based on the opportunity, we determine what kind of company are we looking for – what sector/company might be interested in it. For example, when looking at our youth programme, we need to ask if branding is suitable, and if so, what kind of products/companies are the right fit.

What business objectives are you seeing from your sponsors, and how do you report on the impact the relationship has had on meeting these needs?

Different partners have different needs and different ways of measuring their relationship. For some it is primarily a CSR based relationship, for others an internal branding piece to staff and clients and for others still it’s an external branding piece. We work with each partner to try to establish what success looks like for them and set targets together that make sense for the partnership. This varies from the number of events held at IMMA, to the number of staff engaging with IMMA activities, to press mentions, number of artists supported or number of brand recognition opportunities realised.

What type of reports do you generate – soft/metrics/etc. and how often?

They’re all different, so it’s about finding their priorities to relay back in the report. In the pitching stage, the company is interested in demographics, but once they’re on board that audience info is a given, so they’re less interested in the demographic details.

For retail brands its often press mentions or brand recognition  so press reporting/media monitoring that is key– if the partner has a media /PR company we know that’s a priority. Generally companies have their own media monitoring service and then we produce a visual report of all the times the logo was used. This is particularly useful over multi-annual relationships where branding can be taken for granted as it rolls out. Business to Business companies are often more interested in how their support is relayed to our donors and stakeholders rather than in blanket brand exposure to the entire audience.

There is responsibility on both sides to be clear about what the priorities are. It can seem daunting to do that, for fear of getting it wrong, or being tied into something onerous, but actually if you don’t capture those deliverables straight-on you waste time second-guessing what might be needed, running the risk of focusing on an area that is of interest to you, but not to your partner.

The frequency and scale of reporting can sometimes be determined by what the partnership value really means to them for their budgets.  An amount that makes a huge difference to our budget may only represent a small % of their marketing budget for example. We usually report in detail every year, with a mid-year update and regular (quarterly) reviews.

What structure do you have for managing/maximising these relationships internally – do you have a dedicated team/staff member?

I’m the Head of Audiences and Development, and my department encompasses the Fundraising team and the Communications team. We also work closely with Visitor Engagement and our Programming colleagues, all of whom are vital elements in supporting a successful corporate partnership.  Within the Fundraising team there is a dedicated Corporate Officer who works closely with me to maximise the benefits of corporate relationships for our partners and service those partnerships effectively.

To my mind marketing and development are intrinsically linked, so it makes sense that they sit in the same department. If you don’t have a strong brand, you won’t build strong relationships. If you’re talking about true, long-term partnerships, they’re looking for a clarity of vision and mission, and the brand must be one they want to attach their company to and can derive value from. Having an awareness and understanding of the partner organisation, makes the initial contact much more streamlined.

What are the major barriers/obstacles you face with developing your sponsorship portfolio?

Time and resources. Servicing a successful partnership takes a lot of human resource time and we are a small team. We have a portfolio of significant sponsors, and each relationship takes a lot of resources to maintain.

Do you have a minimum lead-in time for any potential new sponsor that you’re approaching?

No. It very much depends on the scale of the ask.  A significant multi-year partnership takes time and understanding and can take over a year to develop. Smaller partnerships, or those that are focused on support in-kind, can happen much faster – in 3months or so. We are generally led in our timelines by print deadlines or deadlines around recognition opportunities. It also very much depends on the time of year and the budget planning cycle for Corporates.

For those shorter lead-in relationships, how do you make the approach, is it companies you already work with, or do you just look at suppliers for what you need?

Yes, we usually look at organisations that are known to us, or that we have a specific need for, to support with expertise and product/services. Connections might come from the production department – dor example we partnered with a Swift Scaffolding for a really ambitious outdoor project A Fair Land last year, because we needed their expertise as well as their product. It was a great opportunity for their staff to learn and gain new skill and I think they were interested in partnering with us as an opportunity to work in an unusual way; to stretch their own skills.  Those kinds of relationships are often quicker to close because there is part payment, part in-kind products or expertise.

In what ways do you feel more corporate sponsors could be attracted to cultural sponsorship in Ireland?

We can be clearer about our vision and mission as organisations – why we do what we do and how it impacts on the society we live in.  We can segment our offerings better. We can be more empathetic of the corporate day-to-day and what they need. The arts organisation needs to understand speak the corporate language, and vice-versa.

At a societal level, there could be a better understanding of the benefit of corporate relationships.  To be confident in the vision that you have, to look for the right relationships that will work, and to have pride in those partnerships.

The lack of media focus, and mature conversation about the work that’s being done is part of the challenge. Simple things like media dropping a sponsor’s name from a project title if they don’t understand the importance of the relationship can be very damaging,  to the need for more complex discussions about how arts are funded in this country and why companies might find value in those relationships.



2017 Arts, Festival & Music Sponsorship Summary Report Launch

November 1st, 2017

Cover 2017 Arts Festival and Music Sponsorship - Summary ReportThis is the third Arts, Festival and Music Sponsorship – Summary Report produced by Business to Arts and Allianz. With this report, we provide an overview of the data, trends and sentiment captured via the annual Allianz Business to Arts Awards process. The Report adds an additional layer of insight and analysis for sponsors and those seeking sponsorship. It also assists with our advocacy work and objective to develop sponsorship in Ireland.

Of the sponsors surveyed, 95% say that their sponsorship spend will either remain the same or decrease in 2018. The data analysed reflects the subdued business sentiment in Ireland, concerns about Brexit and the impact of a weaker pound on business in Ireland in the coming years.

Among this year’s winning and highly commended entries, there are partnerships that demonstrate excellence in consumer reach and awareness. In this regard, Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture provides an excellent case-study. A significant percentage of respondents this year identified Accenture’s ‘Women on Walls’ campaign with the Royal Irish Academy as a ‘best-practice’ partnership in terms of commission-processes, activation campaigns and PR value. Overall awareness of Accenture’s sponsorship of the arts among those surveyed was high. ESB / Electric Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy followed closely.  Among arts, festival and music rights-holders, Galway International Arts Festival, IMMA and Dublin International Film Festival are identified as leading the sponsorship-seeking field.

This year, we welcome the Public Relations Institute of Ireland to provide external observations on this report. Should you need added layers of insight about arts, festival and music sponsorship, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

To read the report click here.

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