Knowledge Centre Blog

Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland – Thoughts From Aoibhie McCarthy, Marketing & Development Officer, Cork Film Festival

Business to Arts Picture Conor McCabeCork Film Festival is Ireland’s first and largest film festival, a local, national and international celebration of cinema taking place over 10 days in venues throughout Cork. I joined Cork Film Festival in June 2018 in the new Marketing and Development Officer role, made possible through the Fundraising Fellowship. Having worked in multidisciplinary arts organisations in Dublin, Limerick, Waterford and Galway, I was excited at the prospect of joining one of the longest established festivals in Ireland which, after a period of renewal and refresh, was entering an ambitious new phase in its development, building towards its 65th anniversary in 2020 and the goal of making Cork the destination of choice for great storytelling on film.

The 63rd Cork Film Festival took place from the 9th-18th of November and welcomed over 18,000 attendees, representing a 22% increase in audience engagement on the previous year. There is a clear and demonstrable appetite for excellent cultural cinema in Cork and Cork Film Festival has sought to meet this need by focussing on presenting a top quality international artistic programme, expanding its impact with year-round activity, and growing its reach geographically to host film events in Cork County, as well as the City and, ultimately regionally. The challenge for Cork Film Festival as we look to grow with our audiences and offer filmmakers a wider platform for their work, is to identify partners who will support and match our ambition and the Business to Arts Fundraising Fellowship offers us the opportunity to meet this challenge by refining our unique cultural offering to attract further public, corporate and philanthropic partners.

The Fundraising Fellowship Ireland programme of monthly seminars began in June, offering expert insights and tailored guidance in meeting the challenges and maximising the opportunities for Cork Film Festival. It also offered the opportunity to share knowledge with two fellows from Ireland’s longest established arts organisations, Druid Theatre Company and Dublin Theatre Festival. The Fundraising Fellowship has offered us access to a unique network of regional arts development executives with whom we can pool knowledge, share advice and pitfalls. Business to Arts have invited guest speakers to each of our seminars to offer us the benefit of their expertise and insights, in different sectors and regions, to inform our approach to building a compelling case for corporate support for our organisations. Invited guest speakers have included Tracey Keogh, Innovation Community Manager, Bank of Ireland, Fiona Keys, Senior Employee Communication Specialist, Medtronic, Eamonn Carroll, Membership Relationship Manager, RDS and Eoin Gunn, Head of Business Banking, AIB.

Early stage successes of the Fellowship have included new corporate members of the Festival in 2018, including Irish Rail who have joined us as presenting partners of our Illuminate Mental Health Film Programme, for which we have also secured additional funding of €35,000 from Creative Ireland’s National Creativity Fund to expand this programme to young people in Munster in 2019/2020. The Fundraising Fellowship has enabled the Festival to dedicate resources to deepening and enriching our longstanding partnerships and to explore opportunities for new areas of synergy with our business supporters.

Aoibhie McCarthy

Marketing & Development Officer

Linked in

Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland is a partnership between Business to Arts and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. 

Tags: , ,

Design by New Graphic.