Knowledge Centre Blog

Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin: Thoughts from Business to Arts by Helen Carroll


In January 2017, four cultural organisations were selected to participate in the Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin programme – Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Helium Arts, Fishamble Theatre Company and Dublin Theatre Festival. After a competitive recruitment process – over two hundred applications were received – a Fundraising Fellow was partnered with each of the four cultural institutions to fulfil a Fundraising or Fundraising and Marketing Executive role. Under Dublin’s Culture Connects Neighbourhood project, each of these roles are 50% funded with individual organisations matching the remaining 50%.

This month, the Four Fellows came together for the first time to commence their training and mentorship programme with Business to Arts. Over the next 2 years, the Fellows will attend monthly training seminars to develop and enhance their skills in Marketing and Fundraising. Leading Irish and international experts will offer Masterclasses to build knowledge and understanding, offering practical and real life expertise.

Seminar 1 saw us examine each of the Fellows individual organisational structures; their executive and boards; revenue streams; and key performance indicators for each of their roles. We have very high expectations for the Fellows and will support them in achieving their personal and organisational objectives. Collaborating and exchanging knowledge in a positive environment promotes and encourages shared learning. This is a core value of the Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin programme.  Ray Yeates, Dublin City Council Arts Officer joined the session.

Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin falls under Business to Arts’ New Stream initiative, which has been in existence for 7 years and has helped raise almost €18 million for participant cultural organisations. The Fellowship addresses one of the key barriers to successful fundraising in Irish cultural organisations– human resource capacity.

It might surprise you that many cultural organisations do not have a full time marketing or fundraising executive. Where they exist, the retention of staff in these roles can also be challenging. Our aim is to develop a pool of confident Marketing and Fundraising leaders.

In Autumn of this year, the Fellows will partner with Dublin city based community groups, sharing their knowledge. If you are a community group and would like to get involved, please complete this form.

We look forward to the journey ahead with our partner Dublin’s Culture Connects and our Four Fellows.

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