Knowledge Centre Blog

Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland – Thoughts From Fiona Garvan, Development Executive, Dublin Theatre Festival

Business to Arts Picture Conor McCabeIn June 2018, I began the Fundraising Fellowship with Business to Arts. Monthly seminars to date have covered: fundraising and sponsorship strategies, organisational strategic plans and marketing plans and have featured guests speakers Tracey Keogh, Innovation Community Manager, Bank of Ireland; Fiona Keys, Senior Employee Communications Specialist, Medtronic; Eamonn Carroll, Membership Relationship Manager, RDS; Eoin Gunn, Head of Business Banking, AIB, providing valuable feedback and insights into their areas of expertise.

In addition to these external advisors, I have found working with and learning from the other participating organisations and Fellows, Druid and Cork Film Festival, to be hugely beneficial and I look forward to exchanging knowledge and ideas over the course of the Fellowship.

The ambition at Dublin Theatre Festival is to diversify revenue streams and reduce dependence on public funding. Currently and going forward, working in collaboration with Business to Arts, the Festival is developing a focused three year Fundraising Strategy, setting income targets for 2019-2021 through increased corporate partnerships and continuing to develop and grow our Friends Membership Scheme.

A challenge has been how to communicate the Festival’s objective to develop future theatre audiences as well as the future of the art form. A core objective of the Festival is to contribute to the cultural vibrancy of Dublin by supporting Irish artists and the creation of new Irish theatre, and by bringing the best of international theatre to Dublin. The mentoring and training offered through the Fellowship will create a stronger organisation and lead to more ambitious programming for audiences. The Festival is seeking a Title Sponsor as well as additional corporate partners, including, Presenting Partner and a Community Partner and we are undertaking market research and profile analysis in order to develop and refine a competitive and attractive sponsorship package to take to the market.

We hope the Fellowship will help us to build on our existing partnerships and grow new networks with businesses and cultural organisations, resulting in a significant impact on the long-term fundraising sustainability of the Festival in the years to come and ultimately support the development, growth and success of the organisation.

Fiona Garvan

Development Executive


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

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