Knowledge Centre Blog

Fundraising Fellowship Ireland – Lime Tree Theatre | Belltable, Director’s Report Year 1

Catherine Hearne

Twelve months have passed since we began our journey on the Funding Fellowship, Ireland programme. The last year has also possibly been the most challenging ever experienced by the staff of the Lime Tree Theatre & Belltable, the arts and entertainment sector in which we operate, as well as the entire world, as we all grappled with Covid-19. 2019 seems a world away in every sense as our personal and working lives have fundamentally changed.

That said, while the work changed considerably, it continued none the less. We appointed Gill Fenton, who had been Marketing Manager within the organisation, as Marketing & Development Manager. Her skills as a host, networker and advocate for the company were crucial in her appointment and she took on the role with enormous energy and enthusiasm.

One of the key challenges of the restrictions was the inability to properly network with donors and supporters. Because of this, much of Gill’s work in the past 12 months has concentrated on planning – learning the skills of good fundraising and applying them in theory to our plans, presentations, governance structures and company strategy.

We have been preparing a new five-year strategy for the organisation, which gives us a clear road map on where we are going and how we are going to get there. We have developed and launched a new website, which brings much greater focus on the fundraising and development element of our work. Our governance structures have been strengthened and our board has fully signed up with great enthusiasm to this new direction. We also have a greater focus on the opportunities provided by foundations, trusts and grant application processes to widen the scope of our income. We have developed a basis for seeking out sponsorship and made key allies outside the organisation who can help in the identification of potential supporters.

There is a sense that we are very well prepared, and that we await only the re-opening of society and our venues to be able to showcase the work we do and forge ahead with the serious business of fundraising and development. We have the tools, now we just need the space and time to build!

The senior management and members of the board are deeply committed to this programme and to giving Gill the help and support she needs. With the adoption of our new five year strategy, the company is well placed to make the most of its participation in the Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland programme.

We are very grateful for the support of Business to Arts, whose input has been enormously beneficial as well as the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Louise Donlon
Director

www.limetreetheatre.ie

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

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