Knowledge Centre Blog

Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland call for applications

November 30, 2017 10:14 am

FFI LogoBusiness to Arts in partnership with the Department of Culture, Heritage & Gaeltacht have launched a call for applications to a 24-month National Fundraising Fellowship programme for new Fundraising Executives. Fundraising Fellowship Ireland is informed by the two-year Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin programme, which was created by Business to Arts in partnership with Dublin City Council’s Dublin’s Culture Connects. This programme of activity is associated with the New Stream programme, a fundraising capacity building project operated by Business to Arts, which is now in its 8th year.

The Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland will offer two cultural organisations matched-funding (maximum of €15,000) toward the employment of full-time fundraising or marketing & fundraising human resources, contracted over a 24-month period. Applications are being sought from cultural organisations based outside of Dublin and National-profile organisations with significant audiences and programme delivery outside of Dublin. The 2 recruited Fellows will take part in a structured programme of training and mentorship developed by Business to Arts as part of the Fellowship. The aim is to equip these fellows and their cultural organisations with skills to build capacity in their own organisations.

The New Stream programme is a long-term capacity building programme which has been operated by Business to Arts and funded by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Accenture, Dublin City Council and the Department of Culture, Heritage & Gaeltacht which has strengthened the skills of 43 cultural organisations to generate new funding streams. Since 2009, participants in New Stream have raised in-excess of €17.9m as a result of the skills and learning implemented during the programme. Click here to download the latest New Stream Review.

The objective of The Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland is to enhance the investment by cultural organisations in their strategic planning and fundraising capacity. The programme will also address the lack of human resources dedicated to fundraising in the selected arts, cultural and community organisations.

Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive of Business to Arts states:

“Working with the Department of Culture, Heritage & Gaeltacht, the Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland programme will address the long-term issues facing the cultural sector. With the introduction of the National Fellowship, building on our work with Dublin’s Culture Connects, Dublin City Council and our in-depth research through our fundraising capacity building programme, New Stream, our extensive networks and resources will equip participant organisations and Fellows with a range of resources, support and strategy for organisational fundraising development.”

Minister Humphreys T.D., states:

“I am delighted that my Department is partnering with Business to Arts on Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland over the next two years.  Fundraising can be hugely beneficial to cultural organisations both directly and indirectly. Aside from providing additional income to improve sustainability and stability, fundraising assists organisations in developing wide-ranging philanthropic connections that can boost their profile and reach.” 

For further information click here.

Boost for Dublin Cultural Groups with Appointment of Four Fundraising Fellows

August 23, 2017 4:33 pm

Anna McCarthy, Helium Arts, Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan, Fishamble: A New Play Company, Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive, Business to Arts, Muriel Foxton, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Councillor Vincent Jackson, Dublin City Council and Paul Weir, Dublin Theatre Festival at City Hall for the announcement of the Four Fellows who have been recruited to participate in the Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin programme run by Business to Arts in partnership with Dublin’s Culture Connects.

Anna McCarthy, Helium Arts, Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan, Fishamble: The New Play Company, Muriel Foxton, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios and Paula Weir, Dublin Theatre Festival at City Hall for the announcement of the Four Fellows who have been recruited to participate in the Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin programme run by Business to Arts in partnership with Dublin’s Culture Connects.

Strategic planning and fundraising capacity is to be increased in a number of city cultural institutions through the appointment of four new Fundraising Fellows, who were officially announced yesterday. As part of the 24-month Fundraising Fellowship Dublin programme, the successful applicants will each work in a fundraising or marketing & fundraising role with one of four participating cultural institutions. The programme, which is a joint programme created by Business to Arts and Dublin City Council’s Dublin’s Culture Connects initiative, aims to develop the pool of fundraising expertise in Dublin cultural organisations.

The appointments are as follows:

  • Temple Bar Gallery + Studios:Muriel Foxton, Fundraising & Marketing Executive
  • Helium Arts:Anna McCarthy, Fundraising Executive
  • Fishamble: The New Play Company:  Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan, Fundraising & Marketing Executive
  • Dublin Theatre Festival: Paula Weir, Corporate Development & Fundraising Executive

More than 200 people applied for the scheme, which is the first of its kind in Ireland. Dublin’s Culture Connects will fund 50% of each role, with the partner organisation matching that figure. Over the two years, the Fellows will take part in an intensive programme of training and mentorship, with each participating organisation receiving in excess of €80,000 worth of investment in matched-funding and professional development from Dublin’s Culture Connects and Business to Arts.  As part of this, leading Irish and international experts will offer masterclasses to develop knowledge and understanding, offering practical and real life expertise. The Fellows will also work with smaller organisations to impart their expertise to them, thus increasing the reach of the programme.

Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive of Business to Arts states:

Fundraising capacity in medium-sized arts organisations is an under-resourced area, and one that Business to Arts and Dublin City Council are working collaboratively to address. After a competitive recruitment process, we are happy to announce the appointment of the first four recruits for Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin. The Fellows will develop and enhance their fundraising skills and their organisations’ fundraising and marketing capacity. Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin is a two-year, industry-leading programme of investment, training and mentorship and we look forward to working with this dynamic group of young people on their careers in the arts.”

At the announcement, Councilor Vincent Jackson, Chair of Dublin City Council’s Arts, Culture & Recreation SPC (Strategic Policy Committee) said:

With more than 200 applications, it is gratifying to see so much interest in developing skills in fundraising. This is a key element of any cultural organisation’s survival and it is an area where we’re seeing a significant deficit in expertise. I’m delighted, therefore, to see that this programme will not just benefit the four selected cultural partners, but that it will also have a ripple effect, with the trained Fellows working to support smaller organisations. We hope that this pilot programme will prove able to grow to even more significant impact.”

As part of the initiative, Business to Arts is looking to hear from Dublin-based community groups interested in learning from and partnering with the selected organisations. The closing date for applications for this element of the programme is September 11th. Visit for further information.

Owen P. Keegan, Chief Executive, Dublin City Council said:

“Building capacity in cultural organisations in the City, and further supporting the sharing of this learning and experiences with others that have less experience in fundraising and philanthropy will foster important new partnerships with communities, business, cultural organisations in Dublin.”

Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin: Seminar 2 Overview By Andrew Hetherington

July 18, 2017 11:07 am

Seminar 2

For Seminar Two of Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin, in partnership with Business to Arts, we had guest speakers Iseult Byrne & Rowena Neville of Dublin’s Culture Connects with Tanya Townsend, Sponsorship Manager, Bord Gais Energy Theatre, and Aoife Flynn, Head of Audiences and Development at IMMA.[1] In the morning, the Dublin’s Culture Connects team discussed their longer-term focus on engaging new communities and local Councillors in the work of Dublin’s Culture Connects. We also had a master-class in consumer-brand sponsorship of the arts from Tanya and an introduction to arts marketing and fundraising at IMMA from Aoife.

Presentation 1: Tanya Townsend –Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards (BGESTAs)

Through her drive of the BGESTAs sponsorship, Tanya provided an overview of how:

  • corporate sponsorship programmes & projects are developed
  • sponsorship campaigns are activated
  • the success of a sponsorship campaign is measured

Presentation 2: Aoife Flynn – IMMA 1000 Campaign

Through her role as both Head of Audiences and Development for IMMA, Aoife provided an overview of how:

  • IMMA 1000 campaign was conceived and implemented
  • IMMA researches potential sponsors and top tips for meeting sponsors
  • IMMA captures audience data, and how it is using that data in its marketing strategy?

Following the morning’s sessions, the Fellows had received a range of practical methods to engage, inform and get continued buy-in from funding/fundraising stakeholders.

See the full case study by Business to Arts on IMMA’s fundraising programme HERE

Practical Sessions : Understanding Strategic Plans & SWOTs

For the afternoon’s practical session we asked each of the Fellows to arrive with a good understanding of their organisation’s strategic plan and management accounts/financial reports. In general, we felt that strategic plans for arts organisations could be enhanced by:

  • Providing an overview of Board members or the types of Board members that are sought for an arts organisation
  • Greater analysis of the position in the arts sector of an arts organisation, including an analysis of its audiences, competitors and/or collaborators
  • Incorporating a critical path or greater clarity about the timeframe for achieving an arts organisation’s aims and objectives
  • Articulating what (additional) resources are required to achieve sustainability

Each Fellow presented a comprehensive SWOT of their organisation and did a brilliant job at this. Some of our observations in relation to presenting SWOTs for arts organisations (generally) are:

  • Do not forget about the type/calibre of ‘art’ made, produced or facilitated by an arts organisation when presenting a SWOT. It might be useful to consider separating an overall ‘organisational’ SWOT into three separate SWOTS for ‘artistic programming’, ‘marketing’ and ‘finance/operations’.
  • Try not to place too much emphasis on any one area (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities or Threats) and try to identify if these are perceived or real SWOTs of your organisation
  • While strengths and opportunities are common areas of focus in marketing and fundraising, potential funders and other stakeholders might be more interested in helping address/overcome weaknesses and threats.

The Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin programme is a partnership between Dublin’s Culture Connects and the New Stream Fundraising Capacity Building Project operated by Business to Arts. It offers part funding toward the employment of full-time fundraising or marketing & fundraising human resources contracted over a 24-month period and the recruited Fellows will take part in a structured programme of training and mentorship as part of the Fellowship.

[1] Bord Gáis Energy and IMMA have been identified as a leading a leading arts sponsor and a leading arts ‘rights-holder’ in the Business to Arts ‘Arts, Festival and Music Sponsorship – Summary Report (2015 & 2016)

Thoughts on commencement of the Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin programme by Jim Culleton Artistic Director Fishamble: The New Play Company

June 30, 2017 9:36 am

Business to Arts Picture Conor McCabe Photography

I am delighted and honoured that Fishamble is one of the partner organisations participating in the Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin Programme.

Fishamble will celebrate its 30th birthday in 2018, and is looking forward to marking this stage in its history with a prolific programme of productions, national and international touring, and a range of training, development and dramaturgical initiatives.  With this busy programme of work, the time feels right to expand our Fundraising and Marketing impact.

We have benefitted from the Business to Arts New Stream programme in the past, especially as part of the DeVos programme at the Kennedy Center, which helped us realise the potential Fishamble has to create partnerships and associations with sponsors and Friends, which not only enhance the experience that people have with Fishamble, but also help to diversify the company’s sources of income. Fishamble is keen to maximise on this knowledge, and to expand its network of supporters and its capacity to fundraise.  However, with a very small number of core staff members, and an annual programme of work that typically includes over 200 performances of 7 productions in about 60 venues, this has not been possible until now.  We are not alone in this dilemma, as many arts organisations struggle to find the time needed to dedicate to fundraising, with a small number of staff and a busy programme of artistic activity.  The establishment of the Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin programme in response to this need, is a great credit to Business to Arts and Dublin’s Culture Connects. It has certainly happened at the perfect time for Fishamble.

We are thrilled to have appointed Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan as the Fundraising Fellow, who will be mentored and supported over the next two years by Fishamble and Business to Arts.  We look forward to being part of this new and exciting initiative, as Fishamble grows its network of supporters and sponsors for the future, and as we enter our thirties.

Jim Culleton
Artistic Director
Fishamble: The New Play Company

Thoughts On Commencement Of The Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin Programme By Willie White, Artistic Director, Dublin Theatre Festival

June 26, 2017 11:42 am

Business to Arts Picture Conor McCabe Photography

I am pleased that Dublin Theatre Festival has been chosen as one of four cultural organisations to participate in the inaugural Fundraising Fellowship programme. I am also greatly encouraged by Dublin City Council’s investment in building the capacity of cultural organisations to diversify their income streams. The partnership with Business to Arts and the mentoring and training offered to fellows will make for more sustainable organisations and lead to more ambitious programming for our audiences.

One of the core objectives of Dublin Theatre Festival is to contribute to the cultural life of the city by supporting Irish artists in creating new Irish work and by bringing the best of international work to Dublin. Each year we offer a programme of exceptional and engaging theatrical experiences chosen to appeal to the diverse communities that make up our city.

2017 marks our 60th anniversary. We are proud of the role that Dublin Theatre Festival has played in expanding the scope of Irish theatre since its inception in 1957. While we have a rich history, what we are most excited about is what is yet to come. For our anniversary, we are ambitious to further expand the reach of the festival, to see more audiences participating in culture and more artists creating bold new work that challenges and inspires.

We aim to build on our existing partnerships and foster new relationships with communities, businesses, and cultural organisations in Dublin. We expect that our participation in the Fundraising Fellowship Dublin programme will have a significant impact on the long-term fundraising sustainability of the organisation for the years to come and that it will support the development, growth and success of the organisation.

Our goals are to develop connections and grow our network, to increase investment in the organisation in order to facilitate the presentation of work on a larger scale, in tandem with attracting audiences for this work and collaborating with partners to identify new opportunities to animate the city through increased cultural activity

Dublin Theatre Festival is interested in playing a leading role in the development of a holistic and sustainable plan for the future growth of the city and believes that collaboration across sectors is crucial. The cultural sector is an important contributor to the city, alongside economic development, environmental awareness and social inclusion, and has a part to play in the future success of Dublin. We want to position arts and culture as vital to Dublin’s quality of life and its international reputation.

We look forward to working with and sharing learnings with Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, Fishamble: The New Play Company and Helium Arts, over the next two years and to engaging with Dublin-based community organisations to assist them in developing their marketing, fundraising and strategic planning skills.

We are delighted to welcome Paula Weir to the Dublin Theatre Festival team as Corporate Development and Marketing Executive. Paula brings a wealth of experience and skills to the organisation, and we look forward to achieving our goals together.

Willie White
Artistic Director
Dublin Theatre Festival

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