Knowledge Centre Blog

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

Thoughts on commencement of the Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin programme by Helene Hugel, CEO and Artistic Director of Helium

June 23, 2017 11:25 am

Business to Arts Picture Conor McCabe Photography

Helium Arts is the national children’s arts and health organisation and we believe creativity changes lives.  We are working to ensure that all the 160,000 children living with long-term illness in Ireland can ignite their creative powers in order to live life to the full.

Helium Arts are at a crucial juncture. We are emerging from a ‘start-up’ phase into a growth phase where we aim to increase organisational capacity over the next five years.  Being accepted onto the Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin programme is incredibly timely and means that we can realise this ambition in a sustainable manner.

Recently, Helium Arts launched a new 5-year strategy (2017-2021) which aims to consolidate our assets and create a solid infrastructure through a period of sustainable growth.  Helium Arts comprises of a committed, connected management team and a talented, ambitious artistic team.   Our aim is to rollout our three model projects, which creatively support both teens living with illness and toddlers with life-limiting illness in order to create positivity in the lives of 500 children across Ireland, doubling our reach. In the first year of our strategy, two out of the three projects have expanded outside of Dublin to Galway, Cork, Sligo and Tipperary benefitting over 50 more children in the first half of the year. Helium Arts has experienced a slow growth in income over the past few years, which was maintained in 2016.

Through the Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin we will aim to continue to grow our impact in a strategic way supported for the first time by a dedicated Fundraising Officer, Anna McCarthy. Anna will add huge value to the organisation by developing the necessary fundraising infrastructure required for Helium Arts’ long-term sustainability, while generating a new and diverse income base.  The Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin provides much needed training and mentorship support over the two years which will infiltrate throughout the organisation transforming the organisation’s cultural thinking about fundraising and increasing our capacity strategic planning.

Helene Hugel
CEO & Artistic Director
Helium Arts

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

June 21, 2017 9:23 am


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.

Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin – Local Community Organisation Engagement Programme

May 16, 2017 10:23 am

Business to Arts & Dublin’s Culture Connects seek local community organisations in the Dublin City area who are interested in receiving training and mentorship for a 12 month period in the areas of sponsorship and marketing.

This programme will enable 4 local community organisations to develop their marketing, fundraising and/or strategic planning skills via mentoring, while also participating in a series of information sessions in November 2017, March, June & September 2018. The mentoring will be facilitated by partnering with one of the four selected Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin organisations who are currently involved in receiving training and mentorship from Business to Arts – namely Helium Arts, Fishamble: The New Play Company, Dublin Theatre Festival & Temple Bar Gallery + Studios.

To be eligible for this programme, community organisations must be able to show the following:

  • The organisation is located in the Dublin City area
  • The organisation has been in existence for a minimum of 3 years
  • There is a future planned progamme of activity for a minimum of 12 months
  • There is at least one paid administrator role in the organisation
  • The organisation has an Advisory Board or steering committee.

For further details see here.

Submissions for this programme have now closed

If you have any questions please contact

Recommendations from New Stream Year 7

April 7, 2017 8:46 am

Business to Arts Picture Conor McCabe Photography

Here are the key recommendations from New Stream Review Year 7:

DeVos Ireland Programme

  • Continue to create additional Case Studies of long-term work with New Stream participants. This will assist other arts organisations to situate fundraising in their own context.
  • Advocate for enhanced institutional and programmatic marketing strategies to ensure continued expansion of organisations audience, supporting the growth of both earned and contributed revenue.
  • Emphasise the importance of connecting board members with a specific, mission-driven project that reflect their interests and priorities.
  • Advocate for the implementation of succession plans in organisations around key roles, particularly in the areas of marketing and fundraising.

Read our latest case studies here: Royal Irish Academy of Music, Irish Architecture Foundation, IMMA

Brown Bag Briefing Sessions

  • Continue to develop ‘Introduction to Sponsorship’ seminars throughout the year.
  • Introduce ‘Advanced Sponsorship’ sessions, which are tailored to move participants form Beginner to Intermediate/Skills.
  • Encourage those attending to research, prepare, utilise and contribute to the online knowledge centre prior to attending seminars and compiling sponsorship proposals.

Development Managers’ Forum

  • The overall feedback from the Chair of the group acknowledges the group’s knowledge and position in the sector. As a means of developing its position, the DMF should expand to develop further thought-leadership and a public voice on sectorial issues and National Cultural Policy.
  • Take a more active group role to educate internal and external stakeholders and decision makers to ensure the need to support the arts in society.

Knowledge Centre

  • As 71% of respondents have read articles on the Knowledge Centre, invest time and resources promoting the Knowledge Centre to widest audience. Identify ways to measure ongoing engagement with the Knowledge Centre.

The Broader Business to Arts & New Stream Agenda

  • With the introduction of the Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin programme, in partnership with Dublin City Council’s Dublin’s Culture Connects, Business to Arts should create a suite of fundraising materials and toolkits.
  • Provide continued support in generating a shift towards active fundraising and diversification of funding in all participating organisations.
  • Convene an arts fundraising, philanthropy/ sponsorship seminar to address the findings and implications of the De Vos Ireland programme.
  • Engage the new fundraising teams in previous DeVos participating organisations. Advocate for them to work with colleagues who have implemented The Cycle.

To read the full evaluation click here

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