Knowledge Centre Blog

Thoughts On Commencement Of The Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland Programme By Garry Hynes, Artistic Director, Druid

July 5, 2018 9:56 am

Garry Hynes 425

Druid is delighted to have been selected for the Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland programme. We’re looking forward to learning from and meeting the challenges that lie ahead. The outcomes of this fantastic initiative will undoubtedly lead to further growth for us as a company.

When Marie Mullen, Mick Lally and myself set up Druid in 1975, there were few resources with which to build a theatre company in the west of Ireland. However, the support of the Galway community was instrumental in helping us make our bold idea a reality. In 1979 we negotiated a lease for a peppercorn rent on an old tea storehouse and this enabled the company to have its own venue. The building was owned by the McDonagh’s, one of Galway’s famous merchant families, who later generously donated the building to Druid. What is now called The Mick Lally Theatre, after our late founder, has become a landmark cultural facility in the centre of Galway city.

Druid as a company understands and greatly values the support it received and continues to receive from the Galway community and many of our friends and supporters around Ireland and abroad.

As a company we also understand that in order to continue growing and to continue making some of the most exciting theatre in Ireland we need to build on-going strategic partnerships with business and individuals. We see the Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland programme as a keystone, helping us to build our existing support base and develop new relationships. We passionately believe audiences should have access to first class professional theatre in their own communities. We tour extensively in Ireland and around the world and to continue this mission we want to forge new partnerships with individuals, businesses and corporates, not just in our Galway base, but also throughout Ireland and with multinationals based here.

2018 is the busiest year in our 43 year history and we have many exciting and ambitious plans for the future. We strive for excellence in everything we do and while our energy, ideas and ambitions are endless, our resources are not.

Over the next two years, we will be working very closely with Business to Arts and the New Stream programme to achieve our aims of: developing our capacity for fundraising; diversifying our income stream as we build long term sustainability; enhancing and building upon our existing supporter base through improving on-going relationships; building strategies and developing skills to grow a stronger, more agile organisation; and building philanthropic connections that will make a significant difference to our work.

Our Fundraising fellow, John McEvoy is enthusiastic and excited about the prospect of contributing to the future growth of Druid in a positive, concrete manner. All of us at Druid, staff, creatives teams and members of the board, are supportive of his participation in the Fundraising Fellowship programme and are looking forward to working closely with John to achieve our goals.

Thank you to Business to Arts and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for this exciting and timely opportunity.

Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland is a partnership between Business to Arts’ New Stream programme and the Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht




Thoughts On Commencement Of The Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland Programme By Fiona Clark, Producer & Chief Executive, Cork Film Festival

July 3, 2018 9:18 am

Business to Arts Picture Conor McCabe

Cork Film Festival is Ireland’s first and largest film festival, a local, national and international celebration of cinema, showcasing the latest and best Irish and global features, documentaries and shorts, over ten days each November in Cork. 2018 marks the Festival’s 63rd anniversary, and the start of a new and exciting stage in our development.

Festivals are extraordinary beasts – unique collaborations that fuse art, audience and place. They excite, engage, enrage, and entertain. In 1956 our founders were ambitious that the Cork Film Festival “must always be strongly influenced by the company it keeps. The company is good.” In 2018, the company is still good – the best world cinema for the whole city and its visitors.

Our mission is to connect people through great film, engaged conversation, and a shared cultural experience. As a defining artform of the modern age, film endures because of its relevance, popularity and democratic nature. It challenges perceptions and provokes debate. When presented over the concentrated festival period, the dialogue and experience is amplified and the impact is magnified.

The Festival must continually review and seek to refresh itself; change and evolution is essential for us to develop and grow sustainably in order to realise our ambitions. Our focus from 2018/19 is considered phased development to consolidate 2017 successes and to begin implementation of a three-year Strategic Plan, leading to the Festival’s 65th anniversary in 2020.

Our involvement in the Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland programme comes at a pivotal time, providing the essential resources and focused investment needed to develop meaningful partnerships – creative, community and commercial – and support a period of intense and sustained capacity building over the next two years.

Participating in this programme will enable the Festival to establish meaningful, mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships that generate vital resources to invest in our organisation to support our artistic and organisational ambitions, and help drive access for and ongoing engagement with a wider audience, through staff, volunteer, customer, and online communities.

Appropriate partnerships will contribute to our cultural development on multiple levels. Collaboration helps drive focus on our aims by setting a frame around what is distinctive about Cork Film Festival – what we do and who we are for. Partnerships help us to articulate our unique offering and to refine our fundraising activities in order to progress our ambitions. The better – and wider – we articulate that story, the greater the opportunity to leverage support for our work. We need to develop our capacity to invest in our artistic programme and operation, and to increase visibility and reach. We believe that corporate partnerships will both enrich and enable our cultural work in this way.

The Festival has multiple stakeholders – a large and loyal local audience, national and international visitors to Cork, emerging and established filmmakers and artists, the wider AV industry, our funders and donors, and the media.

Our Fellow, Aoibheann McCarthy, will develop, drive and deliver our engagement strategies, enabling the Festival to pursue these activities year-round over a sustained period and in a focused way, in a manner that has not previously been possible.

Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland is a partnership between Business to Arts’ New Stream programme and the Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht

Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin: TBG+S, Director Report Year 1

June 29, 2018 10:26 am

Business to Arts Picture Conor McCabe PhotographyBy Cliodhna Shaffrey, Artistic Director

The first thing to say about Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin, beyond doubt, is that it gave Temple Bar Gallery + Studios a new level of confidence. A shift from precarity to something you might even call sure-footed. As if, for the first-time in a long-time – with the addition of a full-time member of staff, (whose work focuses on development and communications -key areas for change and progress), we could really believe in what is said about us: -   ‘a leading light of the visual arts in Ireland’, ‘a core part of the national visual arts infrastructure’.

It is not that we doubted this impression, these words ring true. Temple Bar Gallery + Studios is a leading light for visual artists in Ireland, and it has been from its beginning. But rather, the high-wire act of trying to keep things steady; to take care of the promises made to artists, to ensure that glimpses of dreams outlined in strategies might become a reality, to swim with the dreaded tide of ‘more for less’ in the hope that all the activity propped up by Jobbridge and volunteers would pay off, can take its toll. This high-wire act is tough and tiring. So, the Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin came at a time when it really could make a fundamental difference. It gave TBG+S this remarkable form of support and invested in an individual, (Muriel), who would grow, evolve, learn new things, gain real expertise, and put this learning into play to become a core full-time member of TBG+S’ team. This is the key achievement of the Fellowship, and it makes the position of Fundraising and Marketing Executive an indispensable and essential role in the Organisation.

Grant applications and venue hire are performing well. We are working towards developing three-year sponsorship programmes with existing Corporate Sponsors. New Corporate Sponsors are sought for new campaigns, and here we are prospecting a number of Companies via our Board. The introduction of the Commissioning Circle brought one donor. To activate this new funding stream we have added a donor link on our website and prospecting through the Board.   We have more clarity and focus in fundraising to sustain and strengthen the Organisation and engage staff and the Board in achieving targets.

Audience figures are slightly exceeded the target of 26,000 at 26,470 in 2017. A new neon sign, especially designed for the Gallery window will bring another impetus to our remit – with words in a circular format to read – ‘Art is for Everybody is for Art’

Key learnings include:

  • Investment in full-time member of staff in strategic and developmental position with mentorship over two-year period is seeing solid results in such investment
  • Working in a strategic way to diversify income.
  • Involving the Board and the establishment of a Fundraising subcommittee
  • Development of new campaigns and understanding that this is a slow and on-going process and role the Board can play here
  • Telling our story and getting key messages across to impress with concrete material – statistics and substance, use of anecdotal and testimonials, excellent documentary images and films
  • The value of building relations with sponsors, ensuring positive staff engagement and understanding why they are interested in the partnership
  • Placing fundraising as a core part of the development and bedrock to the organisation – this includes public funding via available grants and corporate sponsorship
  • Reviewing aspects of the Supporters Club – understanding this programme better
  • Working across the team to develop new strategies to connect to new audiences

More information about TBG+S fundraising and communications objectives can be found here: 

Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland organisations announced

March 8, 2018 6:00 am

Garry Hynes, Artistic Director, Druid Theatre; Katherine Licken, Secretary General, Department of Culture, Heritage & Gaeltacht; Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive, Business to Arts; Fiona Clark, Chief Executive, Cork Film Festival.

Business to Arts in partnership with the Department of Culture, Heritage & Gaeltacht announced the two successful organisations who will participate in the Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland programme. After an open call for applications in November 2017, Cork Film Festival and Druid Theatre have been selected.

The Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland offers both 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. 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 the recruited fellows and their cultural organisations with skills to build fundraising capacity in their organisations.

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 ConnectsThis 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 objective of The Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland is to enhance previous investment by cultural organisations in their strategic planning and fundraising. The programme addresses the lack of human resources dedicated to fundraising in the selected arts organisations.

Andrew Hetherington, Chief Executive of Business to Arts states:

“Working with the Department of Culture, Heritage & Gaeltacht, we welcome Cork Film Festival and Druid Theatre to the Fundraising Fellowship, Ireland programme. This Fellowship builds on our existing partnerships, addressing long-term human resource issues facing the arts sector. Both organisations selected will develop and enhance their fundraising capacities through our intense programme of training and mentorship. We look forward to working with both organisations and hope our combined networks and resources will have a significant impact on their fundraising strategies for many years to come”.

Minister Josepha Madigan T.D., states:

I am pleased to be working in partnership with Business to Arts in relation to the Fundraising Fellowship programme. Our partnership will support the successful applicants and also bring a wider awareness and consideration of the importance for culture bodies to develop this expertise to strengthen their programmes and mission.”

Garry Hynes, Artistic Director, Druid Theatre states:

“We’re delighted to have been selected for the Business to Arts Fundraising Fellowship. We’re looking forward to both the learning and the challenges that lie ahead, and the outcomes of this fantastic initiative, which will undoubtedly lead to further growth for us as a company”

Fiona Clark, Producer and Chief Executive, Cork Film Festival:

“We are truly delighted to have been awarded a Fundraising Fellowship Ireland Bursary. This will play a major part in helping us to realise our strategic ambitions over the next few years, in the build up to our 65th anniversary in 2020. The status and ambition of the Festival cannot grow without developing meaningful partnerships and increasing resources; participation in this programme will support a period of intense and sustained capacity building which will directly contribute to our artistic development on multiple levels.”

Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin – Thoughts from Muriel Foxton, Marketing Fundraising Executive, Temple Bar Gallery + Studios

December 11, 2017 12:06 pm

8594 RRP 0145 copyIn May 2017, I took up the role as Marketing and Fundraising Executive at TBG+S, made possible by the Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin programme. Our challenge at TBG+S is that our ambitions to develop our programmes outweigh the resources we have available. We are heavily dependent on public funding. Further, a reliance on volunteers and internships has meant a level of fragility for TBG+S. The Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin will help us to become more sustainable. The programme of training and mentorship with Business to Arts began in June with monthly seminars covering everything from marketing plans to strategic plans and membership programmes to corporate sponsorship.

The seminars so far have featured guests speakers and advisors Tanya Townsend, Sponsorship Manager at Bord Gáis Energy; Aoife Flynn, Head of Audiences and Development at IMMA; Eamonn Carroll, Membership Relationship Manager, RDS; Eithne Harley, Director of Integrated Marketing, Accenture; Noel Hiney, Independent Communications Expert; Sarah Costigan, Director of Fundraising, Little Museum of Dublin and Bevin Cody, Corporate Reputation Manager, ‎ESB – who have provided valuable insights into their areas of expertise and feedback on our work.

As part of the Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin Local Community Engagement programme, TBG+S has partnered with Calcutta Run which raises vital funds for the homeless in Dublin and Calcutta, by donating to the Peter McVerry Trust and The Hope Foundation. The 12-month training and mentoring programme shares our new skills and knowledge with smaller community organisations. I recently got the opportunity to receive mentorship from Anne Mathews, who shares her invaluable advice and expertise on communications and PR.

As a result of the programme, I developed TBG+S’ first fundraising plan. This gives the organisation targeted ambitions to work towards in a focused way. The Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin ultimately transfers knowledge and gives time to focus on fundraising and our aims; to progress our ambition and achieve excellence in our artistic programmes, advance our capacity to invest in artists and increase visibility and accessibility.

In 2017, TBG+S has partnered with two new corporate sponsors. Central Bank of Ireland sponsors our education programme Creative Generations which focuses on two artists’ residencies in two inner city schools – Synge Street CBS Secondary School and O’Connell CBS Primary School. TBG+S studio artists Andreas Kindler von Knobloch and Maria McKinney worked with the children to create new collaborative artworks. The sponsorship marked the movement of Central Bank of Ireland from Dame Street to its new HQ at North Wall Quay.

Award-winning architectural practice Henry J Lyons sponsored the recent Dublin Art Book Fair 2017: Art and Architecture Interwoven, which allowed us to strengthen and develop Ireland’s only art book fair. The Fair, with a booked out programme of curated events, saw more than 2,500 visitors over the weekend.

Plans for 2018 include the launch of a new fundraising initiative which will support TBG+S to augment production budgets for exhibiting artists, to achieve their full ambition. A new sponsorship opportunity seeks a corporate partner to invest in the making of a career-defining solo exhibition by an Irish artist. Exhibiting at TBG+S marks a cornerstone in the career path of visual artists, their work often goes on to be exhibited throughout the world. The Fundraising Fellowship has helped me to set a frame around what is distinctive about what we do to support the work of artists and, to consider how we articulate our story to those who may be inspired to support our work.

- Muriel


Follow Muriel @murielfoxtonLinkedin 

For more information on TBG+S click here. 

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