Knowledge Centre Blog

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

#FundraisingFellow

Follow Muriel @murielfoxtonLinkedin 

For more information on TBG+S click here. 

Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin – Thoughts from Chandrika Narayanan-Mohan, Marketing & Fundraising Executive, Fishamble: The New Play Company

December 11, 2017 9:39 am

8594 RRP 0133 copyThree years ago I discovered that I loved fundraising for the arts. I had just finished my work experience with Business to Arts after an MA in Arts Management and Cultural Policy at UCD, and had started a new role as Fundraiser at the Irish Architecture Foundation. Due to circumstances my career path deviated for a few years after that, but I spend every moment trying to find my way back. When the Fundraising Fellowship was advertised, I was excited to see an opportunity to return to arts fundraising, particularly in a format where I could receive training while carrying out the role, and at the appropriate level for my experience (which is difficult to find).

After years of applying for similar roles, I was ecstatic to find that I had been offered a place on the Fundraising Fellowship, Dublin as Marketing and Fundraising Executive for Fishamble: The New Play Company. Despite months of work permit issues, with the unrelenting support of Fishamble and Business to Arts I was able to begin this role.

In terms of the programme itself, the combination of presentations, feedback and external advice has helped focus our strategies. Being able to compare notes with the other Fellows has also been useful. Although challenging, the tight deadlines motivated me and my company to create strategies in a short amount of time, which has been hugely beneficial for pitching to potential sponsors and communicating a strong message as we begin our 30th year with an exciting programme and a major new play initiative A Play for Ireland .

The main challenge so far has definitely been time management. In my four months of working here, we have had a world premiere, toured productions, created a new website, and launched a 2018 programme with a major new initiative. As a person who has not worked in theatre previously, this was doubly challenging as I was only just starting to understand the mechanisms of this sector while creating and implementing new strategies. However some of the best things about working with Fishamble are their endless patience, humour and knowledge, how much they trust me with the work I want to do, and the encouragement and support I receive for every new step. Being able to get things done quickly, efficiently, and with the trust and support of an amazing team makes for very satisfying work. Having Business to Arts available to consult with has also helped shift from a planning stage to implementation in record time.

Now that new structures are in place, our next steps are to focus on implementing our Fundraising and Marketing plan, and look ahead to 2019 and 2020.

I am truly delighted to be part of the Fundraising Fellowship with Business to Arts and Dublin’s Culture Connects, and especially to work with a company as warm, wonderful and fearless as Fishamble. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together.

-Chandrika

#FundraisingFellow

Follow Chandrika @chandrikanm & Linkedin

To learn more about Fishamble: The New Play Company click here

 

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 https://www.businesstoarts.ie/newstream/knowledge-centre/fundraising-fellowship/what-is-it/ 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)

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