NYMAZ Music Partner Network Fundraising Seminar

By Amanda Rigali on

imgresArts Fundraising & Philanthropy has financially supported the NYMAS Youth Music Partner Network through our networks funding programme. Heidi Johnson, NYMAZ’s Director, writes about the Network’s inaugural meeting.

Earlier this year, North Yorkshire-based youth music development charity NYMAZ hosted a Fundraising Seminar at Newby Hall near Ripon, with a focus on private income sources.

16 delegates attended from 12 different organisations, all of which were members of the NYMAZ Music Partner Network, working together to provide music making opportunities for children and young people in North Yorkshire (www.nymaz.org.uk). Representatives came from music charities, community bands, festivals and local authorities. The event was financially supported through the Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy programme.

For many of our members the constant cycle of fundraising and development can present a significant challenge to delivery and to the sustainability of music activities for children in North Yorkshire. Due to the varying range of experience, staff and size of the Network’s member organisations – ranging from unincorporated community groups to registered charities with a large turnover – this event offered a valuable opportunity for members to share practice and learning with one another in a supportive atmosphere, and to learn new skills in raising private income through professional input.

We were delighted to welcome some highly experienced fundraisers and engaging speakers to present at the seminar, two of whom came from the Higher Education sector: Mary Haworth (Director of Development and Alumni Relations at the University of York) and Sarah Carthew, (Director of Development, St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford), as well as Ellie Turner (Principal Advisor, Culture, Community Foundation for Tyne & Wear and Northumberland).

Over the course of the day attendees were taken through the process of building a pipeline as a way of identifying, cultivating and managing donors; populating the pyramid using a principle that 80% of private donations will come from 20% of donors; and understanding why businesses support the arts. One member took detailed minutes from the day so that attendees could concentrate on the presentations and discussions, and at the end of the day everyone identified a number of actions to take back to their organisations.

Afterwards attendees were asked to rate their confidence in fundraising from private sources on a scale of 1 to 5 before and after the seminar, with 1 being ‘not at all confident’ and 5 being ‘very confident’. The average response before the seminar was 2.2 out of 5, and this rose to 3.6 afterwards, an increase of 1.4 points.

Feedback showed that for almost all respondents the event had improved their skills and knowledge of fundraising. One delegate commented that they ‘can now see the benefit of developing a more structured approach [to fundraising]’. Another delegate said that they now understand ‘how fundraising ‘moves’ people on (now I know why National Trust rings me up asking for a monthly donation on top of my membership, moving me from the pipeline to the pyramid!)’.

All attendees have said that they will or already have disseminated what they learned to colleagues and/or senior management/board members: ‘We will endeavour to incorporate some of the ideas in our future fundraising work’.

Finally, when asked about the quality and usefulness of the seminar presentations, one respondent said that the seminar was ‘one of the best training sessions I have attended’. Members are now putting their learning into action and NYMAZ is looking to organise another fundraising seminar in 2017 with the same speakers to gauge progress and maintain momentum.

Thank you Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy!

Posted by Amanda Rigali

Amanda is Director of Strategic Development at Cause4, and Head of the Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy Programme. As well as running the Programme, Amanda runs fundraising training sessions for cultural professionals across England and offers intensive strategy support to a range of charities.

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