Why We’re Running a Professional Fundraising Fellowships Programme

By Amanda Rigali on

We’ve just launched a new Fundraising Fellowships Programme aimed at people already working within the arts and cultural sector, giving them the opportunity to participate in an intensive year of training and development, whilst continuing in their current employment.  Why this change, and why now?

We couldn’t be prouder of the 55 Alumni Arts Fundraising Fellows who have benefitted from our previous three Fellowship Programmes, funded by Arts Council England.  In the main, the Fellows were recent University graduates who were at a very early stage in their arts and cultural careers, and were excited by the prospect of taking on a 12 month contract to work in a new organisation, often in a new city.

The Fellows threw themselves into their Fellowship year, working hard for their host arts and cultural organisations whilst participating in a range of training opportunities, and have now gone on to exciting and rewarding jobs.

Chloe Booth, Fellow at Artsadmin and now working at the Unicorn Theatre, commented that ‘the Fellowship has been a brilliant experience. The training we received gave me a solid understanding of fundraising, and I was able to apply my new knowledge in a practical way that gave the learning real tangible value’.

Clemency Horsall, Fellow at York Theatre Royal and now working at Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras, commented that ‘the networks that I have built throughout this programme are invaluable and I will benefit from them for the rest of my career’.

However, we know that there are many people currently working in the arts and cultural sector who would love an opportunity to ‘skill up’ in fundraising and develop as part of a Fellowship cohort.  For very practical reasons they could not, or would not want to, give up their current employment to take on a one-year contract in a new organisation and location (probably with a sharp reduction in salary).

Similarly, there are many brilliant arts and cultural organisations which didn’t feel able to host a Fundraising Fellow, often because they believe that they lack sufficient in-house fundraising expertise to offer appropriate support.  These organisations embody the ‘everyone’s a fundraiser’ spirit, and many staff working within them would welcome the opportunity to become more skilled fundraising practitioners, whatever their actual job titles.

So, after three years we have decided to change our Fellowship Programme model, and gear it towards people already working within the arts and cultural sector, with at least three years’ relevant experience.  Fellows will continue with their current employment through their Fellowship year and will participate in a flexible training package, much of which can be undertaken via their home/office.

Thanks to funding from Arts Council England, we’re offering this Programme free of charge, in order to make it accessible to a wide range of individuals and organisations.  It is also in recognition that there will of course be some in-kind costs for organisations, which will be expected to give their Fellows some time and flexibility to undertake the training.

We firmly believe that the benefits of participating in the Professional Fellowships Programme for individuals and organisations will far outweigh any costs.  The Fellows will be able to fast-track their careers in arts and cultural fundraising and leadership, and the organisations will gain a highly-trained and networked Fellow and a rich resource of knowledge and learning to share across their teams. Fellows’ organisations will also be given a £500 ‘AFP Training Voucher’ to spend on training for other staff members.

Please do download our recruitment pack for the Professional Fellows and see if it may be right for you.  We sincerely welcome applications from a wide range of individuals, working within a very broad range of organisations.

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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