We bade a fond farewell to our 25 Year 3 Fundraising Fellows at the start of September 2016. We’ve now had a bit of time to reflect on their year and the programme’s overall achievements. These are significant, in terms of learning, job creation, capacity-building and income raised.
The majority of the 25 Fellows have now begun new jobs, whilst a few are taking well-deserved breaks or are still considering their next steps. You can read updated biographies on all of the Fellows on our website. We are delighted that thirteen Fellows have been given new roles within their host organisations – these are essentially new roles, created within host organisations to reflect the work that the Fellows undertook over their year. This wasn’t mainly due to the Fellows’ achievements in direct fundraising, but more related to their success establishing and maintaining systems and processes linked with longer term capacity-building.
It is to the credit of the host organisations, and a reflection of the changing trends across the sector, that host organisations appreciated the importance of retaining staff to undertake capacity-building work, even if it was not leading to immediate fundraising success. We believe that more senior leaders across the arts and cultural sector appreciate that fundraising is a long game, and you can’t win the game if you don’t invest upfront in dedicated staff resources. This in itself is a fantastic achievement, to which the Fellowship programme has made a contribution as part of the wider Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy Programme.
In addition to those Fellows remaining within their hosts, at least five further Fellows have begun fundraising roles within new cultural organisations. The majority of Fellows have really enjoyed cultural fundraising and want to continue to work in this field, at least for the immediate future. Fellows found the work fun, stimulating, interesting and stretching. Again, the majority of Fellows understood that the capacity-building work – databases, processes, research, building staff support for fundraising – was equally, if not more, important than the more externally-facing campaign work. They treated this work seriously and were equally proud of their achievements in direct fundraising and capacity-building activity.
We are very pleased to report that, to date, this year’s Fellows cumulatively raised almost £1 million in direct fundraising across Trusts & Foundations, public funders, individuals and businesses. We celebrated all of their successes with them, whatever their scale, and commiserated with them for their failures, of which there were inevitably quite a few, but that’s a fundraiser’s lot!
Overall, everyone involved in the Arts Fundraising Fellowship programme recognised its beneficial impact upon the sector, host organisations and the Fellows themselves. It was a full and exhausting year, but one which certainly affected change in the cultural sector.
A huge thank you to everyone who participated in the programme!