‘Live Learning’ with Creative Leicestershire

‘Live Learning’ with Creative Leicestershire

Creative Leicestershire works to develop new and existing small creative enterprises across Leicestershire and Rutland. The programme provides access to a range of advice and support in order to help them survive and grow and is a vital catalyst - connecting people through networking opportunities, strengthening supply chains and retaining knowledge. Catherine Rogers currently manages Creative Leicestershire, supporting artists and creative enterprises in the region. 

Our fundraising training day on 26th February at Phoenix Cinema and Arts Centre in Leicester was developed for two of our artists’ networks: Made in Leicestershire, a network of artists, organisations and designer makers in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and the 2019/20 WebinArt cohort. WebinArt offers an online professional development programme for graduate and early stage creative enterprises, providing an accessible way to bring the knowledge and expertise of our region’s leading artists and creatives directly to bear on the needs of our client businesses, using communications technology to make it effective. 

Most of the WebinArt programme is broadcast live online and made available on demand to the participants throughout the programme as recorded sessions. Thus, we trialled making our fundraising day accessible to the cohort who couldn’t attend in person by broadcasting it online via Facebook live. This session also featured as one of three valuable, ‘live learning’ sessions in a predominantly web-based learning programme. The successful event brought two cohorts together for networking opportunities as well as connecting individual practitioners with local arts organisations. 

 “The morning session was strongly focussed on regulation which was most relevant to small charities and non-profit organisations wishing to develop a fundraising strategy. The afternoon was more useful in terms of my own creative practice with useful case studies on crowdfunding and Patreon, as well as Facebook fundraising which is open to anyone, and Easy Fundraiser which is suitable for small non-profit organisations too. I was able to work out a Patreon funding strategy which was really useful personally and look at other forms of potential funding for Made in Leicestershire.” 

Ruth Singer - Made in Leicestershire consultant and arts practitioner

The day strengthened the skills of individuals and organisations across the two networks giving them new tools, increasing their knowledge and confidence to find new income streams through different approaches to fundraising rather than having a focus on solely applying for public funding and for grants from Trusts and Foundations.

As well as developing fundraising knowledge, the day brought the two networks together to support each other and following on into the evening we also ran our first WebinArt networking activity giving people more time to connect and the opportunity to make new partnerships through bringing the two networks together with the possibility of making fundraising a collaborative activity.

Three key things that we have learnt from the day and would like to share with the wider sector are:

1) Include networking as part of the training. This is often one of the things that leads to further positive development and new partnerships forming.

2) Have a training manual that people can use during the day or take away afterwards so they can refresh their learning

3) Record the session if it is possible as this can form part of available resources for the future

"The fundraising seminar provided deep insights into a broad range of subjects, planning and consideration for participants. Both sessions were engaging and participatory for both in-person attendees, but also for our Facebook Live viewers from whom comments were relayed during the session. The day also provided opportunities for those taking part to discuss ideas, make new connections and benefit from valuable peer input." 

Cath Pilling - WebinArt Coordinator


By Catherine Rogers