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Fundraising Fellowship: Thoughts From Anna McCarthy

Co Author:
Anna McCarthy

The first year of the Fundraising Fellowship Dublin (FFD) has been, as all great things are, both rewarding and challenging.  As Fundraising & Development Coordinator with Helium Arts I have grown in my role. Being able to tap into a plethora of knowledge, support and connection through Business to Arts and Dublin’s Culture Connects gives a great sense of empowerment.

Through the programme, I have learned that focusing is key to developing clear and achievable strategy and implementation plans. I have learned that capacity and resource limitations will likely always exist and being aware of what is truly achievable within the resources that are available makes for pragmatic planning. Having said that, I have also learned that it would be foolish not to reach for the sky to change the lives of children living with illness when we know the hugely important contribution the arts make to health and wellbeing.

Preparing a monthly presentation, each time for a new group of leaders from both the public and corporate sectors is demanding, requiring significant time in planning and content creation, while also overcoming the nerves! This, however, was hugely useful, not least by simply practicing presenting, but also in getting to share our plans with people with a wealth of experience and a great deal of good, practical advice to offer between them. Feedback was collated after each session and shared with us to structure and guide our work in Helium Arts as we move forward.

Coming to the end of 2017, we are ready to enter the New Year. Our goals and approaches for achieving more in marketing and fundraising in Helium Arts have become clear. We will work consistently to build our profile as a leader in the area of Arts & Health internationally through a very structured and streamlined marketing mix. Making the most of limited resources in this area, we will share the lived experiences of those who we support to show why what we do is important.

We will make our case to raise funds that ensure our programmes grow and flourish to bring the joy, positivity and powers of creativity to children who face a life of illness, and the social and emotional difficulties associated with that reality. Fundraising will be based around a structured cycle of campaigns and investment in time and energy in building relevant and worthwhile relationships to ensure effective development of our programmes. Already, through the support and guidance from the FFD, our Christmas campaign 2017, has been structured in a way that has allowed for a more practical use of our time to achieve the goals of the campaign.

I would like to thank personally, and on behalf of Helium Arts, Business to Arts, Dublin’s Culture Connects and each individual who has made the lofty vision of the Fundraising Fellowship a reality for us and indeed for the arts sector as a whole.

By Anna McCarthy

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.




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