Blog 2018/19

Week 10: Emma Hastings, Wales Millennium Centre

As always, it’s been an eventful few weeks and it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas here at The Centre!

Our 30 days of giving campaign – Pump Up the Volume – kicked off on 20 November and has been an absolute blast: 30 days, 30 vulnerable young people, £15,000.  The sense of community engagement and generosity from all the staff, participants and members of The Centre has been overwhelming!  Our day of fundraising in St David’s was a great way to bring Radio Platfform and the campaign to the people of Cardiff, raising awareness and funds for the project.

Pump Up The Volume

With Christmas just around the corner, we’ve waved goodbye to Wicked and launched into Matilda! I was lucky enough to be able to attend the dress rehearsal and was not disappointed. We hosted an event for our partners, Howell’s School, where the kids could have their hair braided and ‘pose for paparazzi’, with a backstage tour to see the set. It was great to see them enjoying such an exciting and energetic environment!

On the twelfth day of Christmas, The Centre sent to me,
Twelve corporate supporters,
Eleven proposals pending,
Ten dev team members,
Nine charities hosted,
Eight hundred lives changed,
Seven radio Interns,
Six learning ‘Platfforms’,
Five thousand raised,
Four calling members,
Three new partners,
Two costume changes,
And The Centre Christmas Party!

Week 9: Megan Stokes, Theatr Clwyd

This month has been all about Panto, Panto, Panto and Panto! I say it 4 times because that’s how many times I have been to see it already!

I assisted on organising my first event which was a Panto Rehearsal Reception for members to see behind the scenes of Dick Whittington. Everyone who attended gave such positive feedback, it was a real success!

The main project I have been working on this month was Giving Tuesday which happened to coincide nicely with Panto Guest Night. This was the very first ever fundraising event at Theatr Clwyd so although we wanted to raise money, raising awareness about donating to the Theatre was just as important. We held a silent auction where people could bid on Theatr Clwyd gifts and experiences and we also gave out sweets and mince pies with a suggested donation. The total amount of money we raised on Giving Tuesday was £728.09!

But it’s not just Panto I have been working on – Oh no it isn’t!

The gift aid claim I helped with last month was accepted which allowed the theatre claim £4,305.59. We also had an away day team meeting at Tŷ Pawb where we talked about our strategy for next year as we start to move into the Capital Redevelopment project.  Finally, I have been involved in the Box Office training where they have started to ask customers for donations and started to use my Art and Design background to create fundraising flyers, posters and cards.

Week 8: Gwenan Jenkins-Jones, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

Gwenan Creative Intern

One of the things that I love about this internship is that there are so many opportunities to learn. As well as receiving advice from the College Development team, I am also able to draw on the experiences of others in the organisation. Paula Morris, my business mentor, wants to help me develop my networking skills at the Cardiff Business Club evening next month and Arts & Business Cymru offers our internship training courses from a variety of experts in their field.

Last week I went to the IOF (Institute of Fundraising) conference in Exeter and the day was extremely beneficial. There were sessions on Emotional Intelligence, Big Donations, a session on how to gain public confidence and much more. It was also interesting to meet other fundraisers and listen to them talking about their charities and their personal experiences.

Back in the office I've been busy putting into practice what I've learned! I have started to apply for funding for NEW: 2020, a week-long project where our final year drama students will work with young directors and playwrights to present four new plays in Cardiff and the London Gate Theatre.

I'm also preparing for our next ‘Friends Connect’ concert that will celebrate the contribution of our Associate Members to the development of our Young Conservatoire students. Every Saturday, 8-18 year olds receive the only training of this kind in Wales where they can learn in a specialist environment, benefit from intense musical education and realise their full potential.

With Christmas coming, things are going to be getting even busier here at the College and I look forward to the student’s end-of-season performances.

Week 7: Sara Wiliam, Rubicon Dance

Sara Creative Intern

Over the last few weeks I have been busy investigating, drafting and sending applications to different Trusts and Foundations. Since the beginning of my internship I have been working on a total of eight different applications; I've been surprised how what I’ve achieved in such a short space of time!

With the focus on improving and perfecting these funding applications, it's easy to forget about all the work your organisation does every day. This is why I am very pleased that I have the opportunity to see several company sessions. It's a chance for me to see the fruit of Rubicon's work as well as making me feel that my fundraising is of value.

Rubicon works with around 2,000 individuals each week in schools, community centres and health settings. In Llanrumney I attended an over 50’s dance session and in Newport I visited the NuWave session - a group that likes to focus on the different aspects of dance performance. Next week I will be going to see schools sessions in Cardiff as well as seeing parent and child sessions in Penarth. I look forward to visiting residential home sessions and a stroke recovery session next month too. Having seen these sessions reminds me of the wide range of Rubicon's work and inspires me to be even more passionate about raising money for the organisation.

NuWave Session at Rubicon Dance

I attended the Arts & Business and Spindogs Digital Marketing Strategy last week. As I do not have much experience in the digital world, this was a really useful course to explain how to build an online presence. Working on our online presence will be crucial in promoting our capital project as well as expanding our online audience.

Week 6: Emma Hastings, Wales Millenium Centre

Emma creative intern

These past few weeks have absolutely flown by! There hasn’t been a dull moment and the internship has surpassed any expectations I had! We’ve passed the one-month marker, set up future goals and ambitions and I really feel like it’s coming together; it’s ‘clicked’.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting one of our funders who have supported us for several years now, and I’ve volunteered as an usher, which was a really great opportunity and motivator as to why we do what we do.  As I’ve been predominantly working in Trusts and Foundations, which is arguably the most ‘desk-orientated’ of the fundraising areas, these interactions outside of the office have been very inspirational.

In addition to general admin, applications and re-writes, I’ve been working on re-vamping our Creative Learning Platfform application templates, to show visible correlation between our proposals and at our new website. I attended Arts & Business’ Digital Strategy Course, in partnership with Spindogs which was genuinely useful for insight on the visual impact of aesthetics and the non-verbal communication occurring through branding design.

We have hosted some corporate events within the Centre, which have been great to see in full swing, meeting and greeting potential sponsors and get a flavour of the on-going event management involved in fundraising. Outside the Centre I’ve been trying to get involved with the wider fundraising family, attending an IoF event ‘Raise and Wine’, an evening version of their breakfast event ‘Raise and Shine’ which was really insightful and I would recommend to any fundraising friend!

Week 5: Megan Stokes, Theatr Clwyd

Megan creative intern

This month, I attended my first Season Launch. This is an event run by the development department, exclusively for Theatr Clwyd members where we reveal what shows will take place in the next few months. It was good to see what work goes into running an event.

As part of the internship, we are invited to all A&B Cymru’s training courses. I attended two seminars on membership and individual giving. They were extremely useful as I have been researching ideas to revamp the current membership scheme at Theatr Clwyd.

It’s been a busy month doing lots of different tasks. I helped with the gift aid claim which involved ironing out any problems in the system that had flagged up. I have also started working on a proposal of ideas to market the development schemes and donating to the public around the theatre.

We are also in the middle of planning Panto Guest Night where we are trying to create fun activities for guests that would encourage donations to the Theatr Clwyd Trust.

I had the responsibility to write the very first staff newsletter where we celebrate everyone’s successes and share information. I had my first meeting with my business mentor where we talked about all my professional and personal goals for the next 10 months.

megan graduation

On Friday, I took the day off work for something very exciting – my graduation! I had my graduation ceremony for my illustration degree which made me very proud.

Week 4: Gwenan Jenkins-Jones, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

Gwenan Creative Intern

It's an exciting time to work at the College and after having had a taster of several projects over the past month it's hard to know where to start!

The first thing that struck me after starting here was that the work of the development department extends beyond the boundaries of Wales. For example, I have been investigating ways to strengthen our links with America and have been devising a show program that will showcase the talent of our students in London.

Organising special events such as this is a crucial part of fundraising. I have produced and translated invitations to events for our faithful Contact members, as well as collaborating on projects to attract new audiences to the College such as our series of concerts suitable for people with dementia.

I've also helped the department organise a special event which will take place in a few months. It cannot be detailed at the moment because the information is top- secret but everything will be revealed by Christmas, I promise!

All of this has meant I've been very busy. In fact, as music seeps through into the office from the practice rooms, I feel even more passionate about raising money for the College and its students and I look forward to what's ahead.

Week 3: Sara Wiliam, Rubicon Dance

Sara Creative Intern

Here I am at the end of my third week at Rubicon Dance - I’ve really enjoyed the last few weeks! Working in a busy environment is challenging but a lot of fun. My main task over the coming months will be raising money for a capital building project in the old Roath library.

During my first week, Rubicon held an event at the Senedd to promote the company and the capital project. This was also an opportunity to get to know people in the fundraising field and I was invited to join the Cardiff Development Forum. I'm looking forward to attending next month's meeting.

I have also been working on a new fundraising strategy for Rubicon, focusing on raising funds in the community. The community is an integral part of Rubicon's work and, therefore, to ensure that the community is aware of the fundraising scheme, I have made a notice board in Rubicon with tips on how the community can join in the fundraising.

Sara Noticeboard

I also completed my first bid for funding and I found that that application had reached the next stage of the competition process! The next step will be to get the public to vote for Rubicon. Votes are open from October 23 to November 20.

This week I've been thinking of ways to secure the votes as well as having a beneficial meeting with my business mentor, Lynne Sheehy from Legal & General. I look forward to getting useful advice from her over the coming months!

Week 2: Emma Hastings, Wales Millenium Centre

Emma creative intern

Week two of the internship program is well and truly underway at WMC (Wales Millennium Centre)! Where to start?

It’s been a great first couple of weeks; I’ve been working as part of the development team to help fundraise for the Centre’s extensive charitable work.  The team is split into smaller sub-sections: Corporate, Individual giving, and Trust and Foundations. Each of which I’ll be supporting for a ‘taster’ three-month period but have been working primarily within Trust and Foundations with my line manager Mike.

The team is lovely – and really understanding of my severe lack of knowledge of all things fundraising. The Centre, being the National Arts Centre of Wales is constantly a buzz of activity. Within the first two weeks there’s been an opening launch of the Nelson Mandela exhibition for Black History Month – a great opportunity to meet some of the sponsors and members and see how the space can be used at the Centre. Also it’s been Health and Well-being Week consisting of massages, body MOT’s and walks, and my most favourite team tradition - the Friday morning Gregg’s run!

Mandela Exhibition at WMC

It has been a blast – and work is well underway researching different trusts that have potential for supporting the WMC and getting to grips with the aims and the multiple outreach programmes already happening! I’m excited to have started my own proposal (with help!) for their Creative Learning Programme; ‘Behind the Platfform’.

Watch this space!

Week 1: Megan Stokes, Theatr Clwyd

Megan Stokes

The reason this internship interested me is that it I wanted to take my passion for the arts and inspire the public to appreciate it as much as I do.  A career in fundraising seemed like the perfect place to do that.

Before the internship started, I had little experience of fundraising. Week one is complete, and I already feel like I know loads more than when I started.

I was thrilled to find out that I had been matched with Theatr Clwyd as I have visited many times in the past.

I am working in a small department with Daniel, Claire and Amy who are very encouraging and have welcomed me into their team. On day one, we did a ‘meet and greet’ with the cast of ‘Thick as Thieves’ where I received a round of applause which was a very fitting theatrical introduction on my first day!

The main things I learnt in my first week have been how to develop relationships with customers and learn about them as individuals. I also learnt how to research companies to see whether they could be potential donors or sponsors.

The highlights of my week were seeing a performance of ‘Lord of the Flies’ after work and attending a rehearsal event for ‘Thick as Thieves’. This was an event for members of Theatr Clwyd to see actors and directors rehearsing their scenes to get a deeper understanding of the theatre.

Lord of the Flies, Theatr Clwyd