Blog 2018/19

Week 18: Emma Hastings, Wales Millennium Centre

It’s Opera Season at the Centre and what better way to kick-start the season of new performances than with a visit from a very special guest? HRH Prince Charles joined us in the Royal Box for the WNO’s opening performance of Un ballo in maschera so it was in-at-the-deep-end for me, putting my new fundraiser’s networking skills into practice!

RawFfest, a national arts festival that’s run by and for young people, got off to a lively start with their vibrant launch event in our Glanfa space.  It was an extraordinary display showcasing the abundance of talent and creative flair of young people.  Dance, song, and spoken word were used, and the participants transformed into truly professional performers. It was an amazing event to be part of and a great way to learn about the direct impact the Centre’s work can bring to people’s lives; something which is key to understand as a fundraiser. I was lucky enough to be able to help run their screen-printing table, which was a nice way to bring my creative background into the internship!

   

It’s lovely to catch up with the rest of the interns this month at the A&B Cymru Fundraising Symposium and Media training and at my visit to Rubicon Dance to see Sara and her team during their exciting capital project!

Looking forward to what the next month brings!

Week 17: Megan Stokes, Theatr Clwyd

Last month, I coordinated my first event which was a Panto afternoon tea exclusively for members. I used my creativity to make top-trump style place settings of all the characters from Dick Whittington. The event received a lot of positive feedback and we also received donations from the group that attended. It felt like the best send off for this year’s panto!

This month I had various trips down to Cardiff for all things Arts & Business Cymru related! I attended the Awards Launch where the award categories were announced. I also attended a Fundraising Symposium at Hodge Bank, where we had presentations from 3 foundations; Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, The Foyle Foundation and Paul Hamlyn Foundation. It was useful to get their perspective on the applications they want to receive. This week I also attended an A&B training course about working with the media.

I combined my trips to Cardiff to visit two of my fellow interns at their organisations. I visited Emma at the Wales Millennium Centre which is a much larger organisation with teams of people working on each area of fundraising. In contrast, I then visited Sara in Rubicon Dance which is a much smaller organisation where they focus their fundraising strategy on trusts and foundations applications. Both Emma and Sara shared some helpful tips on making applications as I am hoping to work on that in the second half of my internship.

This month, we have been working on membership as we are getting closer to the theatre’s first renewal period. We will soon be launching two brand new types of membership: Joint membership and Gift membership and we are aiming to hit our 50%-member renewal target!

Week 16: Gwenan Jenkins-Jones, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

It's nice to start a new season at the College and things are already getting busy! Events organising is top of my list of 'things to do.' Preparation for the New York St David's Day Gala is well underway, and we also have a concert to celebrate our London-based UBS Partnership, a special event for our Friends, the reception at the opening night of our David Seligman Opera School’s production of Albert Herring and 'Behind the Curtain' events with our Connect members to organise. As part of one of those sessions, I had the opportunity to attend a master class by the pianist Yulianna Evdeeva and see her giving the students world class advice – it was inspirational!

Next week is the Orchestradventure concert series! The College is touring this event around Wales. With music, singing and dancing, the College Symphony Orchestra and presenter Tom Redmond will bring new life to a program of music. He will present the instruments and methods of working in the orchestra to school children by using an interactive presentation and live musical displays. Many of the children will have participated in workshops and other educational experiences supported by the Experiencing the Arts Fund: Creative Collaborations, funded by the Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Government. I have the responsibility of organising the concert reception in Cardiff and I look forward to meeting the College's supporters and special guests and seeing our students presenting the power of music and the arts to the children of Wales.

This week I visited Sara, another intern who is placed at Rubicon Dance, to get a taste of how that organisation raises money and what they achieve. Rubicon is doing fantastic work across Cardiff and beyond and with their capital appeal to reopen Roath's library as a dance studio, Sara has a lot to keep her busy!

Week 15: Sara Wiliam, Rubicon Dance

After a relaxing time over the Christmas holidays I am now back to the bustle of Rubicon!

We have new software for our fundraising work and I have been feeding our targets and our data into the new system. This is a huge step forward for Rubicon as our fundraising objectives for the next few months are now clearly visible and measurable.

I found out that two of my funding applications have been successful! The first is for an event in partnership with the Age Cymru Gwanwyn Festival. The second was with the Virgin Money Foundation. We now have the opportunity to earn up to £1,000, depending on a public vote. Earlier in the month I attended the Virgin Money Lounge to raise awareness among the lounge's visitors.

Next week our Schools Festival starts at St David's Hall. It's a festival where over 60 Cardiff and Vale schools come together to perform. The festival will take place over three nights. As well as being on hand to help, there will be a display stand for our fundraising work where I will encourage people to join our 'Friends of Rubicon' scheme. I look forward to seeing the children enjoying these events.  For many of these children this is their first chance to perform on the stage at such a great venue – this links directly into Rubicon's mission statement: accessibility and ensuring everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the arts.

I also attended the Arts & Business Cymru Awards Launch this week where I caught up with the other interns and my business mentor. I'm also looking forward to welcoming Emma and Gwenni to Rubicon at the end of the month!

Week 14: Emma Hastings, Wales Millennium Centre

New Year, New Challenges! Following a jam packed 3 months with the Trusts & Foundations Team, I’ve made the move over to Individual Giving with Bethany and Cecily and have not been disappointed! I love how the individual giving team opens up a new way of engaging with the Centre. Each task is fresh and swift, as we immerse ourselves with our lovely members, mailings, campaigns, donations, events and more!

We may not be far into 2019 but I’m beyond excited to lead on one of our member’s events! ‘The Making of: The Mirror Crack’d’ is an exclusive event showcasing the Centre’s own production ‘The Mirror Crack’d’; the first stage adaptation of Agatha Christie’s murder mystery. The event will feature ‘Killer Cocktails’, a private exhibition and an insightful pre-show talk by award-winning executive producer, Padraig Cusack. It’s still in the planning stages, however it’s a great learning experience and I’m looking forward to the final event in March.

I’m really pleased to have received a grant of £1,000 and smaller donations of £200 which contributed to our 30 Days of Giving campaign: Pump Up the Volume. This brought our total to a truly generous £9,000!

Whilst undertaking some internal training, updating support boards around the Centre and creating reports to generate upcoming membership expiries, I’m looking forward to the Arts & Business Awards Launch, seeing my fellow interns in the Centre and visiting Rubicon Dance later this month!

Week 13: Megan Stokes, Theatr Clwyd

Megan creative intern

In December, we hosted an Arts & Business Cymru event at Theatr Clwyd where guests got the chance to network with each other and learn about both Arts & Business Cymru and Theatr Clwyd’s news and upcoming events. Guests also had an exclusive sneak peak of one of our Christmas shows, Hansel and Gretel – The Fairy-tale Detectives, an interactive children’s show that encouraged the audience to take part and help the characters solve a crime. The show took place throughout the whole building… including our office… which was a lot of fun when you didn’t know who was going to come around the corner!

The Development Team hosted a Hansel and Gretel Afternoon tea for the former Friend’s group to say thank you as the money they donated contributed to the Theatr receiving new caption boxes. It is important to host these events for members of the former Friend’s group as we want to continue building on these relationships as part of our new fundraising strategy for the Theatr.

Hansel & Gretel Afternoon Tea

We are currently in the middle of planning another Development Team event, a Panto afternoon tea which is an event exclusively available to our members. We have included a suggested donation to encourage people to donate when booking their tickets. It will be held on the stage and there will be some exciting guest speakers too.

We think it is important to support other charities so on Christmas Jumper day, all Theatr Clwyd staff wore their most festive sweaters to raise money for Save the Children. In total we raised over £100.

Theatr Clwyd was in the news this month as our Artistic Director, Tamara Harvey, stepped in to perform in this year’s panto Dick Whittington when the lead actress injured herself during the opening number. It’s true what they say, ‘the show must go on’!

Week 12: Gwenan Jenkins-Jones, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

After staying calm for months, I am now able to talk about the College's secret event, our royal celebration! On 7th December, HRH Prince Charles, along with a number of special guests, celebrated his 70th birthday at the College. He was welcomed by our brass students and a harp recital in the foyer (with royal harpist Anne Denholm, leading), followed by a cabaret performance and lunch for those who had made the day possible with their financial support.

I've been preparing since October; communicating with over a hundred guests, writing briefing notes, creating bilingual materials and helping the development team in any way possible. Each member of College staff played their part in organising and working together. We succeeded in creating an unforgettable event! It was an opportunity not only to celebrate our patron's birthday, but also the talent of our students and alumni, as well as promoting the organisation nationally, and showing our appreciation to all the individuals and organisations that contribute to the development of our national conservatoire. It was also an opportunity for me to have a picture with Matthew Rhys, of course!

The event was huge, but the College's life does not stop for anyone! The students have been running a feast of performances throughout the festive season, including concerts sponsored by our Connect members. I helped to organise invitations for these events and it was nice to meet those people who support the organisation and enable us to continue attracting international artists to perform and work with our students, carry out a diverse performance program, and offer support with their various projects.

The students have finished for the season but we are busy preparing for 2019 starting with our next venture; Gala in New York!

Week 11: Sara Wiliam, Rubicon Dance

It's hard to believe that my third month here at Rubicon is almost at an end! Many things have evolved since my last blog - here's a little taster…

I can announce that an application for an £18,000 grant that I submitted back in October has been successful! This was a grant for a new website so a brand new site will be developed in the New Year. This is a very positive development for Rubicon to make our website a clear reflection of the wide range of work that we are doing, and to raise awareness of our fundraising plans for our capital project. I am delighted that this application has been successful and I'm really looking forward to being part of the redesign process.

I also had the opportunity to go to the Cardiff Development Forum meeting. This is an opportunity for different fundraisers in the arts to come together to discuss their work. The theme of the most recent meeting was corporate fundraising and it was interesting to hear the ideas and experiences of other fundraisers in this area. It was also good to see many previous interns at the meeting that continue to raise money in fundraising roles in the arts. This is a clear testament to the success of the Creative Internship scheme and inspires me to follow in their footsteps.

One of my main objectives by the end of my internship is to be more confident at networking events. As a result, my business mentor - Lynne Sheehy - suggested that it would be a good idea to go with her to the Cardiff Business Club to help me develop networking in this environment.  At their event last week I had the opportunity to practice and improve my networking skills as well as meeting new people and raising the profile of Rubicon. I'm very grateful to Lynne for asking me to join her.

I look forward to continuing to develop and learn in 2019. Happy Christmas and Happy New Year!

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