Week 32: Chieh-Ju, NoFit State
After working with NoFit State Circus for 8 months, I’m very pleased to announce that when the creative internship ends in mid-August, I will start a new contract with the company and continue to work here as a full-time Development Assistant– I’m so thrilled to be staying with the circus and becoming an official member of the team!
Just last week, Art @ the Senedd took place in a beautiful summer evening where I had the chance to network and chat with people from different arts organisations, and finally meet some familiar faces in person, who I’ve met at the development forum zoom meetings and other occasions. It was just a lovely platform to meet people face to face, which was much needed, enjoy two brilliant performances, and reconnect with my networking ability after the pandemic.
Other good news, application wise, we secured about 10 grand from the Big Lottery Fund! The grant will help continue the artistic development of the Clifton Street party and create a space where cultural exchange can flourish and where creative individuals from different backgrounds can come together– telling collective stories that the community resonates with.
This week I’m going to work on a report for our Accessible Youth Circus, which saw 7 young people receive bursaries and 1-2-1 training. I’m looking forward to gathering their feedback, written after each session. It’s also the time to seek the next round of funding to sustain the programme. I’ve identified a few trusts and foundations and will need to reach out to them to find out more and start drafting new applications.
Week 31: Aled, Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias
Where to begin. To be completely honest, there isn’t much to update you all on. I am currently in the grant reporting stages of fundraising, the less glamorous part of fundraising but still important. We have submitted applications to continue to fund our ‘Canfod y Gân’ project – so hopefully we will have a succesful grant, as it is an incredible project and so important to the participants. Thinking ahead to 2023, and the International Wales Harp Festival sponsorships, particularly focussing on bringing a sponsorship package together and scoping out what businesses out there are potential sponsors for the event. So if you own a business and want to sponsor an International Festival – please get in touch!
I also got the opportunity to visit Pendine Park in Wrexham. Pendine Park sponsored our International Piano Festival in 2021 and through the Culture Step funding, we were able to give performances in two of their Wrexham Homes; with our experienced tutors Iwan Wyn Owen and Bethan Griffiths giving perfomances. This was a really great experience to be able to experience a really wholesome performance. The residents enjoyed and joined in singing along towards the end of the performance.
Turns out I did have a bit to tell you!
Week 30: Tilly, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
Event season has officially started here at RWCMD, and so it has been a super busy month!
This week we welcomed over 100 donors and stakeholders of the College into our beautiful Carne Foyer for the Annual Dinner, which is an event that allows us to say thank you to our community of contributors and creates a space for some incredibly rewarding conversations and cultivation opportunities. This is the first event of this size since the College closed in 2019 due to the pandemic, so it really was an ‘all hands-on deck’ effort from the team.
I have also been organising a couple of receptions we have planned towards the end of the month and into July, which has been a great experience. I have really enjoyed pulling together all of the different elements that make events like this work, and it has been a nice opportunity to get to know staff in the rest of the College, not just in development.
Over the next few weeks, I will be looking into some more trusts and foundations research and starting to move forward with some corporate sponsored projects which will start properly in the new academic year. Many of our students are really focussed on outreach and community engagement as an area of interest, so being able to provide opportunities for them to reach out into their communities is really exciting.
Overall, it’s been a very enjoyable month, and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in with all of our upcoming events!
Week 29: Suzy, National Youth Arts Wales
I can’t believe we have less then 3 months of our internships left!
In my last blog, I mentioned I had started a Fundraising Marketing Campaign. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been creating a campaign timeline which includes the social media platforms we want to use, the target audience, type of media and an engaging caption. The Sign Up to our Mailing list Campaign, for example, partly aims to reach out to members of our alumni and encourage them to stay in touch with NYAW. I’ve hence been searching through our archive of photos to see how we can do this, and then have used Canva to create content suitable for our social media channels. Even though this hasn’t been strictly fundraising, they often work hand in hand together, so it’s been great to have this experience.
As well as this, I’ve recently started to organise two guest reception evenings for one of our National Youth Orchestra of Wales concerts and one of our National Youth Theatre of Wales concerts happening this summer. These will be for VIP guests, so I’ve been starting to organise things such as the space, drinks, numbers, and staff. Having never organised an event before, I look forward to seeing how they turn out!
I’m still carrying on with the corporate sponsorship proposals. Even though we haven’t yet reached out to any businesses, we now have a list of contact information and which proposal would be most suitable for each business, so it’s still progressing.
See you all in the next month!
Week 28: Rosie, Wales Millennium Centre
I only have 3 months left of my internship! Sadly, this week finished with another goodbye to my 2nd line manager and arts mentor Cecily, who is off on maternity leave. Cecily has been an amazing line manager for the last couple of months, and so supportive from the day I started at WMC.
We had the Cardiff Met graduations in the Centre in April and it was great to be involved with parts of the event. The Centre was so busy, and it was interesting to see how this element of the partnership works. My largest success has been a mini campaign we recently did, and this resulted in the addition of 4 new Partner members. I was successful in engaging 2 of these new members with reinstating and it was wonderful to hear how keen they were to rejoin.
I recently had two meetings, with Cecily about Major Donor relationship and cultivation plans and with Izzie about Corporate Relationships and Cultivation. This was vital in solidifying my knowledge and understanding of developing and stewarding these important relationships. I have started drafting a project update report for one of our funders, The Margaret Davies foundation. This is my first time writing a funder report, so I have given myself a lot of time to redraft and ensure that I report back all of the most important information.
The next exciting event coming up is our exclusive Afternoon Tea on the Stage event, which I have been helping to organise and am really looking forward to!
Week 27: Eve, Rubicon Dance
I’ve had a variety of new experiences recently, with two visits to University Hospital Llandough and thinking through the potential for a Rubicon Friends Scheme adding to my fundraising knowledge.
I spent time with former A&B Creative Intern, Bex, from the Arts for Health and Wellbeing Charity to finalise the NHS Online Art Auction 2022 at the Hearth Gallery at University Hospital Llandough. We packaged the auctioned work and attached the correct address labels. I drafted emails to update those who donated art on the success of their piece and then began to think about what gallery spaces may be suitable for the next auction.
At the same hospital, I visited the Stroke Rehabilitation Centre to see Anwen, Rubicon Dance’s Dance Practitioner, deliver a movement session to a wonderful group of patients. I have had to write up descriptions of the Stroke sessions for funding applications before, but now I’ve been part of a face-to-face session I would be able to write more emotionally and with better knowledge for next time. This added to my experience of joining an online Stroke Association and Rubicon movement and dance session earlier in my internship.
I’ve started to think about implementing a Friends Scheme into Rubicon. By researching into arts and dance charities, venues and educational facilities, to see what they offer, I now have a broader understanding of the types of schemes these places have, or don’t have, which has influenced my ideas on the scheme we could create at Rubicon.
The ‘Spare a Book’ fundraiser is still underway and I’ve been trying to think of new ideas and ways of continuing to raise as much money as possible. I’ve really enjoyed seeing the piles of books donated to us and the resulting money that will go towards our Roath Library project.
If you have any unwanted books, then please bring them our way!
Week 26: Chieh-Ju, NoFit State
Week 25: Aled, Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias
Well it’s been a busy few weeks since my last blog. The Harp Festival happened! And how nice it was to finally have a live event happen again! We were able to bring over 25 harpists to the festival and deliver high quality classes with the best Harpists Wales has to offer. It was great to be able to inspire new and returning Harpists to keep the Harp tradition in Wales alive. We were also able to attract over 200 people to the festival concert on the last night. This was thanks to Arts & Business Cymru’s CultureStep. Through its funding we were able to offer free tickets to those facing barriers in accessing such performances. So thank you very much A&B Cymru for supporting the festival and helping us reach a wider audience!
I actually got the chance to experience a more hands on role during the concert by Stage Managing the show. It was great to get a behind the scenes experience and meeting the artists that star in the festival. It was great to get to meet the sponsors also, Salvi and Vining Harps, that contribute enormously towards the smooth running of the festival and support the continuation of the Festival. We are excited to welcome them back to next years’ International Wales Harp Festival.
It has been a great few months, with my work now focusing on reporting on the festivals and seeking more funding for our amazing project ‘Canfod y Gân’.
I’m looking forward to updating you all in a month!
Week 24: Tilly, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
As always, it’s been a busy few weeks here at the College. Now that we’re heading into the final term our students are getting busy with preparations for the summer productions which promise to be an exciting culmination of all of the hard work they have put in this year.
Since my last blog post I have had the opportunity to attend the spring opera production of ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ at the Sherman theatre along with some of our donors who currently support some of our Opera students. The production itself was fantastic, and I really enjoyed having the opportunity to meet some more of our supporters and to find out about their own personal connections to the College and our students.
This month has also been a nice reminder that being a fundraiser often means doing lots of odd jobs that don’t really belong to any one department! I have been writing some website copy, taking lots of pictures of rehearsals, compiling donor information, and sending lots of letters.
We have lots of events coming up soon, so I am excited to start working on and attending those, and I am hoping to work my way through some more trust and foundations work over the next few weeks as well. Overall it’s been a really exciting month!
Week 23: Suzy, National Youth Arts Wales
It’s been a busy few weeks here at National Youth Arts Wales now that 2022 activity has started with Easter rehearsals and residencies! It was really exciting to attend our National Youth Choir of Wales rehearsal a few weeks ago to hear live music and meet our members.
Since my last blog, I have submitted 3 more grant applications for our Music Futures project, and I now only have 1 more to go! It usually takes a couple of months before hearing back from trusts and foundations, but I have my fingers crossed for a few successful ones!
Aside from writing applications, I’ve continued working on our corporate sponsorship packages. We currently don’t have any corporate sponsors or partners, so I’ve been thrown in at the deep end as we've essentially started from scratch, but it’s been a really great experience to be involved with. So far, I have created four specific sponsorship packages for our Music Futures project and then the concerts around our orchestra, brass band, and theatre ensembles this summer. I’m currently working on a pitch tailored towards each business we plan to approach with reasons why they should consider our proposal and sponsor our summer events. We hope to approach businesses by the end of the month!
I’ve also recently started working on two fundraising marketing campaigns with the aims of increasing sign-ups to our mailing list and spreading wider awareness of our impact. This has been a really great experience so far, but there’s lots more I’ll be doing on this in the next couple of weeks.
For now, I look forward to continuing my internship and I’ll see you in the next blog!
Week 22: Rosie, Wales Millennium Centre
As usual we have been really busy in WMC since I last wrote a blog, with my lounge bookings, direct debit processes and meetings!
We had to say a temporary goodbye to my line manager, Esyllt Williams, at the end of March so things have changed slightly. We are all really missing Es but I am so glad that she was my manager for the first half of my internship, and I learnt so much from her.
I finished the Arts and Health Awareness Course at the end of March and I am really grateful for that experience. I learnt a lot about evaluation, which will help with one of my upcoming objectives to start some report writing. I also learnt about various projects within Arts and Health that make life a bit more enjoyable for people.
At the start of the month, I also prepared and sent out our Members’ April Enews which was exciting and announced some new on-sales to our members. This is such a great experience, to compile, collate and send out our newsletter.
I attended the A&B Fundraising Symposium in March, and that was a very valuable opportunity to ask questions to the experts from charities who do not fund us and those who do. I was able to feedback to the team and we all found it extremely helpful, especially in terms of our Garfield Weston report.
It’s been a great few weeks since my last blog and I am looking forward to the second half of my internship!
Week 21: Eve, Rubicon Dance
I’m now halfway through my internship at Rubicon and I’m really proud of all the skills and experiences I’ve gained.
Recently, I assisted in CAVUHB’s Breast Centre Appeal Afternoon Tea at Park Plaza where I prepared the tables ready to receive guests, welcoming them upon arrival, and helping with the raffle. I was really impressed to see £1500 raised through the sale of raffle tickets within just 15 minutes!
I’m really grateful that CAVUHB included me as part of the team for the fundraiser, because it gave me in-person event experience and the opportunity to engage with people from a charity that Rubicon so frequently collaborates with.
I attended Arts and Business Cymru’s Fundraising Symposium which helped me to learn more about the five trusts and foundations present at the event. There are so many trusts and foundations, that I can find it hard to remember the profile of each one, but this event has made it much easier to recall each one now.
A standout moment over the last month has been the Arts & Health Awareness Course organised by Wales Wide Training Programme and funded through Welsh Assembly Government's Personal Learning Account (PLA). This training really opened my eyes to the amazing work that the arts sector does for health and wellbeing across Wales. Without this course, I wouldn’t have understood the significance of art for health, or been exposed to charities, projects and talented individuals who work in the field.
Now, I’m looking forward to continuing the Spare a Book fundraising campaign to try and build on our £200 total.
Week 20: Chieh-Ju, NoFit State
I have some exciting updates to share in this week’s blog from NoFit!
I just came back from an amazing trip to Pembrokeshire visiting our production team who have been working rigorously under the Big Top to fine-tune the brand-new touring show SABOTAGE– it will premiere in 4 days! As a fundraiser, although I’m not directly involved in the making of the shows, I’ve found having the opportunity to see the creative process, the preview, and to speak to our team members who work on-site extremely helpful. Actually experiencing what’s happening and talking with the people in the know offer very rich information that later on feed into when writing funding applications, keeping our regular givers in the loop with the latest behind the scene chats, and any other opportunity where I can be an advocate for the circus. It also enhances my understanding of the organisation structure overall, piecing things together from our show to all the community programmes that we deliver in the local community of Adamsdown and Splott.
In other news, we have submitted, on occasion physically, more applications to trusts and foundations (with more to come) to raise money for a large-scale community event Circus in Parks which is going to happen from Easter, having secured the ACW Create grant!
Create is one of the very first few applications that I’ve contributed to the writing. It is so rewarding to know the hard work is paying off! I’ve also been writing independently The Percy Bilton Charity application, where we are hoping to receive support for a new purchase of circus equipment that will help us continue and expand our community programme delivery.
Now that I’ve collected the exciting news and some “top circus secrets”, I’ll start drafting them in an email to our regular givers who have been supporting us and helping make things happen. I can’t wait to share with them all the events and performances to come, how they can get involved, or simply hear about all the fun happenings under the circus tent.
For now, I’ll hand it over to Eve who is going to contribute to the blog next. I'll see you in my next post in a few weeks' time!
Week 19: Aled, Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias
Well it’s time for another blog!
I say this every time but I still can’t get over how fast these blogs come around. The past weeks have been in preperation for the Wales Harp Festival taking place the 12th and 13th of April. I have set up a local business fund for the Festival to try and get local businesses involved and to take advantage of the extra audience that will be in Caernarfon for the Festival. Currently it is really difficult to get businesses excited about the arts, leading to a mixed response; hopefully, we will be able to attract more support in the next few weeks. I’ve also been successful in another CultureStep application, celebrating the partnership between CGWM, Camac Harps and Telynau Vining – a long standing relationship where they’ve supported the festival for years. The funding will aim to increase the interest of young people who usually face barriers to attending classical music concerts by offering free tickets to our festival concert.
Also, I’d like to give a big shout out to Andy and Kathy, my Arts Mentor and Business Mentor. They’ve both been a big help to me this year, just as an external sounding board to discuss some ideas or to just have a chat and work through any worries that I may have.
So thank you so much!
Week 18: Tilly, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
After spending the first half of my internship working entirely from home, I have finally moved down to Cardiff! This has been a great opportunity for me to get involved with some of the events that have taken place at the College and meet some of our regular donors who give to our regular giving scheme. I have also enjoyed working in the office and listening to some of the exciting work that our students have been working on which can always be heard ringing around the building.
This month has also given me lots of opportunities for my own development as a fundraiser. I finished my first independent trust application this week which I will hopefully be submitting soon. I have also drafted quite a few different correspondences to various individuals, trusts, and corporate connections which has allowed me to develop my writing skills and learn how to tweak my own personal style to suit the purpose and recipient.
Attending the Fundamentals of Fundraising sessions led by Arts and Business Cymru were really helpful and boosted my confidence in my own skills and abilities, and gave me lots to think about when conducting my own work.
I have really enjoyed my internship thus far and I am excited to see where the second half takes me!
Week 17: Suzy, National Youth Arts Wales
I’m now over 4 months in and reaching the halfway point of my internship with National Youth Arts Wales, I can’t believe it!
One thing I’m loving about this internship is the amount of training opportunities that are available to me. We have just finished the A&B Cymru’s Fundamentals of Fundraising training course which has been really useful to consolidate all the information I have learnt since starting my internship. I’m also lucky that NYAW has a membership with the Arts Marketing Association which means I can sign up to any of the training webinars they host. So far, I have attended topics such as Diversifying your Audience, the Basic of Budgeting, and an Evidence-Based Social Media. I’m always surprised about how many opportunities there are outside A&B Cymru and NYAW as well. For example, I recently attended the Young Arts Fundraisers speed mentoring sessions with women who have shaped the fundraising sector. This was a great chance to network and seek advice from industry professionals, and a great way to celebrate International Women’s Day!
Aside from training, I have spent my workdays writing a draft sponsorship package, carrying on my research into trust and foundations, writing grant applications, and writing my first report. This report is for Ty Cerdd for the grant they gave towards our NYOW 75th anniversary project. It has been useful to write a report to see the stages of trusts and foundations once the grant has been awarded, and to be able to write our true impact of the project on our members, the organisation, and the arts sector.
Week 16: Rosie, Wales Millennium Centre
Time flies when you are having fun! I cannot believe it is March already. So much has been going on in Wales Millennium Centre and we are so happy to be back open again. It is opera season currently and I have returned to my usual jobs of sorting the Members’ Lounge queries, feedback, and numbers.
In addition to the Centre getting busier again, we have had four of the A&B Fundraising training courses this month which have been so helpful. I have thoroughly enjoyed expanding my knowledge of various aspects of fundraising and speaking to people from a range of organisations to hear the ways in which they fundraise.
Excitingly, we have welcomed two new members to the Development Team at WMC, Polly is our new Impact and Reporting Coordinator, and Izzie is our new Relationships and Campaigns Coordinator.
I have attended a couple of our Valued Schools Partnerships workshop days with young people from local schools in Cardiff and was able to see one of the many amazing things we are raising funds for. Getting involved in these workshops has been extremely beneficial. It has proven how our job is crucial in creating opportunities for young people. It has been so insightful to experience the wonderful projects in person and seeing how much the participants gain from them.
I am looking forward to a busy few months in the Centre and I am also looking forward to continuing the Arts & Health Awareness Course by Rubicon Dance, which I started this week with a session on Evaluation.
Week 15: Eve, Rubicon Dance
In my last blog I mentioned that I was preparing my first ever funding application to submit to A&B Cymru’s CultureStep, I am delighted to confirm my application was successful! I was so pleased and my team congratulated me on this memorable achievement. I’m now starting a new application, Awards For All, for the National Lottery Community Fund where I’m encountering a new challenge in learning how to create a budget and justify it within my answers to the questions provided.
Another project I am continuing to work on at present consists of identifying potential businesses for Rubicon to partner with to raise funds for the renovation of Roath Library. It took me a long time to construct and perfect my email out to businesses as it had to have the right tone and structure; and offer a clear reason for how the business would benefit from the partnership. I didn’t think that writing an effective email would be as difficult as it was, but now I’m more confident in my ability to do so and can continue using my new found skills in all emails moving forward.
In an effort to raise even more funds for the renovation of Roath Library, our fundraising team have developed a fundraiser we’re calling ‘Spare a Book’ where we will receive unused books from the local community. I have been approaching businesses who might promote the fundraiser by displaying a poster for us within their shop or on social media. I’ve really enjoyed creating relationships with local businesses throughout these two projects and look forward to developing these connections throughout my internship.
Week 14: Chieh-Ju, NoFit State
Next month is going to mark the halfway of my internship!
At NoFit State, we’re busy applying for ACW grants for:
- a large-scale celebratory participation and performance event that will take place in our local community of Adamsdown
- the second Circus Village where artists of all levels and across Wales and the wider UK would come together to live, train, work and learn together
- the Cultural Recovery Fund.
We’ve also been mapping out some potential funds that could support other projects like our outreach programme with Adamsdown Primary, Diverse Circus for kids on the autistic spectrum, after school circus club and more. We are really looking forward to positive outcomes for those applications so that we can take the projects further.
During our touring show LEXICON, we invited our audiences to become regular supporters who fund our projects under the Big Top and in the community. For those who join, we steward the relationship as their support is crucial. I’ve gained experience writing emails to achieve this and look forward to hearing more from our supporters that share our love for the circus art.
Before I go, I want to share things from outside of work. This month with the other interns I’ve attended a series of fundraising training courses delivered by the amazing Arts & Business Cymru team all for free thanks to this Creative Internships Programme. The training covered fundraising strategy, business sponsorship, friend schemes and more. I picked up more insights and some of my questions were answered. For the areas I was not as familiar with, the courses offered very informative overviews and I can’t wait to apply the knowledge to the real world!
Week 13: Aled, Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias
It’s February already? These blogs come around quicker every time!
At CGWM we’ve been busy organising the 2022 Wales Harp Festival due to take place Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th of April. We’ve got an exciting programme including masterclasses and workshops for Harpists of all ages and abilities with some of the most prolific tutors in Wales. Our festival concert will star Gwenllian Llŷr and Ben Creighton Griffiths with his Band, if you’re in the area go and check out our website for tickets! www.walesharpfestival.co.uk
The general fundraising for the festival is coming to an end and I am now looking for funders to continue our amazing project – Canfod y Gân – as funding for this project will soon conclude. I’m really excited to start forming long term relationships with Trusts & Foundations to gain multiyear funding for this exciting project!
We are also planning a fundraising strategy for the International Wales Harp Festival in 2023 and hoping to launch an individual giving campaign during the smaller festival in April.
So, all in all not a very glamourous period but still plenty to do which is the way this job goes.
Week 12: Tilly, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama
Three months in already, the time has really flown by!
Since my last blog I have had lots of great opportunities to develop my skills as a fundraiser, particularly in some areas I hadn’t considered much before. It has been great to learn about lots of different projects that have been going on at the College, which I have had the pleasure to write about in reports to trusts to update them on how their money has been spent. I have particularly enjoyed seeing the impact that the money we raise can have on our college community!
This month I have been doing lots of research into new areas of funding we can explore for our bursary fund; looking at all of the different areas that make up our fundraising campaign and strategy, and learning about some areas I am less familiar with, such as corporate sponsorships. This has been a fantastic opportunity to use my initiative and get creative to come up with some new ideas to explore.
As we’re opening up again after this most recent bout of COVID, we will finally be able to open our doors to the public once again, which will give us the opportunity to host donor events and welcome the community back into the College – I can’t wait to get back into the building and experience some of the more in-person elements of fundraising!
Week 11: Suzy, National Youth Arts Wales
I’m now nearly three months into my internship with National Youth Arts Wales and I feel I’ve learnt so much already!
One of my favourite tasks since my last blog has been working at more of our music audition sessions. This was a great chance to meet some of our returning members and first time auditonees to learn a little about their musical background and try to settle their nerves. It was also a good reminder of why we’re fundraising and who for – our members!
I’ve recently enjoyed working on a few applications to trusts and foundations for funding. My line manager, David, and I have recently applied to Youth Music’s Recharge Fund. Although we won’t have the result from the application until the end of March, I’m hopeful that it’ll be successful because it’s an exciting project that focuses on staff wellbeing and training, as well as growth and development of the organisation. I found writing this application a little more challenging compared to applying for funding towards our outreach projects and such because it’s a new and individual project, so there were no previous applications to take inspiration from. However, that made it even more rewarding once it was finished and ready for submitting!
Other applications I’ve been working on have been for our development projects, such as Music Futures – a contemporary music project for young people from under-represented backgrounds across Wales. It’s been great to have more independence regarding these applications and to gain feedback on my work, which in turn develops my confidence in writing. Aside from writing, I’ve also been busy having my first mentor sessions with both my arts and business mentors, learning about arts marketing, and researching for suitable trusts and foundations to apply to.
Week 10: Rosie, Wales Millennium Centre
Happy New Year everyone! Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!
What a strange month or so it has been! Sadly, due to the Alert Level 2 restrictions, Wales Millennium Centre had to shut its doors from 26th December onwards. I had to contact several people due to cancellations and after speaking to so many people it made me realise how important our supporters and members are, especially in times like these. Before these restrictions were imposed, I gained some experience with Ushering for Beauty and the Beast! It was amazing to meet so many of our passionate volunteers who help with running the Centre and it was great to gain experience in a different area of WMC.
My weekly tasks have completely altered from dealing with our members daily to more research-based work and hopefully this information will be extremely useful when we come to write the applications and proposals. This extra time has allowed me to gain a few more skills and Kia has trained me to do several things, such as writing invoices, creating competition posters, processing our monthly Direct Debits, and how to prepare and send our Member Enews. I have started work with my business mentor on a new fundraising project that I will be working on over the next few months too!
I am looking forward to the A&B Training Programmes which are coming up in February and learning more about the world of Fundraising. I am excited to be able to implement this training into my day-to-day work and especially with the upcoming proposals and applications.
Week 9: Eve, Rubicon Dance
Christmas is over and it is time to get back to work! Since writing my last blog post in December, I have covered more aspects of fundraising and had more lovely experiences in my eight weeks of being a Creative Intern.
I helped to strategise the press release for Rubicon’s stunning Christmas theatre show “The Nutcracker” with our Communications Consultant, which I had the pleasure of watching at The Riverfront Theatre in Newport. I was so happy to see everyone’s hard work finally come together.
Image by Sian Trenberth
Another stand out memory was supporting the “Celebration of the Arts 2021” hosted by A&B Cymru, because it meant that I met my fellow Creative Interns and the A&B Cymru team members, who I had only communicated with online up until the event due to ongoing covid measures. It was so lovely to be a part of an event that celebrates creativity and charities achievements, and it made me feel proud to be working in the arts sector in Wales.
With the support from Kathryn, Director at Rubicon, I had the responsibility of preparing the “Twelve Days of Christmas” series across all our social media platforms. This was so helpful to do because it allowed me to learn what Rubicon has achieved over the last year. The process also helped me to understand some of the wide breadth of work that Rubicon undertakes. By posting about twelve events or initiatives that Rubicon had achieved throughout 2021, it meant that our participants and supporters could share in our pride and celebrate positive moments.
Image by Pal Hansen
I have taken part in some lovely events organised by Rubicon, such as a talk from Cai Tomos in this year’s Wales Wide Training Programme’s Inspirational Speaker Series. Cai shared with us some of his stories of having worked with unwell or end of life patients which he has experienced throughout his dance career – this made me feel truly emotional.
I also had the pleasure of watching the full-time student’s end of year show, which was shared digitally, where I was able to watch a variety of work that they had created over the year.
Lastly, I got the chance to do some dancing in a Kids Online Street Class. I could see just how much the children enjoyed the online classes and witness the excellent skillset of our Rubicon Dance Practitioners.
I am looking forward to progressing more throughout this term and now it’s time to learn how to prepare a funding application, wish me luck!
Week 8: Chieh-Ju, NoFit State
During the past few weeks, I’ve been delightedly involved in a variety of work, and one job was to update NoFit State’s Regular Giving webpage (https://www.nofitstate.org/en/support/regular-giving).
LEXICON, our touring circus performance kicked off in Cardiff on 15th December. The performance, held at Sophia Gardens, will be shown up until the 15th January 2022, with reduced capacity granted upon entry as a COVID precaution. To make the most out of the exposure during LEXICON, and the positive circus feeling left with our audiences, we hope to invite audience members to become regular givers through our updated regular giving webpage. We have the updated the webpage ready to invite them to run away with the circus and support our work.
Putting up the flipboard, the Development Team had a brainstorming session in our parlour at Four Elms to come up with the key points to emphasise on the regular giving webpage. We have chosen to update the website as much of the messaging was benefit-oriented. We know from our existing supporters that people support us to give not to take, so, with this in mind, we wanted to inform our loyal supporters of how their contributions are used within the organisation. Even though other charities have had success by outlining to their donors how their contributions are helping e.g. how much it costs to run a helpline for one night, a day of staff training, etc. we decided that we needed something more specific to No Fit State that would be more compelling for our supporters.
I was provided with key bullet points to get a head start writing our regular giving spiel, as I wasn’t familiar with writing in this area. I was delighted to complete the first version and was grateful for the opportunity to learn from the constructive and helpful feedback from both Ed and Bethan (who was the amazing Head of Development but now has started her new page of life in West Wales at Span Arts!) who guided me to make further edits. Our final messaging follows the logic below, which is also the main takeaway for me and I’d like to share it in the blog:
In the general introduction we first explain who we are, what we are known for (e.g., touring productions and community classes), and what else the circus does that people might not know of but is also at the heart of the company (including working with the wider UK circus sector and our local community to provide accessible and creative opportunities for everyone to engage with the special art form of the contemporary circus).
We then provide our website audience with some information to support how their generosity enables us to continue to deliver our outstanding programmes.
Next, we introduce the different strands under the regular giving scheme. In each strand, we include messages that emphasise that everyone donates according to their own capacity, and this doesn’t change how equally important each one of their contributions are to the circus. The three strands, Dreamers, Mavericks and Rabble Rousers all have a crucial role to play.
Aside from updating the webpage, I’ve also been engaging in other work, such as joining ongoing meetings to discuss the National Portfolio application with Arts Council England, and writing a relaxed performance press release with the help of Ed and Anna, our Marketing & Communications Officer, which is up and running on our webpage (have a read here: https://www.nofitstate.org/en/news/nofit-states-accessible-winter-comeback-circus-show-lexicon-its-first-ever-relaxed-performance/). However, due to the limited space here, I’ll try and share them in the next blog post with other exciting things to come.
In the meantime, stay tuned to our Arts & Business Cymru Creative Internships Blog 2021/22 to know more about the latest activities of all 6 of us interns!
Week 7: Aled, Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias
Nadolig Llawen! The past few months have flown by and I can’t believe that it’s nearly Christmas!
These months haven’t been filled with quite as much active fundraising, but more strategising for the new year. But I did write a funding application for the CultureStep Investment that is funded by our very own Arts & Business Cymru AND it was succesful! It stemmed from a long lasting partnership between CGWM and Pendine Park at our Wales International Piano Festival in September 2021. With the CultureStep funding we will be able to fund a series of workshop-concerts for the residents in Pendine Park’s care homes and link up with other day centres and care settings in the locality of Pendine Park’s Wrexham care homes.
In other news, I am currently in the process of writing a funding bid for the Wales Harp Festival in April 2022. Whilst also researching coorperates that I will be able to approach in the new year. Sponsorship is a challenging aspect of fundraising but with the excellent support I’ve received from both my Arts and Business mentors hopefully I’ll be able to develop some great partnerships!
Week 6: Tilly, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
I can’t believe it’s been a month already!
After completing my MA in Arts Management at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, I am thrilled to be able to return for my internship. Although I had the slight advantage of knowing the Development staff from my MA placement in the College, they have all been extremely welcoming and made me feel right at home in the team.
I have had some great opportunities to work on lots of different areas of fundraising so far, such as writing cover letters and reports to trusts updating them on how their grant money has been used, researching future prospects, and writing blog posts for the College’s website. This past week we have also taken part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge where we were able to raise over £30,000 for student bursaries, which has allowed me to work on some things I am less familiar with such as social media, and using Spektrix, our CRM system.
It has been really interesting learning about the different areas of work the College does, although I attended myself, we were limited due to COVID-19 and so seeing the College resume its normal activities and hearing live music all over the building has been fantastic.
One of the highlights of the last month was attending and volunteering at the Arts and Business Cymru Celebration of the Arts event at the Sherman Theatre. For many people – myself included – this was their first in person event since the beginning of the pandemic, and so it felt particularly special to be able to celebrate all of the fantastic arts organisations in this way. It was also the first time all of the interns had met in person, so it was great to get to know each other properly.
This first month has flown by, and I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of the internship will bring. Having these opportunities to develop my skills has been great, and as we have lots of exciting projects coming up, I am sure there will be plenty of areas for me to challenge myself in the coming months!
Week 5: Suzy, National Youth Arts Wales
I’m now a month into my placement with National Youth Arts Wales and I don’t know where the time has gone!
I’m feeling very grateful to be a part of the NYAW team, they have all been very welcoming and have each taken the time to speak to me one-to-one not only about their role, but their background and how they came to work at NYAW as well. This has been really useful to fully understand how everyone works together for the charity to run and made settling into my first professional role in an arts organisation that bit easier!
So far, I’ve had a variety of tasks and opportunities. Firstly, I took some time at the start of the internship to look over the current fundraising strategy and business plan – to have that in-depth knowledge of the organisation. Since then, I have been researching trusts and foundations for funding towards our Cor Skills project and researching Welsh businesses and their corporate social responsibility to see if it’s worth getting in touch to be a corporate partner/sponsor.
Recently, I have helped with a grant application that two of the trainee producers at NYAW have been working on, assisted at one of our audition evenings to meet a few of our members whilst showing them to their warm-up room, and been looking at possible ‘support-us’ content for the relaunch of our website - watch out for the launch in January! As one of our main income sources is from The Arts Council of Wales and various Trusts and Foundations, we are developing the individual giving and corporate sponsorship income streams and our website should be a good grounding for this. We’re looking to expand the number of fundraising pages on our website and add specific details about where donations will be spent – which is what I’ve had a go at writing drafts for.
I’m looking forward to continuing my placement with NYAW and I’ve already been told some of my potential projects for the future including organising a drinks event with potential donors in the summer and helping David, the Fundraising and Development Manager for NYAW, with the new fundraising strategy for the organisation in the new year – which is both very exciting and slightly daunting! It is an exciting time to be at NYAW as it’s still growing and developing from starting up in 2017. I’ve really enjoyed the internship so far and I’m excited to see what more opportunities I’ll be given in the coming months!
Week 4: Rosie, Wales Millennium Centre
It is safe to say that this first month at Wales Millennium Centre has flown by! I have been welcomed into the Development team with open arms and have met people from a variety of areas within the centre. The team consists of my line manager Esyllt Williams (Trusts and Foundations Manager), Cecily Morgan (Individual Giving Manager), Kia Shah (Development Assistant) and Sian Morgan (Director of Development and Partnerships). As someone who has visited WMC many times, I thought I knew the building well – I was wrong. Wales Millennium Centre is even bigger than it looks, and what a building it is! I feel so grateful to be working here.
We have a lot coming up before the New Year and I look forward to what lies ahead. The world of Fundraising is so broad that I am doing something new every single day of my internship. Over the next few months, I will be assisting with funding applications and research, and helping with our members' events around Beauty and the Beast. On top of that, I will hopefully be helping to secure new funding for WMC to continue the creative and community work that makes such a difference.
Week 3: Eve, Rubicon Dance
I’m two weeks into my internship with Rubicon Dance and after a particularly difficult time since graduating in trying to begin a career in the arts sector, this opportunity couldn’t have made me happier! My excitement was matched by my team and colleagues as they welcomed me to my new position with smiling faces and tiny waving hands on my computer screen. I have regular meetings with my fellow fundraisers, Carlota and Lauren, which means I can ask them all the questions I have and get to know them more to create friendships. I have a Rubicon mentor too who I catch up with at the end of every week which helps me to remember everything I’m achieving. I have recently met my A&B Cymru business mentor who I am excited to get to know more soon as we have only met once so far. Even though I am undertaking this internship remotely I feel as though I have managed to settle in and get comfortable with this way of working, as you can see by my cosy corner in the picture below.
So far, there have been some exciting tasks to complete, mainly involved in preparations for Christmas festivities and doing lots of things that have a personal heartfelt touch. Rubicon is presenting its first-ever Christmas show called The Nutcracker which has meant that I’ve been helping with ticket sales initiatives and how Google Ads are being used in our advertisements for the show as well as for general Rubicon happenings. I have been put in the lead of sending invitations to Rubicon’s VIPs to attend The Nutcracker and correspond with them in arranging this. I’ve started to prepare infographics and social media content highlighting what Rubicon has achieved this year whether that’s fundraising, awards or new dance sessions introduced. Finally, I have recently made a start on sending postcards to those who have supported Rubicon's fundraising efforts with a personalised note of appreciation.
As well as finishing these tasks, it has been important that I continue to learn about what Rubicon does for the dancing community across Wales and the rest of the UK and how beneficial it is for such a variety of people, so reading through social media, the website and blogs have been very helpful to do this. However, I gained first-hand experience in Rubicon’s vital work for dance practitioners all over the UK by taking part in a Wales Wide Training Programme session online delivered by Lisa Dowler, Small Things Dance Collective, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool who leads dance sessions and offer performances across several wards in the children’s hospital. I have many more sessions upcoming to look forward to which will continue to teach me why it is necessary for the dance community to network through continuous professional development.
I’m really happy to have been given such a high level of responsibility particularly in sending invites to our VIPs, gotten to know a lovely team of people in Rubicon as well as within A&B Cymru and made such a positive start to my internship which I’m sure will only get better and better.
Week 2: Chieh-Ju, NoFit State
Three weeks have flown by, and it has been exciting to join NoFit State.
I’ve received such a warm welcome from the circus company and the development team that includes my mentor Bethan and my line manager Ed, who I’ve been working very closely with. Ed has offered me great support and a variety of opportunities to understand the fundraising world.
During these weeks, I got to understand the main income streams of the company, from grants offered by trusts and foundations, and government sponsored bodies like Arts Council England, to business sponsors and individual giving. To understand these organisations better, I carried out ongoing research via their websites and gather information into templates. I also helped complete The Arts Portfolio of Wales survey where I got to grips with NoFit State and its ethos through a range of projects that have already taken place.
One of the best things about being in the development team is getting to understand different people’s work within the company. I attended a Community Brunch where the teachers and other team members gather together to discuss possible ways to work with our local community and how to open up dialogues. I enjoyed meeting the members of the wider team and began to understand some of the changes happening in the company.
Recently, I have had a chance to explore some of the marketing side of the work with Anna, our Marketing and Communications Officer, as our circus show, LEXICON, will be on during the winter! There is a host of tasks assigned to me, from event listing and updating our website, to researching how to create a package for a relaxed performance and how to talk about it on social media.
The past three weeks have passed fairly quickly and it’s great to have the opportunity to write this blog post so that I have a chance to stop and reflect on what I’ve done and achieved– a great way to monitor the learning curve!
Week 1: Aled, Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias
Strand 2 here I come!
As I’ve finished my strand 1 placement with Frân Wen they have offered me a part time job with them AND I’ve been lucky enought to be accepted on to A&B Cymru’s strand 2 of the Internship. This year I’ve been placed with Canolfan Gerdd William Mathias (CGWM for short). Back in October, when I started, I was thrown right in at the deep end helping them out at their International Piano Festival. It was a great way to get to know some of the impressive work that the organisation does. After this, it is straight into strategising for the next festival – The Wales International Harp Festival – in 2023.
Meeting with Elinor Bennet, the Artistic Director of the Festival, gives me an idea of what the festival will be and how it wil look. Allowing me to form a strategy of what trusts and foundations to target, and form a plan of action.
Whilst working on the strategy for the Harp Festival, I have also been researching on long term funding for the important Canfod y Gân project that CGWM runs. It is a project that works with adults with learning disabilities and non-disabled adults to facilitate the discovery of the individuals own song. Current funding is prospected to come to an end in the next year, therefore I shall be researching prospective funders for this incredibly important project.
So far so good, it’s great to be in the internship and have the chance to further develop my skills as a fundraiser in all fields.