29 January 2018back

Creative Internships Blog Week 16

Eleanor Prescott, BAFTA Cymru & Sinfonia Cymru 

As we move into 2018, strategy is my buzzword for January. At Sinfonia Cymru and BAFTA Cymru, the new year has brought with it fresh fundraising challenges, primarily concerning trusts and foundations - though at BAFTA securing sponsorship for an upcoming event, which I started to plan before Christmas, is also high up on the priority list. As both organisations have requested making fresh approaches to trusts and foundations - as opposed to building on a previous relationship (which I don’t have prior experience of) – it’s time to implement a strategy, plan out my prospects, effectively prepare my approaches and (hopefully) relax in the knowledge that I’ve laid the groundwork for a successful application to go forward. Aside from increased organisational skills and time management, it’s going to take new confidence to put myself out there as the fundraising face of my organisations after less than 4 months working there split between both offices, but I am seeking advice from my mentors as I get to grips with a new challenge. I expect I will also benefit from a very timely upcoming session on Fundraising Strategy with Arts & Business Cymru.

The year started well at Sinfonia, with another grant secured – but my next couple of weeks will be focused quite heavily on building a trusts strategy for near future fundraising, and then seeing that forward with the assistance of our new CEO, Peter Bellingham – alongside making headway with the Individual Giving strategy I prepared earlier in the internship. This is a bittersweet time for Sinfonia Cymru as we say farewell to Sophie Lewis, who has been at the helm of the orchestra for 11 years, will be much missed, and by all accounts has been an excellent boss over the last three and a half months and pivotal to my career development – I am very sad to see her go! We’re all confident though that Peter Bellingham, who joins us from National Youth Arts Wales and moves over from our Board of Trustees, is an excellent choice as her successor and I look forward to working with him in the latter part of my internship. Before Sophie leaves to take up Managing Director at National Children's Orchestras of Great Britain, Sinfonia Cymru are hosting the ABO Conference alongside BBC NOW and WNO next week, giving me an opportunity to improve my networking skills (my blog has been prepared a little early, as I won’t have long to draft it whilst I’m volunteering at and enjoying the conference – by the time this goes up it will already have passed!).

BAFTA are keeping me on my toes as well – as already mentioned, I am conducting similar trust research and planning to my work at Sinfonia whilst balancing my time with sending out sponsorship proposals, responding to prospects, and keeping track of the progress. I’m looking forward to our team away day next week – I think it will be very useful for me to spend some time away from my desk and strategize (there’s that word again!) with the whole BAFTA Cymru team. At the start of a new year, it’s the perfect opportunity for me to take stock of how far along with my fundraising goals I am, and how best I can meet them in the last months of my internship. Bring it on!

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