13 March 2018back

Creative Internships Blog Week 21

Eleanor Prescott, BAFTA Cymru & Sinfonia Cymru

What a dramatic week! “Snowmageddon” has come and gone, but not before making an impact on both of my organisations. Tour dates cancelled, event numbers reduced – but despite the challenges, I was able to make it to London for the most important opportunities of my career so far and a great end to a month of career firsts. 

BAFTA Cymru had its inaugural Gala Dinner at 195 Piccadilly on Friday night – and despite the snow knocking off a fair few numbers of attendees (and some of the talent!) a great night was had by all who made it. It was wonderful to see months of hard work by our team come to fruition and gain experience of working on a fundraising dinner event both in preparation beforehand and on the night. I feel like I have developed a deeper understanding of the many considerations involved with planning and budgeting for such an event – especially in unexpected circumstances - and I have come away with many lessons learned to take forward into the future. I have also recently submitted my first trust application for BAFTA.

After an enjoyable weekend in London, I attended my first fundraising conference on Monday – the Institute of Fundraising Cultural Sector Network National Conference, held in the formidable Barbican Centre. Attending this conference was very generously joint funded by both of my organisations and discounted by my free membership to the Young Arts Fundraisers network, and I’m most grateful to both Sinfonia Cymru and BAFTA Cymru for supporting such a fantastic professional development opportunity which included:

  • Networking with fundraising professionals from across the UK, especially young arts fundraisers at similar stages in their career to my own
  • Keynote speeches from prominent figures in the cultural sector
  • A plenary session on GDPR (the main takeaway is: don’t panic!)
  • Insights on topics such as; engaging “millennial” donors and case studies into the giving motivations of young professionals, the benefits of becoming a young board member, career leadership in fundraising and lessons from senior fundraising and cultural sector professionals.

My personal highlight of the conference was learning lessons from senior fundraising professionals – something that stuck with me is this insight from the Development Director of Garsington Opera; "If I don't feel outside my comfort zone at least once a year, I don't feel like I'm learning". This certainly rings true for me. I have deliberately pushed myself further from my comfort zone this past month – speaking on a panel of fellow alumni from my school at Cardiff University about arts fundraising careers, travelling alone to a conference and setting goals with my mentors for continuing to push myself in the final 5 months of being a fundraising intern in both my organisations.

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