3 November 2014back

Creative Internships Blog Week 6

Elizabeth Day, Sinfonia Cymru

I can’t quite believe how quickly the last 10 months have gone… It was an incredible opportunity to be part of the pilot for the Arts and Business Cymru Creative Internship scheme and I am so pleased to be able to continue on my fundraising journey in strand two. Last year I was in the privileged position to have worked with both Welsh National Opera (WNO) and Sinfonia Cymru throughout the 10 month placement. This year I am continuing to learn and build upon my skills with Sinfonia Cymru for another 6 months.

Sinfonia Cymru is Wales’ only revenue funded chamber orchestra, dedicated to supporting young musicians at the beginning of their career. I have worked with them since April this year and continue to be motivated and invigorated by this young and enterprising orchestra. Sophie Lewis, General Manager and my boss here, is one of the most inspiring people I have ever had the privilege to work for and I can’t quite believe I get to continue to learn from her! I am so grateful to Arts and Business Cymru and the funders of the scheme for enabling me to continue my training with such an incredible organisation.

They say, with great fundraising training comes great responsibility… or something like that? Strand 2 has certainly shifted up a gear! I’ve spent the first few weeks of the internship getting out and about and meeting with some of our donors face to face. It’s been a real lesson of the changeable nature of fundraising for me and how you must respond to the needs of your supporters in order develop the most effective relationships. Originally planning to introduce bespoke donor circles for higher level giving, I learned through consultation that our supporters simply aren’t ready to take that step. I’m now working with Sophie and my arts mentor and Sinfonia Cymru Chair Lucy Stout, to develop a proper strategy for our current individual giving schemes. It’s very rewarding to create a succinct action plan based on feedback from current Friends and Patrons and I’m already stuck into organising an open rehearsal event.

Outside of my work placement, I’m excited to have met with my new business mentor Paula Morris. Paula is an extraordinary marketing freelance who has a varied and exciting work life. Previously Head of Marketing and Communications at Cardiff Airport, she recently returned to freelance work and is currently working with Cardiff Business Club. Next week I’ll be attending my first Cardiff Business Club event and experiencing a taste of her work life. It’s going to be a fantastic evening!

This time last year, starting at WNO I knew not one thing about arts fundraising. When I look back on the last 12 months I am astonished at the amount I have learned in such a short space of time, the opportunities I have been given and the passion I have developed for fundraising. And I’m still learning! This internship has truly helped me discover my vocation.

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