19 January 2015back

Creative Internships Blog Week 15

Louisa Turner, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

Patience. And loads of research. This has been my learning curve for the past month or so. These two essentials have been made very obvious to me over a number of tasks that I have been working towards and I think I’m finally getting it!

There are so many Trusts and Foundations out there. Tonnes! Many of which on first sight might seem a perfect match for whatever project you’re funding. But that’s the key. ‘On first sight’ can be very deceiving. I am currently in the process of researching and preparing two applications for funding. One to a Trust that we have had contact with before, and another to a Trust that is new to us.

When presenting my initial research to my director, I felt extremely proud of myself for coming across a Trust that I believed was perfect! However, I soon realised how I had only touched the surface of my research. Reading a Trust’s annual accounts only really gives you half the picture. I have learnt to delve much deeper, even to the point of researching the life stories of the trustees! By doing this, you begin to make connections that you hadn’t made before, and once you feel you know the Trust’s priorities inside out, only then will your application have the potential to completely win over the Trustees.

Patience came in the form of understanding that not everything that you want to do can be done straight away. Everything in fundraising needs to be prepared, revised and prepared again. We are currently in the process of growing our individual membership scheme which, in my opinion, has the potential to grow to a very large number. However, before launching straight in to promoting the scheme, we really need to plan who exactly to target so we aren’t just wasting a load of time and materials on the wrong demographic. Also, this kind of thing involves a number of departments, so the ability to communicate effectively with different members of staff can really help move the process along.

I am also being challenged by my writing style. Doing an academic degree had really developed my essay writing skills and my ability to make arguments and debates on paper. This is now showing in my application writing, something I need to tone down. Instead of making an argument for funding, I need to make a case for funding. I am so used to summarising points and making conclusions but now my challenge is to write more of a story that convinces the reader without having to summarise my point at the end of every paragraph!

Finally, that big exciting event that I spoke about in my previous blog has now been pushed back to the autumn, something that was out of our hands. In actuality, it has been a blessing, as we now have a lot more time to prepare for it and I will understand the process of organising a high-profile fundraising event much clearer that if we had rushed in to it.

So really, in fundraising, we need to remember the rules we learnt as children when crossing the road: stop, look, listen and then it’s ok to go.

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