25 March 2015back

Creative Internships Blog Week 24

Lauren Swain, National Theatre Wales

I am currently enjoying a really exciting week with a whole mixture of fundraising experiences, whilst relishing being part of the life here at NTW!

I have just heard back from a trust application that I completed in early February and was delighted to hear that NTW has been awarded a grant to take on a Communications Assistant full-time for 12 months, which will hugely support our on-going marketing strategy and in particular our digital focus. So that is a lovely bit of news and will relieve some of the pressure of a small workforce.

This morning we had an inspiring meeting with our artistic collaborators for a performance project in 2016. Prior to getting together, NTW had ordered every book published by a particular writer and we each chose one to take home and read. This was part of the process to inspire our ideas for the content, focuses and locations of the project (which is top secret, so sorry I am being so vague!). In true NTW style, the entire of our workforce joined the creative planning meeting to contribute to the mind-map of ideas! And even more in NTW style, we baked cakes inspired by the themes or features of the books and brought them along!

NTW is designed as a democratic organisation, with communication and collaboration at the core of how it operates. In this way staff of all levels and departments are given the opportunity to share ideas - valuing that inspiration comes from all sorts of people. We often utilise this approach when developing new fundraising ideas too.

As an organisation we have designed the new payment pathway for our upcoming new website, deciding where an “ask” should come into it. Later this week, those of us with development responsibilities are coming together to decide the wording of the online “ask” and design the donation pathway that would follow. This is all part of communicating NTW’s work, values and opportunities both clearly and further, updating our digital contents. We are also planning to spread the word further in person and I am looking at a number of upcoming networking events where we can represent NTW. This will serve as preparation for our first London based cultivation event in June, which I am currently building up our guest list for – exciting times ahead!

I am also focusing on a number of other tasks, such as sourcing in-kind help to review our current IT systems and understand whether we are using the best digital solutions for a company of our nature. However, our development strategy underpins everything we are working towards and we are currently working out where else we need to bring in investment to support our ambitions. As part of this I am conducting research into ethical fundraising, which will lead to a number of guidelines that the organisation can follow when considering new funders. These will set out how we can maintain the integrity of NTW’s values and will inform the types of corporates that I then approach to sponsor our 2015 Christmas show.

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