19 January 2016back

Creative Internships Blog Week 13

Rebecca Hobbs, Wales Millennium Centre

In the Guardian this week, Aaron Hicklin recalled his encounter with the recently deceased writer Maya Angelou. Within this article, Hicklin incorporated one of the African American poet’s most famous life statements. Whilst I had heard the quote before, it feels particularly relevant to what I am learning here at the Centre as it perfectly characterises our mission as fundraisers. Angelou wrote:

People will forget what you said. They will forget what you did. But they will never forget how you made them feel.

It is starting to become clear to me that successful fundraising goes far beyond what I had anticipated before starting the internship. Fundraising is not about shaking a bucket around. It can be, and that could mean an extra £300 which you certainly never take for granted, but it is a creative, rewarding and immersive field of work. As I am fast discovering, sitting down to attempt a trust application isn’t just a case of ticking boxes, it is about standing out, making your approach to the project grab the reader’s attention and you can only do this by investing in it yourself. It is about making them want to be a part of it.

Now I am settled back into the office after a well needed Christmas break, for the next few weeks, my focus is steering in a number of different directions. Alongside researching and working on the art of writing a good application, I am getting involved with a big corporate account as well as looking ahead to our first launches and supporters events of the year. With Only The Brave, our first large scale original musical and the biennial Festival of Voice fast approaching, it is an incredibly busy time at Wales Millennium Centre.

Next week, we are hosting a Tessitura bootcamp for all the partner organisations in the consortium to attend. During this time, our lovely North Wales intern Hephzibah Leafe is going to be joining me in the office from Venue Cymru. This is going to be a great opportunity for both of us to learn from each other and it is guaranteed that lots of note swapping is going to take place!! From liaising with all my fellow interns, it is clear that all of us are developing our skills set in very different ways based on the opportunities we are being given.

Four months in and, unsurprisingly, I am still a good way away from ‘mastering’ the art of being a great fundraiser. I am, however, starting to appreciate how necessary it is for making progress that a fundraising culture be embedded into the values of an organisation. 

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