Morecombe Bay Partnership, Longways + Crosswise (Photo ©2018 Robin Zahler)

­­­­­­­­Bernard Ross — Alternate HeadshotI’m sure, like me, you’re following the COVID-19 developments. In this blog I want to fill you in on what plans we’re making concerning the National Arts Fundraising School set for 1st-6th May. It has bad news and good news.

I’m aware many organisations are already advising staff to work from home where possible and only to undertake essential travel. By early May when the School is due to take place it’s looking increasingly likely that the situation will be more challenging.

We’ve decided to be proactive and to cancel the May School. It seems like the proper thing to do to safeguard anyone thinking of attending. Naturally our first priority is participant safety. That’s the bad news.

What’s the good news? Well, we have a second priority to deliver the important content to anyone who’s keen to transform their fundraising results. Here’s the Plan B.

We‘ve been discussing with our venue in Alfriston to see if there’s any chance they have availability in early August when we hope Covid19 might be less of a challenge. The answer is ‘possibly.’ Events permitting we’ll be looking at publishing news on that option in late June. If you’re interested you’ll have the opportunity – if you can make the date – to book on that programme. Alternatively, the School running 8th-13th November is (virus-permitting) going ahead and you can book straight onto that. For anyone who has already booked, and wants to cancel their place, we’re refunding fees.

Time for some last bits of good-ish news? We’re very aware that the timing of this delay is not good – especially for anyone who’s been waiting a long time for this, or who has specific projects to be getting on with. We want to help you keep your momentum. So, if you book and pay for a confirmed place, we have four extra offers to make:

  1. A FREEmonthly 1.5-hour webinar, run by the School’s leaders, so that you don’t need to delay getting started on your transformation programme. The first will take place on 20th April, 10-11.30am. It will focus on Making it Through – looking at techniques and approaches to stabilise income. (We’re already working on this. Today- 21/3/20- one of our clients secured a six-figure gift from a supporter and another £20K in small donations based on advice we gave.) It IS possible!
  2. An extension to our 365-day support. Part of the programme’s proposition is 365 days of follow up support. Anyone who books will have this support available from 6 May – and then again from the end of whichever School they attend this year. This means if you book you’ll gain extra FREE consultancy time to have your proposal, your scheme, or whatever else reviewed.
  3. We’ll even bundle in access to our online event Putting the Science into Arts Fundraising, launching on Tuesday 28 April. That’s 10 hours of insight from 10 experts on how to apply the latest thinking in decision science to arts fundraising. For everyone else this treasure trove costs £100 + VAT. For you it’s part of the support bundle. You can find out more at
  4. Finally, we’re making plans to create a fully online version of the School in case even the November programme can’t run. Whatever happens we will make sure your can benefit from the powerful ideas, frameworks and techniques we know will help you become sustainable.

A long blog I know, but I want you to be sure that everyone on the NAFS team is committed to responding flexibly to what is an emerging situation, and to making it easy for you to gain access to the great material we have ready for you.

If you have any unanswered questions don’t hesitate to email or call. You can reach me directly through my mobile on 07976 280 314 or at

If you’re not yet ready to commit. Write to Sophie Civardi to sit in on the first webinar on 20th as a taster of what to expect. Only limited places!

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