Thinking beyond Rishi’s Riches: how to convince your boss you should attend the National Arts Fundraising School | Elephant on chair, afraid of a mouse

Hurrah! The recent arts funding announcement from the government is good news. It will help. But there’s still a lot of pressure no matter where in the arts and culture field you work; museum, theatre, gallery, orchestra, touring agency, studio or community project: pressure on how you spend your time, pressure to spend money carefully, pressure to get into and then beyond the short-term rescue package. Maybe now is the time to persuade your boss or board that you can help your organisation build for the longer term.

Approaching the key decision makers to spend 6 days away, on what’s probably the most expensive training course you’ll ever attend, is, we understand, a challenge. If you’ve found out about the School you might think it’s a good idea. But how do you convince senior people? You could mention over coffee the fact the School has been going for 32 years, that we’ve helped attendees raise over £350M. It’s always worth slipping in that some of the UK’s top cultural fundraisers have learned their craft at the event, but they might want more. For example, they might want to be reassured that if Coronavirus challenges make an onsite programme difficult we have plans to switch to an online option. But if they’re really really insistent they might want even more…

The best way to secure your boss’s agreement, in our experience, is to put together a business case. This should explain why you want to come to the National Arts Fundraising School, and most importantly how your organisation will benefit long-term, therefore reducing the pressure on everyone, including your boss. Below we give you our ten top reasons to include in your business case.

  1. You’ll come back with an outline strategic plan to raise significantly more money, and the know-how to flesh out the plan. The plan will help ensure your organisation is sustainable- now that the emergency grants have run out and we all need to be thinking long term
  2. You’ll also be equipped with a number of practical tools and techniques – for example, you’ll know how to craft a powerful foundation proposal, how to assess a major donor’s philanthropic preferences over the phone, and how to put together a pitch for a corporate in three hours or less (and much, much more).
  3. You’ll be clear about what approaches and income streams will work for your type of agency, and what won’t. There is a synergy between certain kinds of funding and certain types of organisations. Once you know what your core competencies are it’s better to focus there. We’ll help you identify those competencies and make that focus.
  4. You’ll have 6 days to focus on one topic: fundraising success. The School is based in a beautiful but isolated country hotel where the only things to think about are fundraising… and which bird is that singing outside. The programme leaders will help you work intensively to make the most of that focused time.
  5. Ah the programme leaders. You’ll be learning from the best. All the programme leaders are experienced practical fundraisers – among the top people in their fields. We’ve put together a team of tutors with backgrounds in charity and cultural fundraising, corporate and HNWI, community based action and hard-to-sell projects.

  6. The School uses a wide mix of learning approaches including expert presentations, group exercises and activities, coaching and case studies so you’ll learn and retain a huge amount in a relatively short time. It’s needs to be well-taught- we cover 24 + modules in the six days. Mention to your boss it will be intense. It’s a fundraising MBA.
  7. This is not an academic qualification. The approach is deeply practical, so you’ll find out how the models and approaches are relevant to your organisation as well as building a robust strategy and portfolio during the week. You’ll come back to work with a well-developed action plan to put into place immediately.
  8. You’ll get a 350-page workbook and digital resources to keep as reference, as well as access to Europe’s fundraising reference library during the school. You’ll also have access to free Alumni events and future fundraising sessions.

  9. It doesn’t end on day six. You’ll have joined a very special group of high achievers. So we want to keep in touch and provide ongoing support. You’ll be able to join the NAFS Alumni Facebook and LinkedIn groups – exchanging ideas and experience. And you’ll be invited to at least two special Alumni events a year to learn about the latest techniques, pick up on news about sources, and exchange ideas from fellow alumni.. You can also pick up the phone and ask for advice from the School’s experts for the next 365 days.
  10. Finally, don’t forget to tell your Boss about the 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE. If you don’t raise a sum at least equal to the School fee within 12 months of completing the programme, we’ll refund the fee. All of it. Making this a risk-free investment. (Maybe ask your Boss why other programmes they night suggest don’t offer the same deal?)

The next School is 8-13 November 2020, with plans to switch online if we need a Plan C. Book now with confidence to guarantee your place. And if you can’t make that one why not try for our first programme in 2021 on 25th-30th April. Rishi’s riches won’t last much beyond that…

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