NAFS & Grimsby Creates | Woman raising arm in success
Grimsby Creates, North East Lincolnshire’s cultural development programme, has secured three places at our sold-out National Arts Fundraising School (NAFS) on-line programme in April & May and is inviting local creatives to apply to fill these spaces by 22nd March. Below we explore why this innovative Council has taken this bold step and how you can benefit if you live in the area. We also explain how you as a council could help support local cultural organisations by securing some places for the upcoming September or November Schools.

The National Arts Fundraising School (NAFS) is the most intensive and successful fundraising training for those working in culture. For 33+ years we’ve been welcoming agencies and individuals from across the arts, culture, museums, heritage and leisure fields. This includes many local authorities from across the UK:  Belfast, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Bristol, Wakefield and Plymouth City Councils plus Rotherham Borough Council, Powys County Council, East Lindsay District Council and a number of London Boroughs.

So local authorities are themselves booking places on the School to improve access to funds. (If you want to know why they’re doing this you might enjoy this blog.) But many authorities are keen to build capacity among the local organisations that form a vital part of their cultural infrastructure. And one of the best ways to do that is to secure places on the School and then offer them to local agencies as bursaries.

What’s special about the school that makes that worth considering? Key is the idea it’s not a cookie cutter process turning out bland, ‘don’t forget about us’ approaches, or ones only appropriate for high profile national agencies. Instead the School focuses on the needs of the delegates who sign up, with each programme designed around the participants’ requirements. The result is each participant goes back to their locality with a clear integrated and personalised strategy for securing funds from different sources and through the most effective channels.

It’s that opportunity for an integrated and targeted approach that potential participants living and working  in North East Lincolnshire can benefit from- thanks to the farsighted approach of the Great Grimsby initiative, run by NE Lincs. They have secured x3 coveted full-bursary places for the next online programme running 1.5 days a week throughout April & May. If you apply for one of these bursaries and are successful the flexible structure means you can fit the learning around your day job. And as a bonus, you’ll enjoy ongoing advice and support for 180 days after the school with follow-up webinars as well as direct contact.

Cllr Callum Procter, Cabinet member for culture, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for creative people in North East Lincolnshire. In the modern world where everyone is fighting for the proverbial slice of cake, being able to secure fundraising is key to delivering not just good, but great, projects. I’m really pleased that our programme is able to offer this to our local talent.”

Grimsby Creates have previously funded a similar opportunity for local creatives in November 2020, with some very positive feedback.  Lisa February, an artist specialising in theatre and spoken work, said, “The NAFS course broadened my knowledge of funding opportunities and how to approach them, in order to have the best chance of success.  As a result, myself and my partner were recently successful in our first Arts Council England bid.  We submitted after week one of the programme.”.

Charlotte Bowen, a cultural producer producing music and performing arts programmes for The Culture House and Birdhouse, said, “Learning how to approach philanthropists was very useful, including making a clear case for support.  The facilitators were highly knowledgeable and supportive.  I have already made an approach to a major funder as a result of the course and feel a new sense of purpose.  I made a great artist contact from our region through the course via another delegate and we are now working with them”.

For further details of the programme please visit:  You can also secure a place for yourself or your staff here.

For the application form contact  or telephone 01472 324957. Applications close on 22 March 2021.

And to discover how to secure places for your local artists and cultural agencies contact School Director, Bernard Ross.

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