Keen to be focused?

NAFS Onsite Program | Dancer on orange background

At the heart of the onsite programme is an intensive six-day residential school. With everything from meals to making the bed taken care of and a structured learning programme you can focus on fundraising with no distractions. Even better, you’ll be working alongside some of the UK’s leading experts and a small group of equally committed participants. Every school is different: it’s and designed around you and your fellow participants, and we constantly update the content to include the latest ideas and trends. You’ll leave ahead of the curve.

What you get is high-quality in-person insight from the expert team, a wide range of learning opportunities, and a focus on practical application to your situation. Imagine what you can achieve in a week of solid focused thinking and planning.

The next scheduled residential programme is November 6th-11th November 2022. Details of other programmes for 2022 out soon. Book here to secure your place. Not sure? Reserve your no-commitment provisional place to be at the front of the queue for any programme.

You can book the programme secure in the knowledge COVID won’t stop you from benefiting. We’ve worked with the hotel and team to be sure you’ll be safe.

Your onsite journey

National Arts Fundraising School | Your onsite journey infographic

A Journey Guided by Your Personal Coach

Throughout the School you’ll have a personal coach guiding you through the process. They’ll have one to one session with you before the School and after- plus small group sessions over the four weeks.

Want to know more about the coaching team?

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The Culture House Grimsby
The National Arts Fundraising School taught me how to approach philanthropists which has proved 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.
Charlotte Bowen - Director, The Culture House & Birdhouse, Grimsby

What's different onsite?

The onsite School takes place in the beautiful Deans Place Hotel in tranquil Alfriston. For the full week you’ll be able to concentrate on fundraising- working individually and in a range of project teams on live cases and challenges including your own.

  • Focused on creating that all important strategy with no distractions.
  • 24 hour (more or less!) contact with the programme leaders for questions and answers.
  • Sessions on fundraising for local authorities, for touring and for independent producers.
  • The chance to catch up with the programme leaders one to one.
  • More learning opportunities: small groups, video recording, case studies.
  • In-the-room access to Europe’s largest fundraising library.
  • Optional breakfast discussion tables.
  • Live in-the-room questions and answers.
  • Your 350-page workbook plus the chance to study other materials.

Pre-Programme Support

Before you come on the programme the team will help you get up to speed so you gain maximum benefit from the intensive onsite days.

  • You’ll fill in a detailed questionnaire clarifying the fundraising background to you and your organisation
  • Your personal coach will offer you a one-to-one online session to establish the key areas you want to focus on
  • You’ll take part in an online onboarding session to meet your fellow delegates and connect to the training team

Benefit from 28+ key modules

Every NAFS programme is adapted from the results of your pre-programme questionnaire and your initial one to one coaching.

Whichever option you choose, you’ll increase your knowledge and confidence in different sources: individual giving; major donors; legacies; trusts; and commercial sponsorship. We’ll also share techniques and channels: endowments, capital campaigns, face to face, direct mail, proposals and online. Finally, we’ll help you shape all this into a sustainable strategy. Only NAFS offers this integration.

See below for the topics we cover. For 2022 we also have a number of updated and new modules.

Principles of Fundraising

Successful fundraising is underpinned by a number of key principles drawn from disciplines as varied as psychology, sociology and marketing. We’ll share these with you, and show you how to apply them in your setting.

Choosing a Structure

The way you’re organised – legally and from a people perspective – can make a massive difference to your ability to attract funds. We’ll explore the options available and help you establish the best structure for success.

Creating a Value Proposition

To succeed in competitive world of fundraising you need a Value Proposition — a way of distinguishing your offering from others. We’ll show you how to create and share an effective Value Proposition — making your agency or project stand out.

Developing your Strategy

Over the programme- online, hybrid or onsite- you’ll discover how relevant each of the 26 modules is to your own strategy. (You’ll also establish which are not suitable.) The result? An integrated strategy tailored to your organisation and its ambitions.

Writing a Strategy

So you’ve got lots of strategic thoughts, and some good ideas, but how do you shape them into a robust plan that you can share with senior managers or your Board? In this module we help you write a plan to win support and investment and deliver results.

NEW! Donor Demographics

What are the differences between, say, millennials and boomers in terms of attitudes, channels and propensity to give? We explore some of the surprising similarities- and differences- and how to make use of them in your fundraising.

Growing Individual Giving

Central to any contemporary strategy is a powerful individual giving approach — engaging audiences, visitors or users and turning them from supporters to donors. In two modules we show how to build inclusive and sustainable individual fundraising.

Personal Action Planning

This final module will help you crystallise the key learning from the School, and help you identify specific steps for practical action back at work using 5 key focus questions.  You’ll have the chance to buddy up with a fellow participant to seek help and support.

NEW! Fundraising Storytelling

Stories, our most ancient way of communicating, are a powerful way to share ideas. Neuroscience tells us they’re more memorable than data and create powerful connections to the cause. You’ll learn to shape your ask.

NEW Engaging Major Donors

Major donors, the fastest growing area of giving, are able to make a massive difference to many cultural and heritage agencies. This session explores how to identify potential and engage with High Net Worth Individuals.

Building Supporter Journeys

If you’re going to be successful you need to have a supporter journey and a stewardship strategy for every prospect. These complementary tactics shape how you can align the whole organisation around engaging donors.

Making the Ask – in person

How confident are you at asking major donors and business leaders for money? This session offers skills and tactics which will allow you to influence others in on the phone or in a meeting. You’ll get personal feedback on your impact.

UPDATED Online Engagement

Can Social Media really deliver fundraising success… or a digital diversion? These two linked models offer an insight into what is working in social media terms and how you can make the web worker harder for you — promoting donor and potential donor engagement.

Impactful Personal Pitching

This module offers you the practical opportunity to actually ‘pitch’ for money in front of an audience and then get detailed video feedback on your effectiveness. Before the pitch your coach will offer insights and practical tips on how to make an impact.

Focus on Foundations

Trusts and Foundations contribute £4B to UK charities including significant sums to culture and heritage. But to secure your share you have to understand how they really make decisions. (Not what they say!) Discover the 7 success steps.

Sponsorship and CSR

Companies are still investing in the arts. But the money is proving tougher to get. Over two modules we show you how to maximise your chances of sponsorship or CSR success – and how to turn one-off success into a long-term relationship.

Running Major Appeals

At some point in your fundraising career you’ll have to run a major appeal – a campaign, endowment or capital project. This module walks you through the five phases of a successful major appeal and exposes the five major mistakes to avoid.

NEW! Donor Decisions

Understand the latest thinking on how donors make decisions and the implications this has for you. We’ll be sharing insight from a major six-month research project with 10 UK arts organisations– applying neuroscience to fundraising.

Volunteer Board: friend or foe?

Volunteers can be a huge resource for you – helping bring contacts and ideas to the table. But these boards need careful management and a clear brief. We’ll explore how to recruit a high performing board and  keep them on track.

Writing Powerful Proposals

Often the only way you can communicate with a funder is in written form. We’ll share the results of our original research which shows that structuring your proposal differently can increase your chances of fundraising success by up to 25%.

Legacy Programme Bootcamp

If you have an older audience legacies and in memoriam gifts can be a major source of support. But how do you create a legacy programme without seeming too cold and calculating? We’ll show you the key steps.

Crowdfunding: magic & myths

Does crowdfunding really work for the arts? In a fast-paced session we’ll look at examples of what works and what definitively doesn’t work when raising money from the crowd — helping you to avoid expensive mistakes.

Case for Support Playbook

At the core of your fundraising sits the Case for Support (C4S). But how do you make yours stand out? We’ll introduce you to the NAFS Playbook, allowing you to share messages clearly and powerfully to different audiences.

Stewardship and Donor Love

Securing donors is only part of the challenge. How do you steward them… and make them feel really loved? In this module we’ll explore how to keep donors and supporters on board for a long-term relationship – discover donor love!

Membership or Superclub?

Old school membership models can actually be a drag on resources and time. To succeed you need to turn your Membership into a Superclub — matching benefits to contribution. We’ll show you how organisations have done this successfully- and you can do it too.

NEW! Measuring Success

How do you really measure success in fundraising? And how do you agree with your boss the most appropriate model? In this module we’ll explore the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches — Return on Investment (RoI) versus Life Time Value (LTV).

Local Authority Fundraising

Raising money if you’re LA or Leisure/Culture Trust needs specific approaches. But be prepared to be encouraged by what is possible. We’ll share case studies of success from Lambeth to Lincolnshire.

Hard-to-Fundraise Causes?

So you’re a producer, an individual, a partnership, a CiC, unknown or even a touring company… Learn how to adapt your approach and structure to succeed in raising cash.

Post-Programme Support

After you’ve been on the programme the team will support you to deliver your strategy and offer help and support with specific challenges

  • You’ll take part in an online next step session to ensure you have a clear direction forward
  • Your personal coach will again offer you a one-to-one online session to clarify your learning and action steps
  • You’ll join the exclusive NAFS alumni and have access to regular professional development
Awen Cultural Trust Logo
NAFS is for anyone working in the arts, including CEOs, Marketers, Producers, and Trustees. While the focus is fundraising, all the underpinning skills taught are transferable to all areas of arts management. In the last week I have learnt lessons about marketing, organisational politics and customer relations on top of all of the fundraising approaches.
Johnny Dawson — Fundraising & Development Officer, Awen Cultural Trust
Bernard Ross (Headshot)
We’ve designed the onsite residential programme to make it the most intense and rewarding experience we can. You'll benefit from the focus and from the chance to work with other high achieving cultural and heritage fundraisers.
Bernard Ross, National Arts Fundraising School

Next available onsite programmes

6th-11th November 2022
Onsite: Deans Place Hotel
Alfriston, Sussex
#artssurvival offer was £3000.00 NOW £2495.00 VAT free

19 spaces available

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