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Effective Fundraising Strategies for Arts and Cultural Organisations

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Course Overview

This short e-learning course outlines tools and techniques to create effective fundraising strategies for arts and cultural organisations and to encourage organisations to share information with each other about what is working in their own local context.

Course Staff

Michelle Wright

Michelle Wright

Michelle Wright is Chief Executive of Cause4. She trained at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and played the violin professionally. A chartered marketer, manager and fundraiser, Michelle set up B Corporation and social enterprise Cause4 in May 2009. Since then, she has undertaken major strategic and business development projects, including campaign developments with several national charities and consultancy work for FTSE 100 brands, developing their cultural sponsorship programmes.

Michelle is also the Programme Director of Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy, a Sector Support Organisation funded by Arts Council England, which she set up in partnership with the Arts Marketing Association and the University of Leeds in 2013, looking to develop and professionalise fundraising and philanthropy practice across the arts in England.

In 2015 Michelle was voted by Salt Magazine as one of the top five compassionate business leaders in the UK, alongside leaders such as Richard Branson. Cause4 was voted one of the top 50 scale-ups in the UK by Silicon Valley Comes to the UK in 2016 and one of the top 10 philanthropic companies in the UK in 2017. In 2017 Michelle was invited to be part of the WISE 100 list for influential women in social enterprise. In 2018 Michelle Wright was voted the most Influential Woman in Fundraising in the AI Global Excellence Awards.

Nicole Newman


Nicole Newman is an independent consultant, specialising in corporate fundraising with extensive experience in delivering transformational fundraising strategies in major cultural organisations.

Nicole has experience of museums, galleries, performing arts, music, design, fashion and film and has worked on regional and international projects. Previously Nicole was Development Director at English National Ballet, English National Opera and Somerset House and led the corporate fundraising at V&A and Tate, establishing many of the commercial partnership strategies that exist today.

Nicole regularly teaches and lectures on arts fundraising and brand strategy internationally and is a Trustee of the Gate Theatre in Notting Hill and Up Projects.

David Burgess


As Director of Apollo Fundraising David specialises in helping arts and culture organisations to improve their fundraising.

David has been fundraising for the arts and culture sector for ten years. In this time, he has raised support for a range of organisations, including the Royal Pavilion & Museums (Brighton), English Touring Opera, Glyndebourne and the Royal Exchange Theatre. David moved into consultancy in February 2015, initially with the Management Centre, before founding Apollo Fundraising in Spring 2016.

In 2016 David was named as one of the UK’s “Top 25 Fundraisers under 35” by Civil Society’s Fundraising Magazine.

Paul Amadi


Paul joined the Cause4 team as a Non-Executive Director in 2017, specifically supporting the development of the Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy Programme and leading on the development of key strands of work including the programme’s diversity and reach. He Chairs the Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy Scrutiny Committee.

Paul currently works with the British Red Cross whom he joined in July 2018 as its new chief supporter officer. Before that he was executive director of fundraising and engagement at the MS Society. He has also held director of fundraising roles at Diabetes UK, NSPCC, and RNIB.

He was recently made a fellow of the Institute of Fundraising, which he also chaired. In addition, he served as chair of the International Fundraising Congress, Europe’s largest annual gathering of fundraisers.

Paul is passionate about the work of the British Red Cross, as are their loyal, committed and energetic supporters. His role is to ensure anyone who wants to support them can do so in ways that suit them.

This could range from raising funds to volunteering in our shops or giving their time or skill in other ways. He wants supporters to have the best possible experience so that they want to inspire others to connect with the charity's vital work.

David Byrne


Artistic and Executive Director of New Diorama Theatre, David Byrne is a playwright and theatre director, whose first play won a Writers’ Guild & List Magazine Awards for Drama. Since, his work has been presented as part of the Arts Council England’s Escalator showcase, received the Charlie Hartill Fund for emerging artists and won the 2014 Les Enfants Terribles Prize. David was also a winner of BBC Writers’ Room national script contest, and now has several scripts under commission with BBC Television and Channel 4.

As a founding member of New Diorama Theatre, David's programme has been awarded three Peter Brook Awards; the first for “establishing a central London home for ensemble theatre” and the second for its support of young NDT Associate Theatre Company, The Faction and the third, in 2016, as the main panel prize. New Diorama has been shortlisted for Fringe Theatre of the Year at The Stage Awards and David has been awarded Artistic Director of the Year at the OffWestEnd Awards. New Diorama’s outreach programme has won three Arts and Business Awards and led them to be named as Mayor of Camden’s Charity 2012/13.

David Johnson


Head of Programme, Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy

Prior to joining Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy, David was the Head of Development at The Albany, an arts centre in South East London where he was responsible for both earned and raised income generation, partnership development and contract management.

David oversaw the strategic leadership of the National Family Arts Campaign and worked closely with library teams in two London boroughs where The Albany operated community engagement programmes. During his tenure the organisation more than doubled its turnover.

Prior to this, David worked in the Cultural Development team for the London Borough of Hackney, supporting the development of 2012 Cultural Olympiad projects and producing the borough’s key youth arts festival, Discover Young Hackney. He was also Company Manager for an outdoor arts organisation, Emergency Exit Arts. He sits on the Board of Babylon Arts in Ely, as well as the steering group for C-12 Dance, a dance theatre company based in London. He is a member of the Institute of Fundraising.

Isadora Tharin


Isadora is a Corporate Fundraising Specialist. Her work over the last 13 years has supported organisations and institutions to reinforce brand profiles and creating sustainable business opportunities. She is passionate about the arts’ ability to drive lasting and meaningful change and make a positive contribution to communities.

Having previously worked with Cause4, Isadora also led international auction house Phillips’s work with museums and public galleries across the UK, Europe and Asia, directing the company’s programme of investment with world-renowned partner institutions in those regions. She has also been a corporate fundraiser for Tate Modern and Tate Britain and Head of Development for London’s cutting edge non-profit Zoo Art Fair.

With a Masters in Arts Policy and Management, throughout her career, she has been involved in an advisory capacity for multiple artists and arts organisations and is currently serving as a trustee of arts commissioning agency Book Works and as a Founding Member of the Association of Women in the Arts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should take this course? 
Trustees, staff, and volunteers involved in raising funds for arts and cultural organisations.

Do I need any previous knowledge of fundraising to enrol in this course? 
No prior knowledge is needed but the course is designed to appeal to individuals working in arts and cultural organisations that have responsibilities for raising funds.

How long does this course run for?
12 weeks

How long will it take me to complete the course?
2 hours

Can I access this course using my smartphone or tablet?
Yes, this course is available on both desktop and mobile. If you would like to take the course on a smartphone or tablet, you will need to download the Cause4 app for either Android or iOS, depending on your device.

Is there any accreditation linked to this course?
Our e-learning courses for Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy are not currently accredited; however, you will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course, should you pass the summative assessments.

What web browser should I use?
The Open edX platform works best with current versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or with Internet Explorer version 9 and above.

See our list of supported browsers for the most up-to-date information.

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