Fundraising & Development: the value of keeping wonder alive

Fresh from university I started working in arts development; since then I have been lucky enough to see countless extraordinary projects, pieces and concerts. Many have left me in awe, super excited or completely inspired.

This experience is shared by many of my colleagues, friends and family so I don’t think it is that unusual – these feelings are inherent because music, arts and culture are essential to every community and play a vital role in our country’s identity.

However, it is impossible to ignore the question asked of many venues like THSH: can we really afford to support music and the arts? My answer is always yes.

The real question is, how do we continue to inspire people to give to music and the arts?

Becoming a donor to a music and arts charity is a hugely gratifying experience; an opportunity to nurture new talent, be part of an exciting unique and creative industry and also, to contribute to your community. But doing so is most definitely a two-way street and as fundraisers it is our job to find the individuals, businesses, and trusts and foundations that are best suited to our organisation; we must keep on our toes, research new fundraising innovations and continue to share our knowledge and resources with other charities and music and arts organisations to survive.

Any fundraiser will tell you that you can spend hours in front of excel spread sheets making hugely complicated figures add up, wrestling with donor databases and pouring over your appeal copy to make ends meet, but you should never forget that, what it really comes down to is quite beautifully simple. Earlier this year I came across an inspiring quote from philanthropist Aileen Getty after making a $1m donation to London’s Circus Space:

“One may question the importance of supporting the Circus Arts when basic needs in our cities are so great and not being met. I have thought deeply about this over the years, and believe you cannot underestimate the value of keeping wonder alive. Wonder keeps our spirits joyous and resilient.”

I don’t think I could ever put it better than that, and from meeting and speaking to our supporters who range from children who donate their pocket money, to supporters who leave life-changing legacies – emotion is what drives us all to keep fighting for music and the arts.

Here at THSH, we can proudly declare that we have an army of supporters who tirelessly advocate on behalf and generously donate their time and money too.

So if, by chance, you are thinking of donating to music and the arts please bear this in mind; you may not be the next $1 million philanthropist but I can promise that when you become a donor, whatever the value of your donation, you will always receive much more wonder and excitement in return.

– Sally Pennington, Development Manager (Individual Giving)

Speak with Sally about Individual Giving at THSH: / 0121 644 5072