The Arts Council is launching Phase 2 of its three-phase RAISE capacity building programme. After a very successful Phase 1 programme delivered by our partners O’Kennedy Consulting, arts organisations will be invited now to participate in both the Tier 1 and Tier 2 programmes. The following are some typical questions that are being asked in relation to the launch of Phase 2 of the Arts Council RAISE private investment capacity building programme with answers provided.
Q: Which arts organisations are eligible to apply for participation in RAISE Phase 2.
A: Eligible arts organisations include strategic funded, multi-annual funded and arts centre funded organisations.
Q: As we participated in Phase 1 of RAISE, are we eligible to apply for this current programme?
A: The 5 Tier 1 participant organisations in RAISE Phase 1 are not eligible to apply for either Tier 1 or Tier 2 of RAISE Phase 2. The 29 Tier 2 participant organisations in RAISE Phase 1 are eligible to apply.
Q: As we participated in the original RAISE programme between 2012 and 2016, are we eligible to apply for RAISE Phase 2?
A: Yes, you are eligible to apply for either Tier 1 and/or Tier 2 of RAISE Phase 2. A weighting of 10% will be applied to the scoring in your application for Tier 1 to reflect the advantage in participating previously. No weighting will be applied in your application for Tier 2.
Q: If we apply for the Tier 1 programme and are not successful, can we still be eligible to apply for the Tier 2 programme?
A: Yes, you are still eligible. However, we encourage all applicants to fully review and assess the criteria for both tiers in order to apply for the most appropriate tier for your organisation based on its size, board commitment and readiness.
Q: Will the Arts Council penalise an organisation for successfully raising money from private sources by reducing its grant, either in volume or relative to other organisations?
A: The Arts Council has a very clear view about the role of private giving for organisations being funded by the Arts Council. Any money raised will be regarded as additional, or ‘extra’, and will not affect in any way the organisation’s Arts Council grant, now or in the future. In addition, organisations with robust funding models are those most likely to have the more significant impact on Irish culture and society and therefore be great ongoing strategic partners for the Arts Council. Private Investment including philanthropy is always attracted to organisations that have existing state/grant support and state funding is also normally encouraged by the existence of philanthropic support – partnership for success is mutually beneficial to all parties.
Q: Will the extra burden of work associated with fundraising (staff, time, resources) represent more trouble than it is worth?
A: Developing a sustainable fundraising programme should be viewed as a great opportunity but like anything that’s worth doing it will take time and commitment so unless an organisation is willing to do this then they are not a right fit for the programme! And yes, donor engagement will always need to keep moving. The experience of a previous RAISE participant probably says it best: “The RAISE initiative has been a very positive experience, the initial fears and reservations quickly disappeared when we started to ask our followers to support us, their goodwill towards the organisation translated into funds in support of our education programmes. The concept of asking for support is now engrained in the organisation and is shared by the board, executive, members, friends and supporters of the organisation.”
Q: Will the artistic vision and career of the director in time be diluted or diverted by having to pander to corporate sponsors who do not really understand the work or just want popular work to which to attach their logo?
A: There are great examples of successful corporate & arts partnerships both in Ireland and internationally and this fear can be mitigated once there is open dialogue when agreeing on the sponsorship parameters and a strategic approach to partnering with the right companies who do understand and appreciate the artistic vision! Also, there are very few companies who want to simply ‘attach’ their logo to a work – the tendency now is towards more meaningful, long-term relationships that firstly reflect the requirements of the particular organisation or venue but also make sense for the corporate private investment or philanthropic donor in terms of a right fit. No organisation should take money from a company or grant source that they don’t trust or feel aligned to in terms of values – this will negate any pandering. RAISE will be focused on this approach to donor engagement. The private investment and philanthropy motto ‘people invest in people’ means ‘donors invest in the artistic vision and ambition of the director’ – so there should never arise a need to compromise artistic integrity or vision.
Q: Will support be available to help fund a part-time resource for a period to support the capacity building efforts of organisations?
A: For the 5 selected and participating Tier 1 organisations, an assessment will be made of their current private investment and fundraising capacity and where appropriate*, some financial assistance will be provided over a two year period. There is no provision for additional financial assistance being provided to organisations participating in Tier 2 programme.
Note: For Tier 1 organisations, where it is deemed appropriate/beneficial to successful participation in RAISE, a fundraising position will be recruited by Charity Careers Ireland with support from Creative Careers. The precise role, skills required and salary will be assessed on a case-by-case basis depending on the specific requirements of each organisation and their capacity to co-fund the position.
Q. What is the difference between Tier 1 and Tier 2 of this programme?
A: Tier 1 applies to Ready to Engage Organisations. These are organisations who can clearly demonstrate in their Expression of Interest that they have the vision, commitment and conviction to participate successfully in this programme and generate sustainable and tangible benefit from it. There will be 5 Tier 1 organisations.
Criteria: Medium & Large organisations with annual turnover of over €500,000 and an ability to demonstrate a track record of fundraising support and donor engagement – fundraising/private income at a minimum of 5% of total turnover.
The chosen organisations must demonstrate that they have robust organisational structures, strong fundraising propositions, clear marketing plans and the internal capacity, leadership and board buy-in to ensure the development of impactful private investment/philanthropy strategies.
Note: Selected organisations will participate in five group workshops and receive 80 hours (which includes administration time) of bespoke organisational support will be given to each selected organisations. Financial support will also be provided towards the salary of an appropriate fundraising resource. O’Kennedy Consulting will work with each Tier 1 organisation to develop tailored fundraising plans which are suitable to the organisation’s unique requirements.
Tier 2 applies to Getting Ready to Engage Organisations. These are organisations who can demonstrate a clear commitment to developing private investment but where it is recognised that they need more time and assistance to prepare themselves to apply for a future phase of Tier 1. Up to a maximum of 15 Tier 2 organisations will be chosen for Phase 2 of this programme.
Criteria: Small & Medium organisations with annual turnover up to €500,000 that are deemed not to be fully ready to engage in multi-layered fundraising programmes. Note: There is no minimum fundraising income required for Tier 2 but organisations must demonstrate some level of effort to secure donor income.
Of the Tier 2 organisations that will be chosen, preference will be given to those organisations who can demonstrate a commitment to developing private investment fundraising programmes in the medium to long-term, and those that have a clear, robust organisational structure and strategy.
Note: Tier 2 organisations will receive quarterly group training workshops, 15 hours of individual mentoring and support as well as full access to online fundraising support tools.
Q: When is the deadline for submitting Expressions of Interest?
A: The deadline to submit Expressions of Interest for both Tier 1 and Tier 2 is 5.00 PM on Friday 10th January 2020. All organisations must submit their Expression of Interest via the Online Application Form. Links below for both Tiers.
Tier 1 Application Form
Tier 2 Application Form
Q: Who is managing the RAISE programme for the Arts Council?
A: We have appointed O’Kennedy Consulting, leading fundraising and philanthropy advisors, to manage the new phase of RAISE. They can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. All expressions of interests should be submitted online via the above links.
Q: Who is the primary Arts Council contact on this programme?
A: It is Kieran MacSweeney, who can be contacted at email@example.com or on 087 2513986
Q: What is the Arts Council RAISE Up Fund?
A: In addition to the RAISE Programme, we are delighted to introduce a new initiative – The RAISE UP Consultancy Fund will allow previous or current RAISE applicants or participants to apply for matched-funding consultancy services from the OKC team at a special rate* of €200 per half-day or €400 per day. (*This represents 50% of the actual consultancy cost as the Arts Council will cover the other 50%. Minimum consultancy half-day and Maximum 4 days per organisation.) Organisations eligible to apply to the RAISE Up Fund include all Tier 1 and Tier 2 organisations from Phase 1, all organisations who participated in the 2012-2016 RAISE programme and all eligible organisations who apply for Tier 1 and Tier 2 for Phase 2 whether they are selected for Tier 1 or Tier 2 or not. Organisations wishing to avail of this will need to fill in a short form to verify that they are passed or current RAISE applicants/participants and the nature of the support required, which must relate to supporting the Executive and Board in developing the organisation’s fundraising, diversifying income and encouraging philanthropy, growth and sustainability. Please note the Arts Council has set aside a restricted allocation of funding towards the RAISE-UP FUND and once allocated the initiative will close.