RAISE Frequently Asked Questions
The following are some typical questions that are being asked in relation to the launch of the Arts Council new RAISE private investment capacity building programme with answers provided.
Q: As we participated in the previous RAISE programme, are we eligible to apply for this current programme?
A: We are expecting some very positive interest and response to this programme from the strategic and venues funded organisations. Previous RAISE participant organisations are eligible to apply. There would be an expectation of clear evidence of further incremental value of substance being created over and above that of new organisations applying for the first time.
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, the pedals/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. To date we have raised in excess of €500,000 since 2012.”
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 and 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 2 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.
Five Tier 1 organisations will be chosen for Phase 1 of this programme.
Criteria: Medium sized organisations with annual turnover between €300,000 and €800,000 and large organisations with annual turnover of over €800,000. 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 strategies.
Note re Tier 1: Both group and bespoke organisational support will be given to each selected organisation and, where necessary, financial support will be provided towards the salary of an appropriately skilled fundraising professional. O’Kennedy Consulting will work with each organisation’s unique requirements. If you believe you meet this criteria and wish to be considered, your Expression of Interest forms must be emailed to email@example.com to be considered.
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 thirty Tier 2 organisations will be chosen for Phase I of this programme.
Criteria: Medium organisations with annual turnover from €300,000 and €800,000 that are deemed to not yet be organisationally ready to engage in detailed fundraising strategy development, and small organisations with annual turnover of less than €300,000. 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 organisational strategy.
Note: Tier 2 organisations will receive ongoing group training, mentoring and support as well as full access to online fundraising support tools. If you believe you meet this criteria and wish to be considered, your Expression of Interest forms must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered.
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 5.00pm on Friday 14th September, 2018 and returned to O’Kennedy Consulting by email to, email@example.com detailing why you believe your organisation should be chosen for this new phase and outlining your organisational strategy and private investment fundraising requirements.
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 to this email address.
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: Who has been invited to apply for participation in RAISE?
A: The Arts Council has invited all organisations in receipt of strategic and venue funding to submit an expression of interest. The full list of these organisations is available here.
Q: When is the deadline for submitting an application/expression of interest.
A: The deadline is Friday 14th September, 2018 at 5.00pm.
Q: What is Tier 3 and why was it introduced?
A: Based on the significant level of interest in organisations applying for the RAISE Tier 1 and Tier 2 programmes (78 applications in total), the arts council was anxious to maintain this level of interest and to help cultivate it further. Accordingly, it approved the provision of a Tier 3 programme of activity to assist organisations be prepared to apply for the next Tier 1 and Tier 2 programme, to commence the process of preparing their board, executives and volunteers to be fully engaged and to help develop some initial fundraising capacity and early success. The thirty Tier 3 organisations will participate in two full day workshops, have access to the RAISE online toolkit and accompanying support material.