RD lecture notes and observations


Seeing and hearing Rachel introduce herself to the group I could well imagine that she was very able in the persuasion arena. What a very personable lady, her bubbly delivery and enthusiasm made for a compellingly interesting three hours. I had met her before at PCAD where she gave a talk on her practice and the role of fundraising for it so I appreciated her expertise as well.

The format of the delivery was straight forward and amusing at the same time. Her analogy of orgainising a Birthday Party, amusing, but also ideal in terms of understanding the process. RD ran through the initial principals of raising funding for a project and the key things which need to be in place before any approach is made.  The interesting thing is that these considerations are applicable to any proposal, project – indeed any decision making process.

 The notes below, whilst bearing a certain shorthand are comments and directions which took us through the afternoon.

Essentially in brief:

  1. Identifying the need and allowing a broad remit to start with keeps the proposal adaptable
  2. Offering a needs analysis which fits with a funders ongoing drivers will be more successful than working in adversity
  3. Researching is key the more facts you know that support your proposal the better. Being informed is essential
  4. Individual desk top research has a place but the most valuable resource is using the experience of other successful bidders in your particular area of interest, probably from other areas, to build an informed solid picture of the project requirements and possible pitfalls will allow a detailed analysis of what is needed and likely hidden costs but also feasibility. Working with other providers, open consultation and an informed tight bid will give funders confidence.
  5. Boring down on key aspects, creating a channeled focus and creating listable achievable objectives that support the aim create a solid proposal give funders confidence that you understand and are capable and qualified to deliver the project to their requirements.

All this makes complete sense.

The cohort remit is to work in groups to build a project bid and brief initial discussions has set our groups goal as:

The provision of spaces for arts based activities to support artists and the wider rural communities in Devon (and Somerset) and encourage a wider social connection to  and understanding of the arts through contemporary arts practices.

One of the key things we found was that it was easy to jump to likely outcomes or possible directions before we had actually followed the remit to bore down and establish the need for the project, why it would be of benefit, who would benefit and why!

However, recognizing this was also key to using this initial discussion to voice our own interests and working out how we could create a proposal which would, at the end of the day, support our various, but similar drivers.

Each of us had identified the need for provision in our own areas.

We felt some of the initial things we should interrogate were:

Why, individually, we want to go forward with this proposal.

Secondly that we could usefully use research time to investigate current provision in our own areas by finding other groups which might be providing a similar services in other areas or indeed whether there was actually a similar service already being provided which we have not heard about and if so WHY we didn’t know about it – which would offer possibly another proposal idea.

Some of the key phrases that came up where:

Matchmaking service – finding available spaces and matching this with people who want to use them

The draw of free or very affordable (although free would be better) activities to occupy leisure time for families

Creating rural connections, (bringing communities together or linking communities together)

Devon (and Somerset) are important tourist areas, tourists come with disposable income could we take advantage of that?

Could we create a travelling art practice in much the same way as you have travelling theatre groups.

Obviously there are very many more questions to ask!

We will be meeting next Tuesday to discuss what our research has brought up.