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How to form and implement effective fundraising strategies (part 1)

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“In anything you do there will be a part of your work that requires resources,” says Izan Satrina, Founder of MyPAA. “Resources to create your production, to move your festival, to conduct a series of classes, or to move anything you wish to mobilize. For this you need money, and money for the arts – whether in the form of a sponsorship, grant, loan, etc – doesn’t come easy.” Izan speaks to ARTERI about her upcoming one-day class on effective fundraising strategies for the performing arts community.

Earlier this year ARTERI held its inaugural Pop-Up Classes. “These classes were designed to develop more Malaysian leaders in the arts sectors – whether they be practitioners, funders, producers and or any other key player in the ecosystem,” says Izan. The classes aim to help people in the performing arts better understand the business side of the industry, its related challenges and solutions.

Marion D'Cruz co-presents a session on applying for grants @ 1st ARTERI Pop-Up classes in April, 2016.png

Marion D’Cruz co-presented a session on applying for grants @ 1st ARTERI Pop-Up classes in April, 2016.png

Response from the community was overwhelming; additional chairs had to be brought into nearly every session to accommodate overflow. This December, we hold our second series with a little something new; an advanced class on how to approach, get, and build a lasting relationship with stakeholders.


Izan, will lead the class ‘Fundraising Development & Relationships Management’. “Fundraising Development” says Izan, “Is about deconstructing what you are trying to do and what you require in terms of resources.” In the class, you will go through the steps of:

  • Figuring out exactly what resources you need to get from identified stakeholders to get your project off the ground
  • Identifying who may be interested, able, and “willing to be a partner in your adventure” to get you the resources you need
  • Approaching these partners in a way that increases your chances of success

As for relationships management:

  • Building and maintaining mutual trust and respect so your partner will want to work with you again in the future.

Millions worth of experience

As Izan well knows, lack of funding is still the primary complaint among the performing arts community. Over the years she has helped raise millions of ringgit for performances, grants and events. And the reason her experience is so valuable is because absolutely none of that money came easily.

Izan welcomes guests at the Corporate Funders for the Arts Conference 2016. Co-organized by MyPAA, the theme of this year's conference was 'New Economic Growth Through Arts'.

Izan welcomes guests at the Corporate Funders for the Arts Conference 2016. Co-organized by MyPAA, the theme of this year’s conference was ‘New Economic Growth Through Arts’.

“For one project I wrote 200 letters,” she reveals. “Almost all said no.” This is discouraging but less so if you understand that that is simply the way things are; dozens of no’s for every yes. One of those 200 letters was not only a yes, but a yes “basically covered everything we needed.”

Who is this for?

Until we meet people in the performing arts community who don’t need money, the short answer is ‘everyone’. Certainly anyone who has or will have projects in the works and recognizes that resources – like funding – don’t fall from the sky. Those who have never attempted a proposal or are intimidated by paperwork, will have a chance to see how it’s done and be armed with tips to doing things correctly. In particular, Izan hopes to reach “those who are constantly writing letters and proposals. Those who apply often but may not have seen their work translating in the kind of success rate they’ve hoped for.”

In part 2 of this article, in which Izan shares early tips on building a healthy partnership with stakeholders.

If you fall into any of the categories above, there are still limited spaces available for Izan’s full-day class. Get the detail and register here.

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How To Form and Implement Effective Fundraising Strategies (part 2)
Amy De Kanter
Amy De Kanter

Former Chief Editor, frequent contributor and enthusiastic audience member, Amy is thrilled to have a job that lets her do three of the things she loves most.