WHAT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN SAYING ABOUT ACHATES
Matthew Swann, CEO
CITY OF LONDON SINFONIA
Achates have provided the 'missing ingredient' that has allowed City of London Sinfonia to achieve confidence, sustainability and growth in our fundraising over the past three years. Through a combination of mentoring our development team, training our board, and providing strategic and market insight, Caroline has had a transformational effect on our ability to build the foundations on which our artistic ambitions have flourished. The fulfilment of these ambitions can be seen in our highly differentiated performances, which through cross-genre collaborations and immersive-style presentation is attracting increasing numbers of under-25s to our concerts (often 25% of the audience), a clear focus on mental health in our participatory activity, not least our three-year residency at the Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital school, transforming the lives of young people with mental health and psychiatric illnesses.
Duncan Bedson, General Manager & Executive Director
DANCE UNITED YORKSHIRE
In January 2018 we were successful with our Arts Council England Catalyst application to help prepare our organisation's transition from a Community Interest Company (CIC) to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). This significant change in legal entity required our organisation to fully assess the current fundraising climate for charities and to ensure that our employees and trustees were involved in the creation and implementation of a new, fit for purpose, fundraising strategy. To achieve our aims we enlisted the services of Achates Philanthropy to conduct a review of our current funding streams and, more importantly, assist us with identifying new potential income streams. Although we are not yet at the end of the process, our company is delighted with the level of service, attention to detail and genuinely supportive professionalism we have received from Achates, and in particular, Caroline.
Susannah Herbert, Executive Director
FORWARD ARTS FOUNDATION
Forward Arts Foundation is a small team with a big mission – we co-ordinate National Poetry Day and run the Forward Prizes for Poetry – we turned to Achates to help us sharpen the story we tell about our work to outsiders, and – still more important - to ourselves. With Caroline's guidance, we have been able to raise funds, train staff, support trustees and work towards a national campaign for poetry, enabling the poetry sector to work together for a common purpose. Specifically, Achates helped us win a Catalyst Grant in 2017 and are now working with us on developing our fundraising strategy and Case for Support. Achates understand the big philanthropy picture, and they are very effective at demonstrating the importance of making cultivation of contacts enjoyable: the Achates annual awards for philanthropy showed me that people want to be involved with art and literature and see it as a privilege. In other words, if we can learn to be more confident about sharing what we love about what we do, everything else will follow.
Chris Kirkwood, CEO
LINCOLN DRILL HALL
I started working with Caroline McCormick and the team at Achates Philanthropy during their work evaluating Arts Council England's Catalyst Evolve scheme. Caroline undertook some board development training, to empower trustees of the organisation to feel confident in nurturing and developing philanthropic fundraising leads for our charity. Alongside this we also worked with other members of the team to explore and audit our operational fundraising capacity with my team. They were inspiring, extremely knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with. Board members have been able to use some of the tactics learned already in their advocacy for Lincoln Drill Hall and our approach to fundraising from individuals has become more sophisticated. I'm delighted to say that following this work we recommended Achates Philanthropy to colleagues in Lincolnshire One Venues, a network of arts venues of which Lincoln Drill Hall is part. We are now working closely with another member of the Achates team Cerian Eiles to develop and implement a trust and foundation fundraising strategy for our collaborative work. Our first meeting with her was a great success and gave all members a clearly articulated roadmap for our future work. We're confident that with the support of Achates through this year we have a strong chance to deliver on our aspirations.
Dan Lawson, COO
LONDON FILM SCHOOL
Working with Caroline McCormick has given a real boost to our fundraising efforts, both in relation to a major capital campaign and also towards revenue fundraising to support our objectives of widening access to film education. Caroline has brought insight, expertise and connections to our plans and put us in a much stronger position to realise our ambitions for the future.
Mark Tattersall, Artistic Director
THE MALTINGS ARTS
Without the support of Achates Philanthropy over the past year I doubt that our plans to create a purpose-built arts facility in Dorchester would still be on track. Their guidance on fundraising strategy and bid-writing has been invaluable, especially in areas which are less familiar to us, such as heritage. Caroline and Dagmar have been there for us at every turn in this complex project and I can't speak highly enough of their depth of knowledge and attention to detail.
Rachael Jarvis, Director
THE MOSAIC ROOMS
Achates helped us over the years with a number of Arts Council applications. Most recently they successfully helped as achieve one that ensured we were able to realise an ambitious programme over 2018-19 to celebrate our tenth year anniversary. Working with Cerian is always a pleasure, she is committed, able to visualise and enhance project descriptions and advise on necessary developments and indeed make suggestions for these. It always feels like a collaboration, making the process both positive and possible for small team organisations like ourselves. Caroline has remained throughout a wonderful advisor and supporter of our work and it is always great to know we can count on her and her team to be there when we need.
Melissa Woolford, Founder & Director
MUSEUM OF ARCHITECTURE
Working with Caroline and Dagmar from Achates Philanthropy on developing a growth strategy and then transitioning that to a feasibility study to take on a space, has been such an eye opening experience for me as the Director of the Museum of Architecture. With their help, we were able to assess our current state and what our realistic next steps could be. Following on from that, they helped us evaluate what it would mean to take on a space, from a business and change management perspective, in order to start conversations with space owners. Their experience and current work gives them a birds eye view on the cultural sector so they know who to speak with, what is realistic and how to best spend our time, which is crucial to our budgeting and decision making in this growth period. They gave me the confidence, perspective and advice I need to take informed decisions on the future of the charity.
Isobel Colchester, CEO
POET IN THE CITY
We've worked with a few Achates associates over the last couple of years, each of whom have been central to the development of our fundraising operations from board strategy to grant applications. We've worked with Caroline on developing board input into fundraising and raising awareness around the general fundraising climate, Cerian Eiles on making grant applications and supporting our team to gain application skills, and with Steve Winter on a brilliant board strategy day which helped us to totally re-imagine our future artistic vision. All three have been thorough and supportive, and we've always felt like we were getting an expert service. As a small organisation in a period of trialling new approaches to fundraising, having confidence in the quality of service delivered has made the risk feel minimal when resources are scarce. Caroline McCormick is also quite simply the best in class when it comes to fundraising strategy, and has become a trusted advisor to us. I would work with anyone she recommended, and the fact that she has brought together a range of world-class talent in one agency is an immense resource to the arts sector. Thank you!
Michaela Greene, Development & Communications Director
The Roundhouse commissioned Achates in 2016 to conduct a feasibility study of our new capital project, The Next Generation campaign. We subsequently worked with Achates on developing our fundraising strategy and the development of our HLF application. Achates throughout this piece of work, which spanned approximately a six-month period, were both incredibly professional yet supportive and collaborative. They engaged with us at all levels from staff, Exec, Board and donors and always provided informed, yet honest advice of where both our opportunities and challenges might be. We engaged with a number of members of their team including Caroline, Dagmar and Helen who are all exceptionally experienced and experts in their area of knowledge as well as plugged in to the wider arts sector. I would highly recommend their services particularly if you are considering a project like ours in the current funding climate. They have a range of expertise and skill but more importantly they are very lovely people that are a pleasure to work with!
Claire Murray, Communications & Fundraising Director
We've really enjoyed working with Achates to develop our approach to Trust and Foundation fundraising. Caroline and Cerian have been supportive and responsive partners, helping us to create a compelling application for substantial funding that will make a great difference to our Dementia Friendly programme. I have personally found it invaluable to draw upon their experience and expertise in bringing a range of teams together to identify the projects which have the greatest impact and the greatest potential to attract funding.