I came to Face Front as a fundraiser because of my background in copywriting and marketing. These skills have both been useful, but in the last year and a half I’ve added a whole range of new ones to my repertoire:
Patience – Fundraising is not quick! I often apply for grants from small family run trusts who meet three times a year and are overwhelmed by the number of charities asking for help. So a typical application might have a deadline of November, to be reviewed at the January meeting and we will find out if we’ve got funding in March. It can easily be 6 months before I hear anything.
Amnesia – Because of this I have to forget about the last application. I can’t afford to wait for a response thinking that we are bound to get it because we tick every box. I just have to keep writing applications for more grants, in the hope that one will come through in time for the project.
A thick skin – So often I read about that a funder wants to give grants for and I almost leap off my chair in excitement – other than having the words “and you must be called Face Front Inclusive Theatre” I can’t think how we could be a better match. And then … we don’t get the funding. I can’t take it personally. Grant giving bodies are absolutely overwhelmed by applications; it isn’t necessarily a reflection of the application but of the sheer numbers of charities who need support.
Renewed faith in humans – (Warning! This is the slushy bit) I am amazed by how many trusts there are out there. The number of philanthropic entrepreneurs, businesses, guilds and wealthy families who (rather than wasting their wealth) genuinely want to help people.
Seeing the work that Face Front has done has also cracked through my natural cynicism. I slipped into a performance of Whisper Me Happy Ever After – just before lock down – and was moved to tears by the powerful performance and the reactions of the kids. And seeing Face Front staff delivering food parcels and tablets to let the groups continue to run during lock down really shows that Face Front are so much more than a theatre company. They go well beyond their brief for their community.
And that’s a community I am so proud to be part of.