Gemma Taylor names those who have inspired her most
While studying music at Oxford Brookes I spent 18 months on a work placement with Oxford Contemporary Music Events. This was my first introduction to working in the arts; seeing how much effort goes into not only getting tickets sold, but also getting people to commit to multiple performances in advance – all on a small budget – was quite an eye opener. Ed was director at the time, and I will never forget wheeling a pair of Timpani through the centre of Oxford to New College chapel with him on a busy Saturday morning! I haven’t met many people with as much energy and enthusiasm for every aspect of their role.
Susan was the Director of Development when I managed the telephone element of The Watermill Theatre’s capital appeal. She had a real instinct for exactly what would appeal to different sections of her audience and a rare empathy for her supporter base. You could tell within seconds of meeting her that she really had passion for the project, and she did a wonderful job of conveying this to the fundraising team. I have run into Susan on a number of occasions since and she is always one step ahead of most people in her thinking and vision.
When I applied to work at The Phone Room the fact that they raised so much money for The Southbank Centre was a big pull, as I have always so admired their programme of performances . The final public appeal for the refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall was led by Rebecca and her development team. Her depth of knowledge, passion and vision for the future – and her ability to inspire the audience – was exceptional.
I first worked with Kirsty when she was Development Director at English National Opera. She gave me a wonderful insight into how venue fundraising worked overseas and how much the UK had to learn. She also taught me about the tough world of membership recruitment in the competitive central London environment, which has proved invaluable. I’ve since been lucky enough to work with her in the education sector, where she is helping university fundraising catch up with other sectors.
Euan is an expert in helping organisations to use the internet and social media in an effective way. Staying on top of new communication channels can be a challenge, let alone deciding what to use for different messages and appeals! Euan’s enewsletter is a great resource and his advice is always worth listening to.