Jonathan Price

Jonathan Price

Lecturer in Creativity & Enterprise in the School of Performance & Cultural Industries, University of Leeds.

Location Leeds, UK


  • Thank you @LouiseLePelley ! Good to have your feedback.

  • Hi @DavidHingley , great to have you on board. I hope you find some useful resources here. Very interesting combination of roles you have! I'm sure other users will be pleased to read your reflections so please do continue to share your thoughts - or ask any questions - as you go through.

  • Bienvenue, @MelindaKerbaje! Thanks for your positive feedback and please feel free to post more comments, or questions, as you progress.

  • Hi @RobertoS. and welcome to this space. It certainly makes sense for your fundraising to be part of social outreach in the circumstances you previously described, where there is little support from official cultural policy. Your success will depend on building links with others in the community who share your democratic and educational values and want to see...

  • Hello WenJuan
    IETM is a membership organisation for the performing arts, which began in Europe but operates globally, so membership is open to any organisation in the sector and offers a great route for networking and exchanging with like-minded organisations. They have an excellent website: which itself offers very useful...

  • Many thanks for your feedback, WenJuan. I'm very pleased to know that you've enjoyed the course. And I look forward to seeing you in Leeds in time to come! Your points about blockchain and NFTs are interesting and something it will be interesting to discuss, especially if this is an area you are working in. Meanwhile, please consider reviewing the course on...

  • Yes, you are right - this matrix can be as complex as the organisation itself and may combine different tactics. Taking a programme approach does not mean that project-specific fundraising won't take place, but it means that it will be planned as part of an overall strategy to avoid the organisation's energy always being absorbed by short-term needs.

  • @WenJuanLou I'll have to answer on Sarah's behalf, but I'm pretty sure this was straightforwardly about the pandemic - both the physical and economic challenges, for the event, its audiences and partners. The offer that could be made both to audiences and partners was qualitatively different.

  • What you describe is a significant shift, Judith, so it's no wonder your team is feeling the pressure. Has that hoped-for re-set to the 2 year timescale been articulated as a shared strategic priority for the organisation, or is that something that's only currently in your head?

  • @WenJuanLou This is a common issue when an organisation is in a growth phase, so it may be helpful to take one step back and develop a system that allows a shared overview. That could help you decide which efforts need prioritisation and where there is risk of becoming over stretched, with a possible consequence of reputational damage.

  • Hello Vicky, thanks for joining and I hope you find the course useful. Great to see that you're already interacting with other learners and giving us feedback, so thanks for that too!

  • Hi @JudithCarlton - welcome to the course and thanks for already sharing some of the challenges you face in your organisation. As you've already mentioned, they're shared by a lot of non-profits, but that doesn't make them any easier. I hope you find some useful resources here and please feel free to interact and discuss.

  • Hi @RobertoS. - thanks for visiting us from Bolivia, and welcome. It sounds like you're involved with ambitious work and I hope you have found some ideas here to support it.

  • Hello @EllaFradgley , thanks for introducing yourself and I hope you've been finding the course useful. Please feel free to share more of your experience or ask questions of me, or other learners, as you go through.

  • Thanks for joining, @KellyJohnson . I remember visiting your theatre when you were bravely running socially distanced seating in the middle of the pandemic. I hope things are a bit easier now! Good luck with the new venue and I hope this course provides you with some useful tools to help your planning.

  • Very honest, Kristina. Fundamentally, I think the best evaluation is based on the question "what will we do differently in the future as a result of this experience?". That gets you away from the kind of evaluation that wants to define everything simply in terms of success and failure. Most organisations choose to adopt criteria that ensure they can describe...

  • Thanks for your kind comment, Adefolake. I'm glad to know you've enjoyed it and I hope you can make practical use of some of the ideas.

  • Hi Kristina - thanks for flagging. Not sure why this resource is missing - I will check with our team and see if we can get this fixed. Apologies!

  • Sounds interesting. Good things can come from talking to people, and from offering a bit of generosity. It's great if you can build good relationships with those that have shared values rather than simply seeing them as competitors - you might be able to achieve something bigger together.

  • Welcome Kristina. You identify a really common issue, and sometimes it's inevitable that smaller or newer organisations need to be quite opportunistic, but there may be scope for developing greater autonomy over time by putting your own values at the centre of your work. The danger of always responding to someone else's agenda is that you lose a sense of your...

  • Glad you found it useful!

  • Thanks for mentioning this. Glad the transcripts are useful!

  • Great questions!

  • Thanks for the Program Logic suggestion, another very useful model that could be used in conjunction with the ones here when moving on to active planning and working out how to take practical steps towards realising strategic goals.

  • Interesting example, Sparrow. I wonder what creative potential for the project is sometimes lost by clients coming to you late? Is there scope for re-training the expectations of those you work with regularly? I once worked with a really good administrator who banned me from using the words "can you just". She pointed out that, what for me was a "real quick"...

  • Hello @JOYCEINDIEGUARIGI , welcome to the course. I hope you find it useful. Please do share your thoughts as you progress or ask any questions.

  • Hello Chhaly, you are very welcome here! Thanks for introducing yourself. Are you working in the cultural sector in Cambodia currently? Please do share your thoughts as you go through the steps, or you can ask questions of me and of your fellow learners. I hope you enjoy the course.

  • Really insightful response, Kate. Interesting point about social prescribing - definitely an area for development for a lot of UK organisations in particular. For those less familiar with this, social prescribing is an option now available to some doctors in the UK, who can use their budgets to pay for positive social activities to improve mental and physical...

  • Hi Karen, thanks for introducing yourself - sounds like you're involved in some extremely interesting work. I hope this course gives you some useful pointers at this stage in your charity's development.

  • Hi Kate, great to have you here. I hope this course is useful in helping you to refocus and shape your thinking.

  • Thanks for the positive comment - I hope the ideas are useful to you.

  • Hello Paul, welcome to the course. I hope you find that it gives you some useful ideas.

  • Hi Helen, great to see you here, and no problem about the late start! At least you'll be able to see the comments already left by other learners. Please do continue to chip in with some of your own, I'm sure there may still be others joining you.

  • I often think that funders have some responsibility here, because organisations feel pressured into always telling the good news story about what a great success their project was - rather than being encouraged to share and discuss difficulties and what could have been done differently. I'd like to see arts organisations being asked for evidence of learning...

  • It's a fair point you make, Lucy. For some organisations the pandemic will be a (hopefully!) never-to-be-repeated catastrophe which interrupted rather than changed their model, though I doubt many will emerge entirely unaltered, whether they like it or not. I think the value of considering the impact of the pandemic (apart from the fact that many organisations...

  • Interesting debate to be had about arts and heritage! Perhaps it's not just about sectors but also about smaller organisations assuming that bigger ones (or ones that appear 'big' by virtue of having a substantial building, like a museum, gallery, or indeed a theatre) have resources to spare. You make a good point because in any 'partnership' worthy of the...

  • Hi Lucy, you'll need to check the Futurelearn usage guide:
    Basically, the courses are available free for their duration only but there are a couple of options for buying upgrades. It's up to you - but I'm glad to know you've found a few things useful.

  • Thanks Siubhán. I think that process of articulation is really useful in helping to digest and share thinking within an organisation. I hope it proves valuable to you in that way.

  • Thanks Martyn, great to have this feedback. Good luck with the NAFS course, that should be a very enlightening few days.

  • @LeonoreHibou Thanks Leonore - hope the course is helping with this!

  • Thanks Rebecca, that's really kind feedback. The questions are based on the experiences of fundraisers we've worked with so perhaps it's not surprising that some of your concerns are very similar. Glad they've helped you to think through.

  • That's a really interesting situation you describe, Martyn - challenging and exciting in equal measure, as you say. You're in the position of needing to identify, establish and manage the full set of relationships that your agent would previously have handled - while still doing all the creative work. You will either emerge with a new business model or with a...

  • @RebekaSengupta Good question. I'd suggest that a good reputation has something in common with happiness, in that it is difficult to aim at achieving directly, but may be found along the way if you are true to your principles. How high are your standards, and how consistent is your organisation's actions with the way it describes and presents itself? If your...

  • @CharlotteNdiribe You're right, of course, there's a lot of overlap, but hopefully it's productive to think about whether it's the people, the context or the availability of resources that might be the key issue in effecting change. I think it is quite possible for a business to have money but be held back by its staff if the money makes people complacent. For...

  • Regarding conflicts of interest, I'd suggest two main principles: 1. have a clear policy and 2. have a process that identifies issues as early as possible. Most conflicts can be worked round if declared up front, for example with the interested party stepping outside of a specific decision making process. It's worth having clear internal rules to cover issues...

  • @RebekaSengupta Earned income is the revenue your organisation generates from trading of goods and services. So it includes direct sales of tickets, subscriptions or merchandise (maybe also bar/restaurant income, or fees for concessions/stall-holders at festivals), venue or studio hire, equipment rental, sale of advertising space (e.g. in programmes or on...

  • Hi Lisa, welcome to the course. That's exactly the kind of strategic development we hope these steps will help you to think through. It would be great to hear more about your thinking and your responses as you go through.

  • Hi Jacqueline, thanks for sharing this. That's a really clear articulation of the challenge. As a touring organisation, I guess there's immediately a question of how you define your community when looking to build those connections. I'd be interested to know how you've started with that.

  • Hello Joy, welcome to the course. What's your role in the field? I hope you find the content useful - let us know if you have any comments or questions.

  • Sounds like an interesting process, Alketa. That idea of 'negotiating' programming ideas with colleagues seems like it could offer a useful test within the planning process which will really help when you look to sell the projects externally.

  • I'm glad to know this is helping you to reshape things, Rebeka. Thanks for the very interesting feedback. I hope colleagues will respond to your request. How does a new organisation get started with approaching (or identifying) potential donors and sponsors? Is it a problem if you don't have a track record? Or can you inspire people around a new idea?

  • Sounds like you've tried this out very productively, Lucy. It's always a challenge to harness the potential of contacts that are spread out across different teams. Becoming aware of this helps avoid missing opportunities (on the one hand) or duplicating efforts (on the other).

  • Thanks for the feedback Lucy - I will take this into account for future runs.

  • Hello Yoopie, and welcome. I hope this gives you some of the information you are looking for. You might also be interested in the Essentials in Arts Fundraising course that is also available, if the topic is very new to you.

  • Hello Theodore, you are very welcome here and I hope the course is useful to you. Please do join in the different conversations and I'm sure people will interact and share their experience with you. Your own perspective from Rwanda will be very interesting to others in turn.

  • Hi Lucy, in this context it is about scanning to check if there are developments at a societal level that you need to take into account in your fundraising plan. That might be something like the organisation needing to respond to a big issue like Black Lives Matter, or it might be around specific local situations or events which would give you opportunities...

  • Great to have you on board, Jacqueline. It'll be interesting to know what you find most useful in your position.

  • Welcome, Bryony! It's a really good idea to prepare for your apprenticeship in this way. I hope it connects you to some thinking and concepts that you'll find really useful.

  • Hi Jonathan, good to see you here. Will be interested to know what you think!

  • @RebekaSengupta There's nothing wrong with being ambitious. What is really positive is that you are working from a well-thought through and coherent value base - the importance of this will be emphasised as the course continues. However, there are only so many hours in the day! There is a balance to be struck between breadth and depth. As you develop...

  • Welcome, Charlotte! Please do let us know a bit about yourself and post your thoughts as you go through.

  • Thanks Lucy, great feedback. More to come on ethics later in the course.

  • It's a problem if a fundraiser's values are fundamentally different to those of the organisation because they have the role of representing the organisation. It's very uncomfortable if you don't believe in the story you're telling. However, it's also unreasonable to expect that any individual will have a 100% match in values with any organisation. Most...

  • Sounds like your colleague has an enviable problem, Lucy. But it's still a problem. If funders are falling over themselves to support your work but you don't have capacity to fulfil the demand it suggests that there is something structurally wrong. Might be time to sit down with the funders and say ok, how do we organise things to generate the capacity that is...

  • @LucyMoore Indeed - I've known of cases where someone is preparing a strategic funding bid to a source that only takes one application per year per organisation, only to find that someone elsewhere in the organisation throws in a small, opportunistic and not very strategic bid ahead of them and the opportunity is gone. Some large organisations will have a...

  • This is really interesting. One of our contributors, Arundhati, has spoken about the importance of being both a funder and a fundraiser, therefore seeing the process from both sides of the table. I was in a similar position at local level when I used to work for Leeds City Council, overseeing the authority's arts funding while also trying to bring external...

  • Hello Lucy, welcome to the course!

  • Jonathan Price replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    Good to hear Jo, thank you. You have raced through - I think you are our first finisher! There's no prize... except for the joy of learning of course ;-)

    Good luck with your fundraising and all your work going forward and I hope there are things from this course that you will come back to.

  • Jonathan Price replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    Thanks Jo, always nice to have a plug for our contributors! Great organisation to learn from in a lot of ways.

  • Jonathan Price replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    Absolutely. When yesterday's unimaginable is today's reality you can't expect yourself, or those around you, to be fully mentally or emotionally prepared. But this doesn't mean that you're powerless. As a leader, you have to find a way of reorienting yourself in the face of that kind of shock and start thinking about what's under your control and what needs...

  • Thanks Alketa. Would be interesting to know how this has influenced and guided your approach.

    Anyone else got any preferred tools of this sort?

  • Liz is referring to Beth Breeze's book "The New Fundraisers" - well worth checking out.

  • Thanks for the positive feedback, Rebeka - I hope it continues to be useful. It's a problem to be working in an information vacuum; you might need to build your own archive of information and consider this to be part of the job. Are there peer organisations doing similar work in other cities that you can network with? For example, your description of your work...

  • It's a big but important step for a lot of organisations to recognise this creativity and to actually trust the role in the right way, I think. Will be interested to know how others approach the balance of project vs core costs. Very difficult to raise funds for core separately but equally difficult to always charge to projects genuinely sufficient costs for...

  • Hi Liz, very useful for people to see how far down the line you've got with this way of working. I like the idea of 'tactical opportunism' and the threshold test. It's ok for an organisation to take on new kinds of activity but there's got to be a unifying vision or you cease to be able to explain to anyone what you're really about.

  • Very true. Values are communicated by actions far more convincingly than by an organisation's statements. And consistency is key, but often elusive, especially in large organisations, as you say. It's really frustrating for fundraisers and leaders to hear (or see) others in the organisation presenting an entirely different story of what it's about than the one...

  • Thanks for the positive feedback - good to know.

  • Really good points, Alketa. Trust is a key ingredient in this field, but it takes time to nurture, so it's among the reasons why a fundraiser should never be expected to turn everything round overnight. Ultimately, it's so much easier and more rewarding to sustain relationships than always have to be establishing brand new ones.

  • Hi Liberty, really good question, and I think if anyone has the magic solution to this they'll be really popular. Being actively involved in the business planning is a good start, and there is perhaps a reciprocal part to that where others need to be actively involved in supporting the long game of fundraising. That long game will depend on a range of...

  • Hello Liberty, welcome to the course! Hopefully this should be a very good choice of course for the point at which you now find yourself. Please do contribute your own experience and wisdom in the discussion, it will be great to hear from you!

  • Thanks Catherine, I appreciate that feedback. I had been thinking about this for a while following discussions with a lot of fundraisers about the problems of being brought in late to projects and how much harder this makes the job. But I hadn't found anything in the literature that really articulated this, so I'm glad this makes sense.

  • Hello Martyn, and thanks for your response. I'm glad to know this is challenging you in the right way! I think there are a lot of people in the same boat as you and hopefully others will discuss the issues with you as you go through. Please keep letting us know how you get on!

  • Hello Leonore, and welcome! I hope the information is really useful to you. Let us know your background if you have a chance - are you working in arts fundraising right now?

  • Hello Catherine, welcome to the course. I'll be really interested to know some of your thoughts as you move through it.

  • This is a really common issue. It's hard for organisations to take some time out to consider the bigger picture. Is this something you're trying to work towards?

  • Welcome, Alketa! I hope you find this course useful. You are right that thinking about your fundraising approach is really important for sustainability. What's your organisation and what kind of work do you do?

  • Jonathan Price replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    Thanks for the great feedback, Jo!

  • You're certainly not alone in this, Siubhán. It's a difficult trap to break out of but it's really worth the organisation taking time to give it serious thought. It's hard to use your time efficiently and effectively when you're constantly working hand to mouth.

  • Hello Siubhán, great to meet you here. I hope the course gives you some useful insights and look forward to finding out how you're getting on as you move through it.

  • Jonathan Price replied to [Learner left FutureLearn]

    Thanks Jo, welcome on board. And thanks for being the first to comment on this new course! Are you working with any organisations in particularly right now?

  • Hello Rebeka, great to hear about your background and welcome to the course. I'm sure you'll find some of Arundhati Ghosh's input particularly interesting. I'm aware that there is a unique set of challenges fundraising in India and it will be very interesting to hear more about your perspective as you go through the course.

  • Hello Liz! Nice to see you here. You're a glutton for punishment! I hope you enjoy this resource - you will find some familiar stuff no doubt and also some structures you can use, I hope.

  • I think you frame the challenge very neatly, Jinan. How exactly an organisation achieves this balance - preserving its artistic core while finding the right business structure - is the key challenge. An ACO needs to speak two languages simultaneously.