A Case Study on our Relationship with The Music Partnership

Between 2018 and 2021, ArtReach supported The Music Partnership to develop, agree and implement a fundraising strategy (linked to a new brand refresh), which has helped leverage around £700,000 in revenue funding across its programmes such as Early Years music, In Harmony, supporting music-making with children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, and Workforce Development. Funding has also helped to ensure the partnership continues to offer excellent online music education opportunities for children and young people during the pandemic.

Over the last three years, ArtReach’s key objectives were to support The Music Partnership:

  1. Develop a fundraising strategy in collaboration with the members of the partnership to achieve diversity in its income sources and explore new potential areas of giving, such as gifts from individuals and memberships via its charitable partner Friends of Staffordshire’s Young Musicians as well as accessing support from lottery funders, trusts and foundations.
  2. Agree a case for support in collaboration with members of the partnership that represents the breadth of its work with children and young people and their music-making in the region.
  3. Implement the fundraising strategy, which includes developing project outlines and writing applications to trusts and foundations, the development of individual giving platforms and applications for strategic funds from its major lottery funders.

Building on ArtReach’s extensive experience with music education and in particular with Music Education Hubs and their ACE business planning requirements, ArtReach worked collaboratively with The Music Partnership to develop a robust and practical fundraising strategy, putting together a range of initiatives and opportunities that suited the structure of the partnership best, comprising many different independent organisations – some charitable and some for-profit.

The strategy presented the partnership’s shared objectives and strengths of its memberships and described the importance of these aspects in leveraging a range of different funds – from trusts and foundations to donations and lottery funding to individual memberships. The strategy explored how accessing these funds could revive previous initiatives that were unfunded at that time, extend the geographical reach of its existing work and also seek new projects to expand its offer as well.

ArtReach collaborated with project managers, head teachers, teachers and music specialists to draw together project proposals and plans, agree budgets and submit proposals.

Over the course of the contract, ArtReach was able to support the relaunch of SoundPots – an Early Years initiative that would take place in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent’s Gladstone Pottery Museum – as well as the continuation of The Music Partnership’s excellent In Harmony programme in schools across Telford and Stoke and further a new project to develop resources for teachers supporting children and young people to make music in special schools, funded by Youth Music. ArtReach was also delighted that its fundraising support helped The Music Partnership access Cultural Recovery Funds that enabled it to offer blended and flexible approaches to continue to support music-making for children and young people during the pandemic, including support for those without online access to music lessons.

Joanna Dacombe, ArtReach Arts and Heritage Consultant, explained that “it’s incredibly beneficial to work closely over a longer period of time with organisations like The Music Partnership, and these are the sort of relationships I enjoy the most. We get to know their organisation really well and this enables ArtReach to plan more substantial activity that makes a significant difference to the organisation over the long term. It also helps us, as we found in the pandemic, to be able to respond more quickly to changing situations because we are fully involved with the partnership and therefore able to adapt plans and continue to support success when the unexpected happens!”

John Callister, Head of Service for Entrust Music Service Staffordshire, further described that “working with the specialist knowledge of the ArtReach team has added tremendous value and capacity to our partnership. They have challenged thinking, supported priorities and ultimately delivered on raising additional income for vital new projects whilst supporting the development of on-going charitable giving.”

If you’d like to explore how ArtReach can help you with fundraising, business development, training or evaluation programmes, please contact Jo Dacombe, Arts and Heritage Consultant by email Joanna@artreach.biz