The statue of Shakespeare gifted to Stratford Town Hall in 1769 by the actor, David Garrick, had been removed from its place outside the Stratford upon Avon town hall for restoration. £45K was needed to restore the statue.
A strange name for a blog about fundraising, but not so strange if you think about the project for which fundraising was required: the removal and restoration of an 18th-century statue of Shakespeare. The statue of Shakespeare gifted to Stratford Town Hall in 1769 by the actor, David Garrick, had been removed from its place outside the Stratford upon Avon town hall for restoration. £45K was needed to restore the statue.
Orchard Fundraising was brought in to develop a fundraising strategy for Stratford Town Council and to help raise funds from a variety of sources including trusts and foundations, major donors and the community.
Integrated: PR, fundraising and community engagement
Orchard Fundraising quickly identified that demonstrating the benefit of the restoration to the community would be central to developing an effective case for support and to securing funding from trusts and foundations. Orchard Fundraising provided advice on creating a community engagement campaign which involved collaboration with several organisations in the community including the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. The Town Council developed a campaign which was successful and raised awareness in local and social media resulting in donations from community organisations and major donors.
Trusts and foundations
Identifying trusts and foundations was challenging as many of them do not fund town councils. Orchard Fundraising carried out extensive research to identify funders who would support the project. A case for support was developed and applications were made to trusts and foundations which focused on the benefit to the community and the educational aspects of restoring the statue. This would build on Stratford upon Avon’s heritage as the birthplace of Shakespeare and the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Victoria Flynn, Finance and Facilities Officer, Stratford upon Avon Town Council says,
“We were delighted with the advice and counsel given by Orchard Fundraising. They were strategic, creative, practical and hands-on, helping us raise much-needed funds and also providing PR advice. We are still receiving funds from some of the applications that they made. Their input and insights on our PR campaign, and on developing partnerships with other organisations and the community, was very helpful.”
Orchard Fundraising advised the Town Council to further develop its relationship with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, which resulted in the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust sponsoring an event organised by the town council, a ‘Shakespeare’s Coming Home readathon’. During this event, the complete works of Shakespeare were read aloud in the Town Hall from noon on March 1st to midnight on March 12th 2022, by a variety of people. This included actors, individuals and groups from schools, restaurants, theatre companies and universities. This event raised funds and generated significant interest with well-known people taking part including the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams.
Orchard Fundraising conducted research into wealthy Stratford residents, celebrities with an interest in Shakespeare, and actors with a connection to Shakespeare and/or Stratford upon Avon. Using this research, Orchard Fundraising developed a targeted list and wrote to selected Stratford residents, celebrities and actors informing them about the statue's restoration and asking for support. There were several positive responses to the letter and this resulted in donations. More importantly, support for the campaign was garnered from celebrities and actors including Dame Judi Dench and Sir Kenneth Branagh. Several of the individuals that Orchard Fundraising contacted offered their support to the campaign by raising awareness of it on their social media channels. Some went on to take part in the Shakespeare's Coming Home readathon which captured the public imagination.
Shakespeare is missing
An innovative campaign was developed with the theme Shakespeare has gone missing and is on a round-the-world tour, visiting locations where his plays were set. The campaign involved Shakespeare sending postcards containing a quote from one of his plays, from the locations where his plays were set. This campaign was successful and coverage was secured in the local newspaper and on social media.
Rachel Hurring, Fundraising Consultant at Orchard Fundraising says,
“ This was a delightful project to work on and I was able to use both my PR and fundraising expertise to develop an integrated campaign. Orchard Fundraising realised early on that to be successful, we needed a mixture of income streams including trusts and foundations, major donations and community donations. We are very pleased with the outcome.”
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