Please describe your typical day
As Major Gifts Co-ordinator I work very closely with Anthony Hewitt, Director of Fundraising, to raise money for our Capital Campaign. We are the only two people in the team who fundraise for this area of the Globe’s activity so it’s a big task!
My role involves everything from answering phone calls and emails, meeting people one-to-one, to writing and designing fundraising collateral (brochures, flyers, email bulletin, newsletters). In addition, I work closely with senior staff members and volunteers in the solicitation of major gifts from individual, trust and corporate donors. I also manage bespoke cultivation events. These vary from small scale events to larger Royal receptions in places such as Buckingham Palace or the Folger Library in Washington DC!
The current Capital Campaign fundraising priority is to find £7.5 million to building the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. My focus is on cultivating interest in this project, mainly through the Name a Seat campaign. I normally have a couple of meetings a week with individuals interested in Naming a Seat. This is my favourite part of the job- meeting people who are passionate about the Globe and/or Shakespeare. And now the build is underway I also get to run hard hat tours!
How did you end up where you are today?
My passion for Shakespeare started with an exceptional teacher, Dr. Grace Ioppolo at The University of Reading- so quite late on into my education. She made me believe in my voice as a writer and set me on the path to The Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon where I successfully achieved a Merit MA in Shakespeare and Theatre.
Whilst in Stratford I took the opportunity to gain as much work experience as I could by volunteering at The Royal Shakespeare Company, for The British Graduate Shakespeare Conference and The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. I applied to the Globe as a Fundraising Intern and was quickly promoted to temporary Development Officer. I left the Globe for two years to gain further experience in fundraising from The University of Chicago and CASE Europe but when the role of Major Gifts Coordinator came up I couldn’t resist the opportunity to come back!
Tell us something that it would surprise people to know about your role.
On average I bring in approx £6-9,000 a week towards the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.
Any highlights in your Globe career so far?
I have only been back at the Globe 6 months but I would say my greatest highlight would be holding an open event for our ‘Name a Seat’ donors in the freshly gutted shell of the Indoor Jacobean theatre. It was a momentous benchmark for this fantastic project which has been on hold for 15 years and a magical evening!
What do you enjoy most about working at the Globe?
The job satisfaction that comes from working on something I really care about. There is no other project in the world I would rather be working on then the building of the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse- it has such integrity and passionate people behind it. We will only ever build two theatres here at the Globe and to be here and to contribute to it financially through my work really is such an honour.
If someone wanted to get into a role like yours, what advice would you give them?
For fundraising I think, most importantly, you need to be a team player with bags of enthusiasm. Fundraising can be very tough, you can spend months working on a proposal and get nothing back. Fortunately I work with an incredible and very talented team who support each other with the rejections and love to celebrate the wins- quite often in the Swan bar.
What do you strive to achieve in this role?
The current fundraising priority is to find £7.5 million to build the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. I have every hope to achieve this feat in the next 12 months.
How much more money do we need to raise to complete The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse?
The cost of building the new theatre is £7.5 million. Through the generous gifts of individual and foundation support we have achieved £6.5 million. It is a fantastic achievement that this total has been raised without any Arts Council or Government funding.
We are now entering the last stage of the campaign to raise the final £1 million. This will be achieved by inspiring the general public to contribute gifts both large and small. Some people may wish to name a seat in the new theatre, some may wish to text their gift amount. Every gift is welcomed, no matter how large or small, as it will ultimately move us closer to our goal.
Just before you go, which is your favourite play by Shakespeare and why?
Hamlet- amazing rhetoric, beautiful poetry, intriguing plot, endless staging possibilities- it encapsulates Shakespeare’s genius for me.
Your chance to ask…
Next time we meet Chris Stafford, Producer of Playing Shakespeare with Deutsche Bank. Do you have a question you would like to ask him?
You can leave your question in the comments below or tweet us @The_Globe, including the hashtag #AsktheGlobe