Nick Mitzevich was 100 days into his role as Director of the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) when he presented his fundraising masterclass at Culture Business Canberra. He shared some of the major lessons in fostering a culture of advancement through organisation-wide enthusiasm.
Inside: all for one
Development directs the giving traffic, but it is the entire organisation’s responsibility to foster support.
Ask yourself – from the curators to the cleaning teams, what is their involvement? It’s the small details that make all the difference.
All staff should know the names and faces of key supporters to contribute to the welcome experience – this can be as simple as keeping a “cheat sheet” behind the desk.
Don’t assume that people know where they fit. People often want to help but might not know how.
Seeking to maximise impact, Nick brought together a coalition of 20 organisations to produce a city-wide festival across Adelaide. It featuring 775 Indigenous
artists and collectives, engaging an audience of 350 000 – more than a quarter of the city’s population. The Gallery’s relationships were strengthened at every level – sponsor, partners, artists, communities – through the power and reach of this project.
- Leaders must embody the philosophy of the institution.
- Don’t convince people to give money – inspire the confidence that giving will make a difference.
- Give people ownership, achievement and fun for being along for the ride.
- Solve what you can independently, but have full disclosure with partners. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.