'Last year I received a RAISE bursary and this year I am speaking at Fundraising Convention'

: Gemma Rooke

Gemma Rooke has been a fundraiser in the arts and culture sector for six years; she is currently Development Manager for Z-arts. She was a RAISE bursary recipient last year which meant she could attend Fundraising Convention for the first time, which led to her applying to speak at this year's Fundraising Convention.

Attending the Fundraising Convention had never been an option for me, due to budget constraints and the worry for being away from the office for too long (the joys sometimes of being in a team of one).  

The RAISE bursary in 2018 gave me the ideal opportunity to attend and knowing my ticket, travel and accommodation was covered. It meant I could take the risk of leaving the office and find out what I’d been missing all these years.

Fundraising Convention is huge. I used to work in local government, so thought I was used to attending large scale events and spending my time networking with other professionals, but upon arrival it was clear to see where the ticket cost goes too: it was well organised, professional and vast.

I’d planned well and had a clear idea of what sessions I wanted to attend, who I wanted to meet and how I was going to take advantage of being in London for a few days. 

Like many conferences, where there is such a range of sessions to choose from, sometimes I found I had picked really well and spent 45 minutes to an hour engrossed in some great learning opportunities. And sometimes, I felt like my organisation was too small to be there (I mean I’d love it if our corporate fundraising was so big we could spend a whole hour just focusing on the smallest detail, but unfortunately...)

Working in a smaller organisation (a turnover of just under £1 million), I needed that difficult balance of strategic overview and hands on delivery. 

Many organisations I met I’d heard of. They were national charities, with teams of people there and at times I felt like the smallest fish in the biggest pond. But I learnt, I digested and I was inspired. 

If you were thinking about attending but know budget and time is tight, I’d recommend going for a day. After the event I worked out  (as many fundraisers do) what my ROI had been for attending, (obviously if I’d payed) and I’d broken even after only one week and it’s still building!

Topics of fundraising are grouped into individual days, so you can test the waters and see if it’s for you. Or even better, why not present a session – this year partly building on my delegate experience I am delivering two sessions. The first is How to rock being solo. As sole-fundraiser for a number of years, I’m presenting my Top 10 Tips to raise more funds, make individual fundraisers better and help keep sane in a busy, fast moving role. It is also going to be an opportunity for sole fundraisers attending to meet everyone else at Convention who is representing alone! In my other session, D is for dead, how to talk about death and dying with dignity, I am sharing my experiences as a trained funeral celebrant where I will share and explore how to talk to bereaved families, how to honour their wishes - and what not to say, and how to get your whole charity on board.

It’s fantastic to be part of the programme this year and I am looking forward to sharing, learning and being inspired again. Bursaries are available, find out more information here – I highly recommend it!

Gemma Rooke is Development Manager at Z-Arts

Gemma has been working as a sole-fundraiser for a number of years in the arts and culture sector, in addition to her part time role at Z-arts she delivers development programmes for staff from smaller charities where there is no fundraiser. Working in the Greater Manchester region, she has driven charities fundraising results significantly, and specialises in introducing new fundraising schemes to charities where they’ve never had anything before! Gemma was the recipient of Fundraising Team of the Year - North West in 2018, in the North West Charity Awards. In her spare time, Gemma is a trained funeral celebrant, and delivers services across Pennine Lancashire.

Gemma Rooke has been a fundraiser in the arts and culture sector for six years; she is currently Development Manager for Z-arts. She was a RAISE bursary recipient last year, and this year is speaking at Fundraising Convention.

Attending the Fundraising Convention had never been an option for me, due to budget constraints and the worry for being away from the office for too long (the joys sometimes of being in a team of one). 

The RAISE bursary in 2018 gave me the ideal opportunity to attend and knowing my ticket, travel and accommodation was covered. It meant I could take the risk of leaving the office and find out what I’d been missing all these years.

Fundraising Convention is huge. I used to work in local government, so thought I was used to attending large scale events and spending my time networking with other professionals, but upon arrival it was clear to see where the ticket cost goes too: it was well organised, professional and vast.

I’d planned well and had a clear idea of what sessions I wanted to attend, who I wanted to meet and how I was going to take advantage of being in London for a few days.

Like many conferences, where there is such a range of sessions to choose from, sometimes I found I had picked really well and spent 45 minutes to an hour engrossed in some great learning opportunities. And sometimes, I felt like my organisation was too small to be there (I mean I’d love it if our corporate fundraising was so big we could spend a whole hour just focusing on the smallest detail, but unfortunately...)

Working in a smaller organisation (a turnover of just under £1 million), I needed that difficult balance of strategic overview and hands on delivery.

Many organisations I met I’d heard of. They were national charities, with teams of people there and at times I felt like the smallest fish in the biggest pond. But I learnt, I digested and I was inspired.

If you were thinking about attending but know budget and time is tight, I’d recommend going for a day. After the event I worked out  (as many fundraisers do) what my ROI had been for attending, (obviously if I’d payed) and I’d broken even after only one week and it’s still building!

Topics of fundraising are grouped into individual days, so you can test the waters and see if it’s for you. Or even better, why not present a session – this year partly building on my delegate experience I am delivering two sessions. The first is How to rock being solo. As sole-fundraiser for a number of years, I’m presenting my Top 10 Tips to raise more funds, make individual fundraisers better and help keep sane in a busy, fast moving role. It is also going to be an opportunity for sole fundraisers attending to meet everyone else at Convention who is representing alone! In my other session, D is for dead, how to talk about death and dying with dignity, I am sharing my experiences as a trained funeral celebrant where I will share and explore how to talk to bereaved families, how to honour their wishes - and what not to say, and how to get your whole charity on board.

It’s fantastic to be part of the programme this year and I am looking forward to sharing, learning and being inspired again. Bursaries are available, visit the IoF website for more details – I highly recommend it!

 

 

 

 

Gemma Rooke

Development Manager

Z-Arts 

About Gemma

Gemma has been working as a sole-fundraiser for a number of years in the arts and culture sector, in addition to her part time role at Z-arts she delivers development programmes for staff from smaller charities where there is no fundraiser. Working in the Greater Manchester region, she has driven charities fundraising results significantly, and specialises in introducing new fundraising schemes to charities where they’ve never had anything before! Gemma was the recipient of Fundraising Team of the Year - North West in 2018, in the North West Charity Awards. In her spare time, Gemma is a trained funeral celebrant, and delivers services across Pennine Lancashire.

Gemma Rooke has been a fundraiser in the arts and culture sector for six years; she is currently Development Manager for Z-arts. She was a RAISE bursary recipient last year, and this year is speaking at Fundraising Convention.
Attending the Fundraising Convention had never been an option for me, due to budget constraints and the worry for being away from the office for too long (the joys sometimes of being in a team of one).  
The RAISE bursary in 2018 gave me the ideal opportunity to attend and knowing my ticket, travel and accommodation was covered. It meant I could take the risk of leaving the office and find out what I’d been missing all these years.
Fundraising Convention is huge. I used to work in local government, so thought I was used to attending large scale events and spending my time networking with other professionals, but upon arrival it was clear to see where the ticket cost goes too: it was well organised, professional and vast.
I’d planned well and had a clear idea of what sessions I wanted to attend, who I wanted to meet and how I was going to take advantage of being in London for a few days. 
Like many conferences, where there is such a range of sessions to choose from, sometimes I found I had picked really well and spent 45 minutes to an hour engrossed in some great learning opportunities. And sometimes, I felt like my organisation was too small to be there (I mean I’d love it if our corporate fundraising was so big we could spend a whole hour just focusing on the smallest detail, but unfortunately...)
Working in a smaller organisation (a turnover of just under £1 million), I needed that difficult balance of strategic overview and hands on delivery. 
Many organisations I met I’d heard of. They were national charities, with teams of people there and at times I felt like the smallest fish in the biggest pond. But I learnt, I digested and I was inspired. 
If you were thinking about attending but know budget and time is tight, I’d recommend going for a day. After the event I worked out  (as many fundraisers do) what my ROI had been for attending, (obviously if I’d payed) and I’d broken even after only one week and it’s still building!
Topics of fundraising are grouped into individual days, so you can test the waters and see if it’s for you. Or even better, why not present a session – this year partly building on my delegate experience I am delivering two sessions. The first is How to rock being solo. As sole-fundraiser for a number of years, I’m presenting my Top 10 Tips to raise more funds, make individual fundraisers better and help keep sane in a busy, fast moving role. It is also going to be an opportunity for sole fundraisers attending to meet everyone else at Convention who is representing alone! In my other session, D is for dead, how to talk about death and dying with dignity, I am sharing my experiences as a trained funeral celebrant where I will share and explore how to talk to bereaved families, how to honour their wishes - and what not to say, and how to get your whole charity on board.
It’s fantastic to be part of the programme this year and I am looking forward to sharing, learning and being inspired again. Bursaries are available, visit the IoF website for more details – I highly recommend it!
Gemma Rooke 
Development Manager
Z-Arts
About Gemma
Gemma has been working as a sole-fundraiser for a number of years in the arts and culture sector, in addition to her part time role at Z-arts she delivers development programmes for staff from smaller charities where there is no fundraiser. Working in the Greater Manchester region, she has driven charities fundraising results significantly, and specialises in introducing new fundraising schemes to charities where they’ve never had anything before! Gemma was the recipient of Fundraising Team of the Year - North West in 2018, in the North West Charity Awards. In her spare time, Gemma is a trained funeral celebrant, and delivers services across Pennine Lancashire.

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