18 Jun 2024

Funding Resilience: The Fundamentals of Arts Fundraising

Funding Resilience: The Fundamentals of Arts Fundraising

Tuesday 18th June @ 10:00-16:00
The Duncairn
A&B NI Members: £30+VAT
Non- Members: £45+ VAT

Join fundraising consultants OKC for a one-day workshop, "Funding Resilience: The Fundamentals of Arts Fundraising," designed exclusively for Arts & Business Northern Ireland's members. Led by Mary O’Kennedy, Managing Director, and Oonagh O’Donovan, Head of Development, this practical course delves into the core principles of successful fundraising in the arts sector today.

Through interactive sessions, participants will explore essential topics such as fostering a culture of philanthropy within their organisations, crafting a compelling case for support, and identifying the most effective fundraising avenues to strengthen your organisation's financial resilience and drive its philanthropic impact forward. Drawing from real-world examples and case studies, attendees will gain invaluable perspectives and practical strategies to elevate their fundraising efforts.

With a proven track record of success, OKC brings extensive experience to the table. Since 2018, OKC has delivered the RAISE Programme on behalf of the Arts Council of Ireland, which has enabled over 100 arts and culture organisations, to fundraise approx. €17 million in private and philanthropic income. Now, OKC extends this wealth of expertise to Arts & Business NI members, equipping them with the tools and knowledge needed to thrive in today's competitive fundraising landscape.

Doors open from 9:30am and starts at 10am

Lunch is included with Tea and Coffee on arrival

For more information or accessibility enquires please contact or ring us on 02890735150

Access document for venue can be found here


Bio: Mary O’Kennedy

Mary is a passionate advocate for values-led and impact-driven philanthropy and social investment in Ireland, in tandem with promoting fundraising as a respected and valued profession. Mary has over 20 years' experience of working in and consulting to the not-for-profit sector, and established O’Kennedy Consulting (OKC) in 2002.

Mary is a previous recipient of the National Award for Outstanding Contribution to Fundraising and was also shortlisted for an IMAGE Business Women of the Year Award. In 2014, she co-founded CCI Executive Search, a specialist not-for-profit sector recruitment company focused on ensuring that organisations recruit and retain great teams. This was followed in 2017 by the launch a new jobs platform Creative Careers, which promotes key roles across the Arts, Heritage, Culture, Media and Marketing sectors.

Mary was the Founding Chair of Fundraising Ireland (now Charities Institute Ireland). She is also former chair and a current Board member of EU Consult, the European Association of Consultants to the not-for-profit sector and was previously Ireland’s Ambassador for the International Fundraising Congress. She is currently the Irish Advisor to the Global Leadership Foundation, founded in 2006 by Mr. FW de Klerk. Mary has recently joined the Board of the Seamus Heaney Estate, something that she feels hugely privileged to be part of.


Bio: Oonagh O’Donovan

Oonagh comes from an arts fundraising background, specialising in corporate partnerships, philanthropic & major donor investment and capital campaigns. Having worked in the US, UK and Ireland for some of the world's leading performing arts organisations, she is an experienced relationship manager with a focus on new business development and strategic, innovative partnerships. At OKC, she leads the RAISE Academy programme, but also works across a number of clients from the broader not-for-profit sector.

Oonagh has managed a robust portfolio of supporters ranging from £1k – £500k+, and previously to OKC held the position of Corporate Development Manager at the Royal Court Theatre, where she focused on securing and retaining high level sponsorships and corporate partners. Oonagh is also experienced in capital campaign fundraising project management, having overseen a £12m budget across all major fundraising income streams at the Donmar Warehouse. Starting her career in New York, Oonagh was part of The Public Theater’s Development team, which delivered their 2016 Annual Gala The United States of Shakespeare, which raised over $4.5m for the theatre in one night.

Oonagh holds a B.A. Hons degree in Drama and Theatre Studies from Trinity College Dublin and in 2022 completed an MSc in Strategic Management and Marketing from Technological University Dublin, where she obtained a First Class Honours as part of her Postgraduate Diploma.


About OKC

Since 2002, OKC have been working across the not-for-profit sector to enable philanthropic impact. Led by Mary O’Kennedy, the OKC team collectively brings years of fundraising experience and an extensive knowledge of the Irish philanthropic and corporate environments and a network of connections from across Ireland and beyond.

Enabling philanthropic and corporate investment in the arts & cultural sector is a key strand of OKC’s work. OKC works extensively across the broad charity and social enterprise sector and with arts and cultural organisations, as part of OKC’s delivery of the RAISE programme for the Arts Council of Ireland, to initiate and grow philanthropy, strategic partnerships and multi-channel stakeholder engagement programmes.

OKC offers a hands-on, client-centred approach and a wealth of knowledge on fundraising, philanthropy, marketing and communications strategies, whilst also being able to draw on the perspective and expertise of our OKC Associates who specialise in various complementary fields, including Digital, Sustainability/ESG and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Internationally, we engage with a broad network of civil society consultants through EU Consult, the European Association of Consultants to and about the not-for-profit sector.

OKC is values-led, impact-driven and passionate about enabling social change through philanthropy.

Our Funders & Partners

Arts & Business NI is generously supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.