Building the Foundations of HOME

Building the Foundations of HOME

By Marla Cunningham


Find out how the constituent arts organisations of Manchester's newest arts centre, HOME, took on the challenge of raising funds for their £25 million capital build project and the revenue projects, with a limited budget.

In Spring 2015, HOME (Greater Manchester Arts Centre - GMAC) will open its doors to Manchester. A modern new arts centre in Manchester, the third largest in the UK and the largest of its kind outside of London.

HOME will offer something new and innovative to audiences. HOME, Our 6,000 m2 building
will welcome 650,000 visits per year and will contain:

  • Two Theatres T1 - 500 seat theatre and T2 - 150/160 seat flexible theatre
  • Over 500 m2 of 4m high gallery space
  • 5 Cinemas - 160,000 visits per year
  • Café bars & Restaurant
  • Learning & participation activities – 17,000 visits per year
  • Rehearsal and Digital Edit facilities

HOME, a merger between two much loved organisations and highly regarded organisations, the Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre, is an international centre for contemporary visual art, film and theatre. It will be a place where audiences, artists, filmmakers, actors and directors come to together to make, see, engage with and debate cultural practice and ideas with a unique cross art form programme.

The constituent organisations had a track record of successful fundraising, but not on the scale that is required for such a large and diverse organisation. With a limited budget, the task was to increase income significantly, not only for the £25m capital build project, but also for the revenue projects to ensure the project has the best chance of delivering the highest quality of work, reaching as many people as possible and making an impact on the national arts ecology.

The appointment of a Development Director was the first step, but there was no additional budget to increase the Development Capacity through additional recruitment. As with other organisations, we decided to look within our trustee structure to assess what skills, networks, etc, we already had and how we could tap into this.

We then carried out a skills and experience audit on our existing group which helped us focus on the key skills and experience that was essential for fundraising. For us, we identified a particular gap in people with High Net Worth fundraising expertise and people who felt comfortable making the fundraising ask. We were heartened by the skills we already had in the team and grateful that we had a clear idea of what/who we needed to recruit to make the fundraising function within the organisation as robust as possible without spending extra money on staff.

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Resource type: Case studies | Published: 2015