Rambert Moves: Capital Campaign

Rambert Moves: Capital Campaign

By Naomi Russell
Naomi Davenport


Learn how Rambert raised the funds to move to a new home on the South Bank and sustain their long-term growth.

Rambert is Britain’s flagship contemporary dance company. Constantly evolving and with a rich heritage, it is among the world’s finest and most popular dance companies.

Rambert's capital campaign, Rambert Moves, was brought about to raise the necessary funds to move the Company to a new home on the South Bank, a crucial phase in Rambert's long-term growth and survival. The previous building in Chiswick, West London was long passed its ‘sell-by’ date; on a practical level it did not support the creation of the work for which Rambert was renowned. A new home was required to safeguard their future artistic success, and enable them to fulfill their potential for the next 80 years and beyond.

Where was Rambert in 2007?

Rambert was fortunate enough to have been given a plot of land in central London, opposite the National Theatre. However, plans for the wider commercial and community development of the site had objectors, and this delayed the project. It also started to impact on the belief at Rambert as to whether the project would happen.

The overall campaign target was £7m but at that stage only £4.2m of potential donor prospects and suspects were identified to deliver against this goal. This was not enough.

The company had been through financial challenges and had only recently stabilized. The need to balance risk and growth and manage a major capital project in this context were therefore very real issues for Rambert.

In 2007 there was no formal capital scheme at the Arts Council to which Rambert could apply and no immediate prospect of there being one. The campaign started thinking that most of the money would have to come from private sources – which compared to Rambert’s peers was very unusual.

Positively, however, there was sufficient will from the then Chairman, Prue Skene, the new Chief Executive Nadia Stern and Board to find a way through the situation. They had:

  • Two lead gifts already in place from a trust and individual that would later prove powerful in persuading others to give
  • An understanding that investment needed to be made for results to be seen
  • The opportunity for Rambert’s new home campaign to re-energise the company and its role in the dance and wider arts sector, which would impact on the ability to fundraise to achieve future ambitions


Capital projects by nature have a beginning and an end. The period in between the beginning and end can be hugely intense in terms of resources. Organisations that create a successful platform to fundraise see the bigger picture and how this intense period can be used for longer-term gain. With this in mind a series of key objectives for the campaign were agreed:

  • To raise significant private sector funds to support Rambert’s move to a purpose-built new home on London’s South Bank
  • To develop Rambert’s capacity to fundraise from private sources on an ongoing basis in support of financial sustainability and therefore ensure the capital campaign plan was integrated with revenue fundraising and delivered ROI on an ongoing basis
  • To engage high net worth individuals more comprehensively with Rambert
  • To target high value prospects to make cornerstone gifts to the campaign

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Resource type: Case studies | Published: 2015