We had a quick Q&A with our wonderful Development Manager Mia Gulati about her role and how she got started.
Who are you and what is your role at Stratford Circus Arts Centre?
I’m Mia and I'm the Development Manager. My job is to raise money for our charitable work and mission which includes supporting emerging artists and increasing access to creative activities for the public. I raise money mostly from trusts and foundations through applications which is a competitive process. I also support with writing monitoring reports, including reporting for our Arts Council funding and I run fundraising campaigns where we ask our audiences and participants for donations for campaigns such as Full Hearts Full Tummies.
Talk us through your typical day?
The majority of my day is taken with writing applications and reporting on our projects. Otherwise it’s meeting with co-workers to discuss future plans and projects or looking at budgets or other financial issues relating to spending money!
How did you get started in your career?
I wanted to be a visual artist (which I was!) and I then worked as an art teacher and then began working in art galleries. I then got very bored of mostly sitting in a gallery all day with not that much to do so I started to become more interested in theatre and live performance. I thought fundraising would be a good lateral career move as I like writing and there seemed to be many jobs available for fundraisers in the arts and in other industries.
What’s the best thing about being a Development Manager?
Successfully Getting funding and knowing that projects are happening because of it. Also working in a theatre/arts venue is my favourite thing about the job.
What’s the most challenging thing?
There’s often a strong focus on bringing in funding year after year with high targets which can add a lot of pressure.
What qualities do you think you need to succeed at being a Development Manager?
Being very resilient as there is a lot of rejection when applying for funding. It’s important to keep learning by attending conferences, meeting other fundraisers, swapping applications etc. I think it helps to be very organised and very persistent.