Rosanna is a Fundraising Executive at Birmingham Hippodrome. As a charity, we raise over £1Million a year to deliver our charitable work with Hippodrome Projects. Rosanna works with the Head of Fundraising to put together creative fundraising campaigns and glittering events to raise money for fantastic projects such as free family festivals or increasing access for those with special needs.
Describe your job?
I manage to the day-to-day running of our memberships, individual giving and donation schemes, fundraising campaigns and fundraising events. It’s very much both a heart AND head kind of role. You need to care and be passionate about what your charity does (or at least it certainly helps to be!), and be a vocal advocate of the work, but also have a head for strategy and data.
How long have you worked at Birmingham Hippodrome?
I’ll have been here six years in October, which has absolutely flown by. It’s the longest I’ve ever been in any job. It’s such a cliché to say, but I still feel like I’m learning! I joined as Fundraising Administrator, completely new to the not-for-profit sector, and I’ve now worked up to Executive level. At first I supported managers in both corporate and individual giving fundraising, before moving to focus solely on individual giving in April last year.
What’s your favourite part of the job?
Fundraising is largely about your supporters, and I am at my best when I’m meeting and speaking to people. I love getting to know our donors and Patrons; finding out what they’re passionate about and being able to show them the difference that their support makes. It’s also great when you get to hear from the beneficiaries themselves. A lot of the time you’re beavering away in the office trying to get together the funds for our amazing Artistic Team to deliver their work, so it’s great to attend a project or hear first-hand from those who’ve taken part about the impact our work has in the communities we’re trying to reach.
Describe a typical working day?
One of the things I love about this job is the variety. And I’m going to be super cliché-tastic now, but every day can be different. I can be on the phone with one of our Patrons at one moment, editing a page on our website the next, working on the strategy for a fundraising campaign after that, and then planning a gala dinner at the next moment. It’s what keeps the job extra interesting, and I’m also lucky that it’s allowed me to learn a wide range of skills that aren’t just fundraising related.
What are you most proud of achieving here?
This is a tough one. I’d probably say the increase in our Patrons scheme. It’s almost three times bigger now than when I started. Our Patrons feel like part of the Hippodrome family. Their membership fees help to support our charitable work and in return, we’re able to offer them exclusive access to some of our facilities and sharings. I have a great relationship with our Patrons and love speaking with them on a day-to-day basis.
Our on stage galas are always a spectacular event too. I think we sometimes don’t realise what a massive undertaking it is until the night itself, when we look around and see 300 having an amazing evening on our stage. The last one we held in 2016 broke records for the amount we raised too.
Our next on stage gala one in 2019 is going to celebrate our 120th birthday, so I’m excited to work on that and see what kind of flair we deliver this time around!
What show are you most looking forward to in the coming season?
I think War Horse has to be up there. I didn’t get to see it when it was first here in 2013, as the show completely sold out and I wasn’t quick enough to get tickets! But people rave about it, so I’ll definitely try to get in this time. We’re also holding a Fundraising Gala during the show’s run, and given that it’s the centenary year of when WW1 ended, it should be a really special moment in time.
The Full Monty is also on the list…………need I say why?!
And Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without the Hippodrome Panto and particularly, Matt Slack. He cracks me up every time he’s on stage. I say Christmas, but I normally save watching it for the cold dreary days of Jan, when it acts as the perfect antidote to the post-Christmas blues! This year it’s Peter Pan, so I look forward to booing Captain Hook!
If you could do someone else’s job at the Hippodrome for a day, what role would you choose?
I would probably choose a role in the Technical department, helping out backstage. I’d love to see a show from that perspective.
I have a second job as a registrar, conducting and registering weddings! So if the Hippodrome ever decided to renew their wedding venue licence, I could play two roles at the theatre……..as it were!
Find out more about fundraising and how to donate to Birmingham Hippodrome on our website here.