24 Jul 2018

Impact evaluation shows that WCVA’s ‘Catalyst Cymru - Heritage Fundraising’ project has been incredibly successful in helping Welsh heritage organisations to transform their fundraising.

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Heritage organisations in Wales including museums, libraries, conservation charities and sustainable woodlands, are better managed and have become 'more resilient in the changing and challenging fundraising environment' thanks to Catalyst Cymru's four-year heritage fundraising project.

Key findings from an independent end-of-project evaluation showed:

  • 44% of organisations noted immediate sustained or increased income as a result of Catalyst training
  • 85% expected sustained or increased income from private sources in the next 12 months 

'Most of our existing income streams have increased…'

The Snowdonia Society received support from Catalyst in the form of three courses; 'Building a Fundraising Team', 'Developing a Fundraising Strategy', and 'Introduction to storytelling'. Several members of staff attended courses, and a bespoke session was developed for trustees.

'We've strengthened the processes that we use,' explained Director, John Harold. 'Most of our existing income streams have increased. Some have increased dramatically.'

'Looking back over four years, when I started the organisation was in a period of quite serious austerity - cutting costs. We were very, very risk averse. We've moved over those four years, with the help of the work we've done on fundraising, to investing in developing the capacity and strengthening the organisation. That was definitely as a result in part of Catalyst.' 

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Delegates attend a Catalyst training session

A Catalyst for culture change

Catalyst Cymru, which began in April 2014 and comes to an end in July 2018, has supported 1,700 participants from 980 Welsh heritage organisations to develop their fundraising capacity, become more financially sustainable and increase the confidence, competency and effectiveness of staff, volunteers and trustees.

Richard Roberts, Catalyst Cymru - Heritage Fundraising Project Manager said, 'As a consequence of our little project, heritage organisations are showing sustained, diversified and increased income streams, and have become more resilient. This culture change within Welsh heritage organisations has led to greater financial sustainability and better management of Wales's precious heritage.

'The project has achieved great things, but with 87% of survey respondents stating they need further support in adapting to a challenging funding environment, we know that the type of support Catalyst can give must remain a priority for the Welsh heritage sector.

'WCVA will be pursuing options and advocating for the continuation of Catalyst, and in the mean time we'd encourage organisations to get in touch with us to be kept up-to-date if and when that support does become available again.'

The independent evaluation of Catalyst Cymru was carried out by Wavehill Research