The board is the operational team who run the theatre each with a specific area of responsibility be it bookings, box office, stage management to name but a few. Everyone in the theatre works on a volunteer basis so the bulk of work is done working remotely, using central systems and tools. The team then meet as a whole once a month.
We thought it would be interesting for you to get a glimpse of how this is done.
Role: Company Secretary and Fundraising and Events Director
What is a typical volunteering week?
There isn’t a typical week and workload varies according to what events and meetings are planned. I might spend an hour a day or 6 hours a day depending on the need; I am fortunate to be retired and I have the ability to be flexible on all things theatre.
As Company Secretary I help organise monthly board meetings, take the minutes and make sure agreed actions are followed through, working closely with our Chair, Dan. I am responsible for making sure that we act in accordance with charity and company law and I am also on the Development Planning Group.
I oversee the theatre Friends scheme and, helped by Moira, the “Name a Seat” scheme. (PS there are seats available to have your name added and the Friends benefits have been improved – see the theatre website).
What takes up most of your time?
Emails and keeping all the plates spinning.
The bulk of my time is spent as Fundraising & Events Director, arranging and booking fundraising events and working with others to organise them. Joseph Rowntree Theatre Company has an organising committee of which I am one member, the annual Choir Festival has a small organising group of 5, which I lead and I liaise with Don Pears regarding Music Nights.
What do you enjoy most about the role?
The variety of the work and the mix of people I work with.
What is the most frustrating?
Seeing an event or scheme fall apart after weeks of planning.
The virus has meant that we have lost 3 events (which we may be able to rearrange) and another 2 are in serious doubt. The Choir Festival managed to be completed just before lockdown and raised £5,000. Made in Dagenham also raised that sort of amount.
What projects are you working on at the moment?
Apart from the effects of Covid19 on all theatre activity and working as part of the board to make sure we can reopen safely at the earliest opportunity, the “Raise the Roof” Fundraising campaign is my current priority. Keeping a lid on everything else that has to be kept an eye on is another part of the day. I am also attending free training events on-line learning more about using modern technologies to fundraise and improve efficiency.
What’s been a highlight of your work?
Working with great people to put our theatre at the heart of the local community offering first class facilities to all who use it, be it performers or audiences.
There's a small group of experienced fundraising volunteers on plans to raise the money for the theatre development through appeals such as “Raise the Roof”, which is a stepping stone towards the main prize of a redeveloped theatre.
The theatre may be currently closed, but there are still ways to get involved. If you are interested in getting involved in Marketing, there are plenty of opportunties available. You can find out more by right here, or you can fill out a quick online volunteering form to register your interest.
You'll be surprised how much is going on in our virtual theatre - plays, opera, festivals, musicals - don't miss out!