Making It Add Up: Fundraising Training Launched for the Northern Ireland Heritage & Environment Sector

The Heritage Lottery Fund has recommitted its funding and confidence in the “Investing in Northern Ireland’s Heritage” fundraising training programme for Northern Ireland’s Heritage and Environment Sector – by extending its grant support for a further two years up until the Spring 2018.

The programme helps charitable, community, voluntary and social enterprise organisations to become more financially self-reliant and less dependent upon Government grants and contracts.

The training programme has already been operational for two years since 2014 and has delivered a comprehensive range of accredited and vocational fundraising training workshops, courses, clinics, consultations, coaching and online resources to over one hundred charitable organisations and over fifteen hundred volunteers, workers and managers across Northern Ireland’s heritage and environment sector.

The programme has addressed topics such as – individual donation, online, major donor and legacy giving; corporate sponsorship, charity giving and volunteering; Trust and Foundations grants; Government and public sector grants and contracts; and earned income and investments.

One past participant in the programme commented upon its relevance and value –

“The programme is a fantastic opportunity to develop your knowledge of fundraising and investigate alternative sources of income to help your organisation become more sustainable.”

The next phase of the programme will concentrate upon  continuing to deliver the most popular and well –received fundraising topic practical workshops; collaborating with the Institute of Fundraising Northern Ireland to deliver accredited fundraising training courses; working with Business in the Community to develop charitable/corporate engagement support opportunities and resourcing; address the trading of services and products earnings potential of the Northern Ireland community and voluntary sector; and develop and deliver more bespoke fundraising training and capacity building support for Northern Ireland’s Heritage and Environment Sector.

The “Investing in Northern Ireland’s Heritage” programme is managed by Northern Ireland Environment Link (NIEL), the networking and forum body for organisations interested in the natural and built environment of Northern Ireland. NIEL’s Chief Executive, Craig McGuicken commented on the importance of the programme for the future sustainability and governance of the local heritage and environment sector and its work:

“The heritage sector in Northern Ireland has been largely reliant upon government funding, but this situation is changing. The Catalyst programme has offered invaluable support to the sector to target new funding sources and develop publicly evocative messages and techniques to engage and develop new funding providers.  Our aim is to increase fundraising capacity in the built and natural heritage sector in Northern Ireland and the extended HLF Catalyst project is an important step towards achieving this. The training will be available to any person working in or engaged with the sector in Northern Ireland, including staff, committee members or volunteers”

Paul Mullan, Head of the Lottery Fund in Northern Ireland, added their support:

“Our Catalyst programme has provided heritage groups with the tools needed to build their capacity and improve their ability to tap into private funding across the UK.  This is particularly important as traditional sources of funding are under pressure or disappearing completely. Catalyst is already making a real difference to the heritage sector so we were delighted to extend this project to give more organisations the opportunity to increase their capacity around fundraising and philanthropy. It is thanks to National Lottery players that we can support the development of a thriving and resilient heritage sector.”

The programme relaunch event is being held at Clifton House, Belfast on Monday 27th June 2016.  A series of presentations will be delivered from Northern Ireland Environment Link and the Heritage Lottery Fund followed by a fundraising training workshop and Masterclass facilitated by Stephen Pidgeon, international consultant, lecturer and writer on fundraising.

Further details on the training programme are available from Northern Ireland Environment Link:

Contact: Murdo Murray, HLF Catalyst Programme Manager

Phone: 028 90 45 5770




Note to Editors:

Northern Ireland Environment Link (NIEL) is the networking and forum body for non-statutory organisations concerned with the environment of Northern Ireland. NIEL’s vision is for: A valued, resilient, healthy environment and our mission is ‘To be a collective voice promoting the importance of environmental issues through influencing policy and developing partnerships for a healthy environment’.

Further details on the HLF Catalyst in the UK are available here: