Corporate support for IT&T
For the last couple of years, IT&T has been fortunate enough to be amongst the many charities receiving support from Woodford Investments. As such, we have been afforded a glimpse into a very different environment from that of Baroque music and benefitted from the type of thinking that goes into building a successful business - until relatively recently, an approach quite alien to the Early Music world.
IT&T is now firmly established as a local community resource. Only last week I received enquiries for four concerts from a variety of local sources which is hugely gratifying and encouraging. But we don’t want to be satisfied with that - we are still pursuing our ambition of establishing a regular concert series in Oxford and of becoming a regional presence. Last month, Woodford’s way of thinking had me meeting a fundraising consultant in London, with a view to establishing a development strategy for IT&T. I find this business approach fascinating: with grandparents who ran a Gentleman’s Outfitters in Rhyl I have always suspected that perhaps I am closer to a shopkeeper than a musician!
IT&T needs you!
Anyway, the good news is that we are actually doing a lot of the right things and that time and stamina will do much for IT&T’s development. The even better news is that our instinct that you, our audience, is our greatest asset has been officially confirmed, which somehow makes me feel more courageous about involving you. Establish a significant following and a market for IT&T and the rest will follow.
IT&T has developed at an unprecented rate in the last four years, with the result that we now need your help- there is simply too much ground for Gay, Aliye and myself to cover. That help might come in many shapes and sizes - let me give you an example: the most recent addition to the IT&T ‘office’ is Jessica Osborne, a Friend with accounting experience who has taken over the day to day finances of IT&T and provided very welcome relief from this considerable responsibility. We are hugely grateful to Jessica and fortunate to benefit from the expertise she brings with her. We know the IT&T audience has talents in abundance - fundraising and marketing skills would be invaluable, but even if you don’t possess these, you could still hold the key to increasing the number of our supporters and improving our resilience.
Very early on we established that word of mouth was our most effective marketing tool and we have now been advised to capitalise on what is essentially an extension of this, by tapping into existing networks with a connection to our audience. Your network might be a Residents’ or Neighbourhood association, a choir, or a company noticeboard, whether real or virtual. You might simply forward our ‘Forthcoming concerts’ to people who live in your road, or buy an extra ticket for a friend, or possibly you work for a company that could be persuaded to sponsor a local entreprise if we were to encourage them with a couple of complimentary tickets? Another possibility is arranging a fundraising concert in your home or that of someone you know, with suggestions of people we might invite as potential sponsors.
On a more practical level, we always need volunteers at concerts, so if you fancy ‘playing shops’ in the box-office or schmoozing potential donors at a drinks reception, do let us know! All of this support would help us and would nurture a genuine feeling of ownership in IT&T which is our ambition for Oxford.
In order to facilitate this new initiative, you will be sent our ‘Forthcoming concerts’ in a separate email!
The news bit
We are now in the final third of our 17/18 Season, but with many enticing events still to come. We very much hope to see you either performing with the Summertown Choral Society on May 19th (there’s a network!) or at one of IT&T’s exciting new collaborations in June and July. If you plan to attend our intriguing Friends’ soirée at Worton Organic Garden on June 2nd, why not bring someone new to IT&T with you? Finally, do come and support us in the sumptuous surroundings of Longborough Opera and enjoy the quintessential musical experience of the English summer.