Case study:Achates Fundraises: Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

As the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) continues to recover and stabilise after the impact of the pandemic, it has been important for us to review our fundraising approach and plan for a future which better articulates the impact of our work within the communities we serve, and positions us for fundraising success. Deborah and the Achates team have provided expert guidance and valuable insights throughout this process. They built a quick understanding of our organisation, skilfully listened to and involved staff and trustees, swiftly moving us through the Theory of Change modelling and Case for Support development . Deborah was the safe, expert pair of ‘extra fundraising hands’ at a time when we needed it most. And what’s more, Deborah demystifies fundraising for all and is an absolute pleasure to work with!

Lisa Ramsell, Director of Development, RADA

Photograph by Linda Carter (RADA)


February 2024

For over a century, RADA has delivered world-leading training in the dramatic and production arts, and nurtures creative expression, empowers individuals and seeks to influence positive change in the creative industries and wider community. RADA is a centre of innovation; putting its pedagogy to work and fostering the next generation of creative problem solvers, divergent thinkers and excellent artists. Across its Short Courses, Undergraduate and Postgraduate offer is a central ambition to support individuals to become the most imaginative and transformative makers and critical creative thinkers of their generation.

As a leading UK cultural organisation, RADA plays an essential part of the talent pipeline for the creative and wider industries. With exciting ambitions and plans established to develop and evolve RADA’s offer, the organisation needed to explore and determine the best strategic approach to generating additional contributed income which could support this growth.

Achates worked with RADA across a 12-month period, firstly reviewing the organisation’s fundraising and assessing the feasibility of launching a multi-million-pound future fundraising campaign. This work laid the foundations for developing a Theory of Change for RADA, which captured the decision-making framework and in turn underpinned a new case for support toolkit clearly articulating the audiences RADA is connecting with and the types of value and impact created through its work. The project concluded with a workshop session with RADA’s Council and leadership team to set the frame for embedding the case for support and culture of fundraising within the organisation.