Graeme Kay, Orford Organ Project

Ciara Scallon, an experienced corporate fundraiser at Aldeburgh Music, came to the Orford Organ Project (OOP) on the firm recommendation of Penny Jonas, development consultant working in arts, music and charitable fundraising for many years, with such clients as Snape Maltings and Temple Music Foundation.

Ciara’s task was to propose and co-ordinate OOP’s £120,000 fundraising campaign to restore and install the Peter Collins organ, formerly of the Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton University, in Orford Church, to which the instrument had been gifted. Time was tight: the campaign began in November 2018, and the organ was due to be completed in time to be dedicated at Easter 2019.

The task was complicated because, although there are many ongoing fundraising campaigns for music in the region, organs and organ music are seen as being church-oriented and a niche interest. Organ projects often stretch across many years of piecemeal fundraising; this was not an option for Orford – a successful outcome had to be guaranteed within a limited time-frame.

Working with me as project manager and curator of OOP, under the oversight of Orford Church’s fundraising committee, Ciara set about the task with great energy, bringing her experience and an acute strategic sensibility to a campaign which embraced trusts and individual givers. She developed a campaign which emphasised that this project was a benefit not just to the church, but also to the wider community, which it would continue to serve for generations to come. Other professionals in the field commented on the effectiveness of the developed approach.

Ciara was extremely methodical, and meticulous in documenting the progress of formal applications and general fundraising; she was keen not only to conduct face-to-face approaches, but also was able to advise on technical matters such as the use of JustGiving and Gift Aid.  She showed experience and skill in the preparation of copy for the printed materials. The efficiency of her work was enhanced by a clear understanding of what would not work and waste time, as much as what would succeed.

Ciara’s personal warmth and charm helped us stay focussed and optimistic through some occasionally difficult periods: in our view, Ciara was the perfect professional for the difficult job in hand. By the time her contract came to an end, we had reached 94 percent of our fundraising target, a not inconsiderable achievement.

Graeme is Producer, Classical & Digital Hub for BBC 3 , Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra and Project Manager and Curator, Orford Organ Project


Penny Jonas

I worked closely with Ciara for eighteen months in my role as Head of Fundraising for Snape Maltings, home of Aldeburgh Music. Ciara lead intuitively for the organisation on Corporate relationships in the region.


With the Chief Executive and the Management Team she forged enduring relationships with businesses who committed funds to support the broad breadth of the performance, education, community and participation work at Snape. She identified and nurtured prospects through her extensive network and shared knowledge generously with colleagues. She would lead an initiative but would also offer support to colleagues as often as required, making Ciara a valued member of the whole team. The positive feedback received from sponsors after high profile corporate events is ample proof that Ciara listened to what the businesses wanted to achieve from the relationship, carefully managing delivery; an asset in challenging times for corporate charitable engagement.

Penny is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, and an Honorary Bencher of the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple.  Currently a trustee of the Temple Music Foundation, the Belcea Quartet Trust, the Imogen Cooper Music Trust, Solomon's Knot and Chairman of Mahogany Opera. She works closely with the London Sinfonietta and is the Director of interfaith charity, Coexist House.

Former Corporate Clients

James Skellorn

My work with Ciara Scallon was based on my law firm sponsoring Aldeburgh Music concerts at Snape and Ipswich over the past five years or so. Ciara was our key contact at AM. Ciara brings a personal touch to the work and attention to detail, so that we had confidence that when we brought our guests to events, they would have a good experience. She also understands the lead times that we need to build sponsorships into our planning, so she always talked to us in good time about new projects. We did not always  go for the projects she proposed to us, but we felt she always had us in mind.

James Skellorn
Partner | Barker Gotelee LLP, Legal 500 Law firm

James Stacey

I have worked with Ciara over the past few years, through being a corporate sponsor of Snape Maltings.  During this time I have found her to be knowledgeable, approachable and thoroughly professional at all times.  She has taken the time to understand our business, so that she can suggest opportunities which are a good fit and always has a positive attitude.  Overall, Ciara is a pleasure to deal with."

James Stacey

O&C Butcher, Established 1884


Polly Webb Hunt

Ciara and I worked together at Snape Maltings where she was Corporate Development Manager and I was Events Manager.

Ciara’s key strengths include her passion for making a difference to any project she commits to. She is a confident bid writer with a strong track record of securing successful decisions and a natural at building strong relationships at board level and throughout the companies she deals with. Always very client focused, her best work was achieved as a result of working collaboratively internally and externally to deliver the benefits expected by those who supported the charity.

Ciara is a logical thinker. She uses her team’s knowledge, experience and skills to best capacity for the smooth running of the task in hand as well as team satisfaction. She is a great team player, someone who can lead with ease, or fall in with a team effort for someone else's project.  She will always go the extra mile to get the event to where it needs to be and contributes generously to the success of others.

Ciara is an asset to any project. I rate her knowledge and expertise very highly and it is always a pleasure to work with her.

Polly Webb Hunt

East of England Local Government Events and 

Polly Webb Events