Fundraiser in the cultural sector

In the summer of 2012 Bo Peters received her diploma in Art History, and at the same time found an experience internship position at De Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. "The project leader of the Nieuwe Kerk introduced me at the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra| Netherlands Chamber Orchestra (NedPhO|NKO). When a position of fundraiser opened up, I was hired for the job.”


Since January 2013 I have been working as a corporate and private clients officer at the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra| Netherlands Chamber Orchestra (NedPhO|NKO). In the summer of 2012 I received my Art History diploma, and at the same time found an experience internship position at De Nieuwe Kerk in Amsterdam. I wanted to gain some experience and at the same time have enough time to write application letters. At De Nieuwe Kerk I helped to set up the exhibition: ‘Indians. Art and Culture between Myth and Reality’. I focused on collecting and requesting images and figuring out image copyrights. I was also invited to participate in writing exhibition texts and I was active in setting up the exhibition.

It is so exciting to be there when all these beautiful objects are brought in by transport. You keep falling in love with the artefacts as you unpack them and see them from close up, without any glass to separate you and with an expert by your side to tell you everything you want to know!

Introduced through experience internship position

I was really enjoying myself and I got along with everyone in the department. The project leader of the exhibition introduced me to some people at the NedPhO|NKO. She also put in a good word for me when she heard that my current position had opened up at the NedPhO|NKO. In addition to art, I also love culture in all its forms. In my student association, I was active in theatre, musical and music and I have been involved in (modern) ballet since a young age. So I was really happy to be put in contact with the NedPhO|NKO in this way.

Knowing what goes on

I am responsible for coordinating the Friends of NedPhO|NKO. These are individuals who have a special bond with our organisation and support us in our mission. In practice, this means that I represent the interests of the Friends: I inform them of the ins and outs of the orchestras, recruit new Friends, organise Friends activities and talk to as many Friends as possible to find out what goes on. What makes the hearts of our Friends beat faster, and does this match the needs of the orchestra? This might involve the purchase of a new instrument or the financing of an educational or social project. Following these needs assessments, I work together with my colleagues on realising the chosen projects. In addition, I also apply to capital funds to finance one-time projects.

My study taught me useful skills

For my work I often have to work on project plans and applications so it is a great help that in my study programme I learnt to write well. In addition, I do a lot of research. I look for suitable funds or wealthy private individuals who might be interested in our projects. In this context I look at the present situation, but also at what happened in the past. This may sound strange, but these investigations often remind me of the stages preceding the writing of a thesis or paper.

The many internships I did also turned out to be very useful, as are the board positions I held at my student association. They led me to being well prepared for my work at De Nieuwe Kerk and ultimately to finding my current job. Finally, I am glad that I completed a minor in marketing. A minor does not of course go as deep as a main study programme, but thanks to the minor courses I followed, the commercial and financial aspects of my work were not entirely new to me.

My most important tip

Find out what you like and be open to new possibilities. Don’t reject something out of hand just because it is not something you thought of beforehand.

Tips from the career adviser

It’s great to see that the combination of study programme, minor, internships and board experience have led to Bo’s current job. In the non-profit sector work experience is very important. So start early on with an internship or do some volunteer work. It’s a good way to can build up relevant work experience and expand your network. The latter is important: research shows that 47% of graduates find their first job via their network (Humanities Career Service / TNS Nipo, Autumn 2013).

Do you also want to work in the cultural or non-profit sector?

Art & Culture Sector


Last Modified: 14-10-2014