The crisis facing arts organisations in this economic climate is well documented. We know from our work with a wide-range of cultural organisations that as private sector giving in the arts comes under increasing pressure, and with Government adamant that it will not restore lost funding to the arts but will rely instead on a drive to increase philanthropy, that the UK faces a situation where pressure on our arts sector’s leaders and associated fundraising departments is intensifying.
But all is not doom and gloom. Just yesterday we heard that Arts Council England (ACE) has announced a major grant through its Transforming Arts Fundraising fund to the newly established Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Consortium. ACE’s investment through this grant, and an associated grant to the Clore Leadership programme to support leadership resilience, could never have been more timely.
There are three areas in particular that make me excited about this announcement:
New entrepreneurial talent
We know that one of the issues in the sector lies in attracting talented people to lead fundraising, people with an entrepreneurial mindset that ‘can make things happen’. The Consortium’s programme will support a range of intensive 12-month graduate traineeships (based in London/Leeds/Manchester/Gateshead and Liverpool) aimed at attracting and developing new talent into the sector. Additionally, a range of bursaries and summer schools focused on leadership and enterprise skills will be delivered by leading UK business schools. This focus on encouraging entrepreneurial thinking can only be helpful.
A place to properly explore philanthropy
In my blog post – Is philanthropy the only answer that we’ve got? I questioned the DCMS view that private giving to the arts can double over the coming years and its assumption that the panacea lies only in increasing individual giving. Whilst this assertion has been over-stated, there nonetheless exists an important opportunity to support organisations in developing relationships with private donors. Additionally, I hope that this partnership will provide a forum for debate amongst philanthropists/trustees and fundraisers alike to stimulate new ideas and thinking about philanthropic engagement across a range of arts contexts.
A network for arts fundraisers
The Arts Marketing Association provides a wonderful service and network to arts marketeers. The Consortium’s intention is to create a comparable new and fit-for-purpose network for arts fundraisers, with an additional aspiration to join up with a range of international cultural institutions to widen learning and promote cultural exchange.
Our team here at Cause4 is delighted to have worked with a team of arts and charity-sector fundraisers, coaches and practitioners to help develop this diverse and exciting partnership. So here’s hoping for interesting times ahead for arts fundraising and philanthropy
What do you think are the key challenges in arts fundraising and philanthropy? Let us know.