ESA Arts Sponsorship Certificate awarded to first graduates

The European Sponsorship Association (ESA), the membership body that raises standards within the sponsorship profession, and charity and fundraising innovator Cause4, along with the Arts Council England-funded Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Programme, are pleased to announce that the inaugural ESA Arts Sponsorship Certificate has just seen its first intake of students graduate, with some fantastic results.

The 16-week, distance-learning certificate is a cost-effective course targeted towards those who either work currently within sector-specific marketing positions, or who wish to practise in this area. The course covers topics such as how sponsorship works, why the arts provides commercial opportunities for private sector funding and how to approach potential commercial corporate partners successfully, as well as offering many other insights.

Of the initial group of students undertaking the certificate, the examiners awarded two Distinction grades and seven Commendation grades. An award was also made to the student who submitted the best set brief (project). The course tasked the graduates with a variety of assignments with the aim of helping them to develop specific best-practice commercial skills for the direct benefit of their organisations.

Peter Raymond, Course Director, was full of praise for the way that the founding students jumped at the challenges presented to them: “We hoped that the sector would embrace the type of learning offered in this new course and have been thrilled at the enthusiastic way in which the students embraced the content and performed so outstandingly. The grades that were achieved from our first nine candidates speaks volumes for not only their skills, but also the acceptance of the sector to acquire the knowledge and skills that are so badly needed within the arts community. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to have such aspirational students in our first year. I think this is the start of something very significant for the industry.”

Michelle Wright, CEO of Cause4, added: “The sponsorship landscape for the arts and cultural sector has changed immeasurably in recent years. Arts organisations need to be more creative, entrepreneurial and responsive to properly partner with corporates that are working in a much changed economic environment. The ESA Arts Sponsorship Certificate is incredibly timely, supporting arts and cultural practitioners to think fresh, and to learn from the very best of current commercial sponsorship practice.”

The 2016 ESA Arts Sponsorship Certificate is now open for enrolment; click here for details.

As a 16-week course, the certificate is facilitated via a web-based distance-learning platform, which will contain a range of learning materials and assessment-based tasks. The learning process will be supported by three monthly evening seminars where senior industry figures will reinforce and discuss subjects covered in the course syllabus. The seminars will be filmed and made available via the website for those unable to attend.

ESA Arts Sponsorship Certificate press release - 3 March 2016