Developing private sector funding in the arts

Developing private sector funding in the arts

By Arts Quarter


This report is part of an on-going review of organisations who have received Arts Council England Catalyst funding to develop private sector fundraising. It aims to provide a benchmark for performance and to share learning so the wider arts community can learn from the experiences.

Introduction & Methodology

The Arts Council England Catalyst Arts programme is perhaps the most significant development in the evolution of private sector fundraising in the arts in living memory, providing opportunities for funded organisations to deliver greater levels of support to deliver their creative programmes with support from individuals, businesses and grant-making trusts and foundations. Moreover, the programme is one which will provide organisations with the tools to review and change their business models and internal philosophies so as to make them more attractive to philanthropists and other partners over the lifetime of the programme and beyond. Few can question the fact that this ACE-funded programme will fundamentally change the way in which cultural institutions engage with funders, audiences and other stakeholders and as a project, it offers business-critical opportunities for Catalyst funded organisations as well as others to learn from each other over the lifetime of the programme.

A total of 173 arts organisations in England were awarded three-year funding under the ACE Catalyst Arts: Capacity Building and Matched Funding Programme in May 2012 to undertake a critical step-change in their revenue fundraising activities over the period 2012–2015, receiving in the first year an award to build capacity and then in Years Two and Three of the programme, matched funding against new philanthropic revenues generated.

Over the lifetime of this programme, Arts Quarter will look to plot the development of these funded organisations’ fundraising and wider business models as well as the evolution of their internal fundraising cultures. Our work in this area will look to understand and report on the pace of change of private sector fundraising development in these organisations, compared to those outside the sector. In addition, we will be looking at wider organisational issues impacted by the award of these Catalyst grants. This report contains the findings from our first such survey of the 173 organisations funded under the ACE Catalyst Arts: Capacity Building and Matched Funding Programme. Over time, the number of questions we look to ask Catalyst-funded organisations will grow, with the core questions reported in these initial findings being repeated so that we are able to plot progression in the development of fundraising models and practice.

We are keen to undertake this process of ongoing review of Catalyst-funded organisations firstly to allow those in receipt of awards to benchmark their own performance and share learnings with peers. Secondly, this work will provide opportunities for the wider arts community also seeking greater levels of support from the private sector to learn from their experiences and indeed benchmark their own fundraising evolution over the course of the next three years.

Download the report to read more:
Developing private sector funding in the arts

Resource type: Research | Published: 2013