Developing successful partnerships

Developing successful partnerships

By Julie Aldridge


This resource provides tips on how to nurture successful partnerships to enable new income. The tips have been shared by a range of business advisors contributing to Prosper, Creative United’s business support programme for the arts, museums and libraries.

Many arts and cultural organisations are reviewing how they might diversify their income streams, reducing dependency on one or two core funders, and reducing the risk on their future resilience from change or cuts in these sources of income.

Most, if not all, of the opportunities that people are exploring involve developing new relationships, often with organisations from industries they’ve not partnered with before. They can also include shifting their existing relationships with audiences, visitors, participants and commercial customers.

Ideas that organisations have shared with me recently include:

  • Introducing ‘Pay What You Like’ / ‘Pay What You Can’
  • Hiring office or studio space out to local businesses
  • Introducing or expanding the membership scheme
  • Introducing corporate membership
  • Enhancing or expanding courses / workshops
  • Providing shop space for others to use, e.g. retail pop-ups from design, fashion, books, limited edition artworks, etc.
  • Reviewing the catering offer
  • Selling art work
  • Crowdfunding
  • Increasing sponsorship
  • Reviewing online sales, etc.

This is just a sample of ideas, it’s far from an exhaustive list, and none of these are necessarily recommendations.

There are many options, and most arts and cultural organisations have limited time and money, so it’s important to experiment and develop ideas over time to identify which will have the most potential. This ensures that should a crisis or sudden change occur you have a range of options that have been tried and tested and know which you want to scale up or develop further.

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Developing successful partnerships

Resource type: Research | Published: 2018