The emergence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) practice is changing business attitudes to the arts. This research identified how companies may choose to engage with arts organisations and how they may compare support for the arts with other ‘good causes’. The report’s recommendations include improving evaluation methods and impact measurement.
Business funding for the arts comes from two main sources; marketing spend such as sponsorships where the business derives a clear branding benefit, and from corporate community investment budgets. Community investment is a distinct part of CSR and relates to a company’s commitment to the community via the contribution of finance and skills. Companies often use their community investment activities as a way of contributing to solving social problems. These activities often form the front end of a company’s communication about responsible corporate behaviour. Community investment plays an important role in CSR, but it should be understood as a distinct part of a company’s wider CSR strategy.