Established in 1903, the Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art which helps museums and galleries across the UK to acquire great works of art in all forms and media, from treasure hoards and Old Master paintings to contemporary sculpture. Kerstin Glasow reviews how the Art Fund dramatically grew their membership base and increased funding for museums and galleries.
The Art Fund receives no government support and is funded entirely by the public, with the majority of our income coming from our members. In return for their support they receive free admission at over 200 charging museums, galleries, castles and historic houses across the UK and 50% off entry to major exhibitions.
At the end of 2010 we were stuck between a rock and a hard place: we were determined to increase our funding for museums at a time when the government was reducing its commitments for the arts but we were struggling with a static and ageing membership base. Awareness and understanding of our charitable work and the benefits of supporting us was low among non-members.