News story

Raising money for culture in the regions

New report shows how cultural organisations outside of London can improve fundraising.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

A new report published today sets out practical ways for cultural organisations - particularly those outside of the capital - to improve fundraising.

The report, Philanthropy Beyond London, has been written by the chair of the Birmingham Opera Company, Peter Phillips.  It is the second in a series of three independent studies, commissioned by the Government, looking at new and innovative ways of boosting arts philanthropy.

London-based cultural organisations receive approximately 80 per cent of all philanthropy generated in England, largely due to their size, professional approach and the concentration of philanthropic sources in the capital. In 2010/11, private investment in culture in areas outside London totalled just over £125 million, compared to £488 million in the capital. Similarly, philanthropy makes up nine per cent of arts organisations’ income nationally, but when broken down regionally this drops to 5.1 per cent in some areas, compared to 12.2 per cent in London.

Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Maria Miller said: “We are incredibly lucky in this country to have such a vibrant arts sector, which underpins our unique cultural heritage.  That is not just about the big organisations in London, incredible creativity can be seen the length and breadth of the country.  It is vital that we look at innovative ways to support those important cultural organisations.

“Government funding has always had - and will continue to have - a huge role in supporting the arts.  But in these tough economic times it is more important than ever for arts bodies to develop the fundraising skills that mean they are not reliant on public funding alone.  I am very grateful to Peter Phillips for this helpful report, which contains recommendations designed to help arts bodies create more sustainable funding base.”

The report makes 19 recommendations to regional cultural organisations, the Government and Arts Council England, including:

  • CEOs should examine their own role and ensure that leadership of fundraising is a key priority of their time, working closely with fundraising staff, chair and board as a team to develop fundraising strategy and its execution.

  • Organisations should consider introducing ‘friends’ schemes and, where already established, focus on the development of individual members to higher levels of giving. Smaller organisations for whom the cost of administering a scheme may be too high might consider the practicality of forming joint “artform” or heritage membership schemes with like-minded cultural organisations.

  • Arts Council England and DCMS to consider ways of raising public awareness of the charitable status of cultural organisations, underlining their place alongside other charities deserving of people’s support.

Peter Phillips said: “I was very pleased to be asked by the Culture Secretary to research and write this report and I thank colleagues in the cultural and heritage sector for helping to inform its content. With the current pressures on central and local government spending, I hope that it will provide some useful and practical pointers for organisations, particularly smaller ones, on developing the knowledge and skills to access philanthropy beyond the high concentration of wealth in London, building on the essential public funding of core costs, and on their own commercial income. The report offers no quick fixes, but aims for progressive improvement in accessing Philanthropy beyond London in the years to come.”

Notes to Editors

The report Philanthropy Beyond London is available on the DCMS website.

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Updates to this page

Published 28 November 2012