Arts Funding Information
Hi all - I know we're all sick of hearing the ubiquitous US model but seriously - http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/news/story.jhtml?id=289800010 / http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/27/arts/music/27gift.html
From where I'm sitting I can't see many UK board members getting up and putting their money where their mouth is and this is where the 'philanthropy culture' must surely start - we simply can't ask anyone else to invest money if we're not prepared to ourselves - don't get me wrong - I know board members give up valuable voluntary time and contribute strategic expertise etc I also know the majority of people on culture boards don't have much money but my experience is that in general most arts boards are horrified at the thought of having to sully themselves asking for money from individuals and most UK arts organisations either don't know where to find them or simply don't want the wealthy indviduals involved - what are we afraid of?
I also don't see why every UK arts board member shouldn't donate something to the organisation (anonymously if more appropriate and certainly within their means) so they are in a viable position to ask other people to do the same - this might be £30, £300 or $30,000,000 (can you hear us Ann Ziff?!) - it's commitment that counts.
Show me the money!
Would love to know your views/experiences..
Emma (Board member of Border Crossings)
PS - some further reading...
Good thread Emma.
Recent research in the Arts & Business Private Investment in Culture Survey 2008/9 showed that organisations whose boards 'gave' were twice as likely to be successful in raising funds from other individuals- reflecting how the act of giving compels others.
Trusts and foundations are also becoming interested in the level of board engagement - notably the Kresge Foundation who asks for full board giving from any organsation it makes a grant to.
Board and board members assume 'giving' to involve serious sums, but it should be proportionate and thoughtful... an annual £50 gift from a board member who is on the mimimum wage is incredibly generous, for a hedge fund manager this should look more like £5000.
'Giving' might also include refusing comps for shows, regularly buying merchandise or work from your organisation, buying someone you know a friends subscription as a gift, not claiming expenses and, importantly, being generous with contacts and opening doors to others.
One small national organisation with a turnover of just over £250K recently told me their Board claimed nearly £7k expenses each year.
The most important thing for a board before any of this can happen is for a board to be engaged, inspired and stimulated by the work of the organisation. It will need access to the right tools to be able to advocate effectively to others. This includes being properly plugged into the fundraising strategy!
This is a place where those working with a board can make a difference - making it as easy as possible for board members to get, retain and use this information with impact and to the right audience.
I'd also love to hear more about what has worked well as Arts & Business is building up case studies on board engagement.
Jessica Stockford, Head of Board Development, Arts & Business