National Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Programme extended

National Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Programme extended to March 2018 and and will include the continuation of the annual National Summer School for Arts Fundraising and Leadership.

AFP’s mission is to strengthen cultural organisations’ resilience and sustainability by transforming their fundraising knowledge, skills and levels of success. The AFP programme is run by a consortium comprising Cause4, the Arts Marketing Association and the University of Leeds. The consortium partners have worked closely together over the past three years (and with a wide range of external partners) to deliver a programme that empowers arts and cultural professionals across England to seize the considerable opportunities that fundraising offers them to form important relationships, develop new income streams and develop new commercial opportunities.

Michelle Wright, Programme Director of the Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Programme, Cause4 said

“This extension programme from Arts Council England comes at an important time and allows us to look at the development of new business models, accredited training programmes as well as a new programme of digital resources leaving an important legacy of data and information about best practice in fundraising development for the sector.”

The University of Leeds’ activity, involving the annual National Summer School for Arts Fundraising and Leadership and the related PG Cert in Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy, was co-ordinated by the Cultural and Creative Industres Exchange (now the Cultural Institute) and delivered by the School of Performance and Cultural Industries (Dr Ben Walmsley and Dr Anna Upchurch) in collaboration with Leeds University Business School (Dr Emilee Simmons), the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science and Opera North/DARE.

Professor Alice O’Grady, Head of the School of Performance and Cultural Industries at the University of Leeds, commented:

“The School of Performance and Cultural Industries is delighted that Arts Council England are providing support to extend the programme. This flagship initiative sends out an important message about the critical nature of fundraising, philanthropy and cultural leadership to the future of the arts in this country. The University of Leeds is recognised as being sector-leading in terms of developing online digital learning materials and CPD accreditation. The expertise we have here within the School in this area will make an invaluable contribution to the consortium and we are thrilled to be part of it.”

The extended programme will start its activity in early 2017 and will include the continuation of the annual National Summer School for Arts Fundraising and Leadership, as well as a number of new key initiatives. Mid-career Fellowships will be available offering ten cultural professionals the opportunity to develop their fundraising expertise through a tailored year-long programme of activity. A new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), led by the School in collaboration with Leeds University Business School, designed to support arts organisations globally to grow and change in a strategic way. The introduction of thought leadership seminars run and hosted by the University of Leeds. The launch of new Culture Change Sessions, giving organisations intensive support to help them adapt their income profiles and to ensure the whole organisation becomes active in fundraising. An open call for senior arts fundraisers to become Regional Coordinators and help shape, test and develop the programme.

The evaluation, led by Dr Ben Walmsley, highlighted considerable achievements over the initial three years of the programme. AFP constituted a ground-breaking interventional programme that has left behind a living legacy of skilled, engaged and connected fundraisers; robust academic and vocational learning programmes; a bespoke training needs analysis; a significant body of online learning materials; and an effective consortium of training delivered. The overall impact of AFP was significant, attracting 88% awareness across the arts sector in England since the programme was established in March 2013.

AFP has developed a new generation of arts and cultural fundraisers who are experienced and passionate about fundraising and development. As well as developing a sustainable legacy of case studies and complementary digital learning resources, AFP has also facilitated a burgeoning network of peer support across England and fostered a culture of coaching and action learning that is having a broader influence on developmental practice in the arts.

Clare Titley, Director of Philanthropy and South West at Arts Council England, responded:
“The Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy programme is an important and much-valued provision for the sector.  As the Private investment in Culture survey told us last week, organisations continue to work hard to diversify sources of income but many companies still lack the capacity to undertake fundraising with confidence. With this contract we hope to support more organisations to gain the skills and knowledge they need to move forward.”

Further details of the programme will be available in January 2017.