DCMS Reports on Fundraising activity in arts, culture, heritage and sports organisations
26 October 2011
GfK NOP Social Research was commissioned to undertake research to build on existing knowledge of fundraising activity in the arts, heritage, museums and libraries, and sports sectors. The study was commissioned by the Culture and Sport Evidence (CASE) programme and involved desk research to contextualise the UK fundraising landscape, and a series of 17 organisational case studies of culture and sporting organisations.
The organisational case studies revealed a changing environment for fundraising, caused by the financial crisis and the resulting impact on donor behaviour, as well as the anticipated impact of reductions in government spending. These changes were compounded by a perceived intensification in competition for a reduced pot of potential donations.
It seems that expectations from donors are now more exacting than they used to be, with an increased requirement for tangible and measurable outcomes. This means that organisations must be able to demonstrate sound business planning and financial management, with an ability to generate benefits for potential donors. The study revealed that some organisations have become practiced in this; while for others the new environment will require their effort towards a culture shift, as they had previously relied heavily upon strong personal relationships with their major funders.
Findings from the desk research and the qualitative case-studies indicate a number of ways in which fundraising could be strengthened. Some of these apply at a practice and organisational and level, and some at a policy level. Recommendations from study participants include support in encouraging trustees to have a more active involvement in fundraising; the creation of greater reward to the public for their charitable giving; and making changes to the system of taxation to encourage philanthropy amongst corporate donors and individuals.
Critically though, the report finds that fundraising success within the case study organisations was achieved when fundraising was placed at the heart of the organisation, integral to their mission, rather than fundraising responsibility being placed exclusively within a delegated role.
To find out more about the case study organisations and how to apply more effective fundraising practice within your organisation, download the full qualitative study here.