Fundraising, Philanthropy and Crowdfunding…’where to start’

We have all heard about the existence of wealthy benefactors in the arts, giving millions of dollars to opera, ballet, and other companies, but how do we even know how to start when it comes to fundraising and sponsorship in our own organisations?

Fundraising is hard work, takes time and is not always guaranteed. Finding, convincing and servicing the right donors and sponsors takes time and money.

Finding a genuine connection for donors and sponsors is the key. But how do we excite and inspire our Corporate Partners? By developing fundraising strategies and projects where we align our organisations to the priorities and values of our donors we can ensure that we have funding partners that are also champions for our cause, and also have long standing and mutually beneficial funding relationships.

With regards to sponsorship and corporate partnerships, please click here.

Private giving, philanthropy and crowdfunding demand time, energy, investment in order to be effective. Strategies need to be well thought out, incorporating creative ways to engage donors and market your cause.

There is some great information available for arts organisations to progress and assist with fundraising ideas. One of the most effective support organisations is Creative Partnerships Australia who is supported by the Ministry of the Arts to facilate philanthropy, business partnerships and investment for the cultural and creative sectors.

Creative Partnerships Australia state that their “role is to create a culture of private sector support for the arts. We aim to grow the culture of giving, investment, partnership and volunteering, bringing donors, businesses, artists and arts organisations together to foster a more sustainable and vibrant arts sector for the benefit of all Australians”.

The Creative Partnerships Australia WA State Manager is James Boyd. James is an excellent resource for arts organisations looking for advice and guidance on fundraising, private giving and corporate partnerships. You can get in touch with James Boyd through their website
Some Definitions from Creative Partnerships Australia’s Website.

A recent case study of how Creative Partnerships Australia can help arts organisations in WA can be found here.


What is sponsorship?
“Sponsorship is when a company gives you support (cash or in-kind) in return for recognition. It is most definitely not a gift – sponsors always want something back and they want to be able to measure it. It can be a fantastic way to meet your costs, but as more and more organisations look for support, including charities and sporting groups, it’s getting harder for individual artists and small orgs to get a slice of the pie. Good job you’re used to thinking creatively – a large dose of brain juice is going to be your best chance of getting a company on board.”



What is it?
“The act of giving, by individuals or businesses, for community benefit. It can be money, property, expertise or time. And it is a gift, not a business deal. But unlike charity, where we all chip in after a natural disaster, philanthropy is more long-term and strategic. It’s about building something.”

Definition from Creative Partnerships Australia. Check out their great article ‘Philanthropy and private giving 101’ by clicking the link to their website below.

Definitions from Creative Partnerships Australia. Check out these great articles (and others)
• ‘Philanthropy and private giving 101’
• The low-down on crowdfunding
• Sponsorship 101
by clicking the link to their website


What is crowdfunding?

“At its simplest, crowdfunding is an online tool for raising money that asks lots of people to each give small amounts….Essentially you list your project online (and there are a few platforms to choose from), set a target amount and a deadline, and people pledge to give you money…”

Excerpt from article by Emma Gratton of Arts Hub.

“Since Kickstarter launched here in 2013, crowdfunding has taken off in a big way, with several local and non-profit options entering the market. Australians are among the biggest donors to crowdfunding projects globally, and many creative professionals are jumping aboard the gravy train.

However, crowdfunding is not a matter of popping up a campaign page and waiting for the money to roll in. Successful campaigns take planning and preparation, and are not for the fainthearted. Non-profit Indigenous art gallery Kaiela in regional Victoria used crowdfunding to raise funds for community programs. Gallery manager Angie Russi told ArtsHub ‘It is a labour intensive exercise and is certainly not a replacement for solid government or philanthropic funding. Crowdfunding is only as good as your network of supporters and the crew that you have at the back end driving the campaign. It takes over your life for a month! It is labour intensive.”

Full article available here.


NOTE – JAM Creative, CircuitWest and its representatives accepts no responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of any of the information contained in this document. Organisations should make their own judgments about this and seek expert advice if necessary. To the extent permitted by law, JAM Creative, CircuitWest and its representatives excludes all liability for loss or damage arising from the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this document, whether or not caused by any negligence on the part of JAM Creative, CircuitWest and/or its representatives.


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