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The art of philanthropy: Making the most of your giving to the arts

Arts and phil

From libraries to theatre, dance classes to galleries and museums, the arts play a crucial role in our lives. But as government budgets tighten, arts organisations are increasingly looking to philanthropists for support. This paper explores the important role philanthropists have to play in ensuring the future of the arts, and outlines some considerations for anyone seeking to support an arts charity.

The arts are a crucial part of our culture and heritage. They also achieve a great deal of positive social outcomes. Yet the arts sector is under threat from severe budget cuts, and there is a disparity of resource between small and large arts charities; between those based in the South East and those elsewhere.

Philanthropists can help to solve these problems—to ensure the survival of the arts, and to influence the future direction of the sector. If funders think more strategically about their giving, philanthropy could make an impact across a whole range of arts charities and initiatives.

In this paper, we outline:

  • The nature of the arts sector and the challenges it faces;
  • The different types of outcomes the arts can achieve: intrinsic, educational, social, and economic; and
  • The key things philanthropists should consider if they want to make a difference to the arts through their funding.

To share your thoughts about this paper, or to see what others have said, visit us on twitter via @NPCthinks using the hashtag #ArtsPhilanthropy.

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