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25,000 funding for Business to Arts       printable version
28 Oct 2014: posted by the editor - Arts, Ireland

Funding of €25,000 is being given to support Business to Arts in a move that Arts Minister Minister for Arts Heather Humphreys said will help to generate private sector support for the cultural sector.

Announcing the funding, Humphreys said it would be leveraged to attract private sector support for New Stream, a training and development programme which helps arts organisations to build their fundraising and organisational capacity.

She said: "I am very impressed with the work of Business to Arts and the way in which it helps business and arts organisations to form mutually beneficial relationships. As we emerge from several difficult years of cutbacks for arts organisations, it remains important to find new and innovative ways to access support from the private sector.

"The New Stream programme focuses on training and development to allow the cultural sector to build fundraising and organisational capacity. This gives arts organisations the tools they need to engage with the private sector. I am very pleased to have been able to protect our National Cultural Institutions and the Arts Council from any cutbacks in this year's Budget, but I fully recognise that the sector is still facing challenges. By helping arts organisations to diversify their funding options, Business to Arts is playing a really important role in future-proofing the sector.

"For every €1 invested in Business to Arts programmes, €23 of new income is created for artists, arts organisations and their activities. This shows just how important it is to have the right skills and the right platform if you want to succeed. I hope the €25,000 being invested by my Department in the New Stream programme will help Business to Arts attract further private sector funding and will encourage business organisations to appreciate the value of investing in the arts."

Chief Executive of Business to Arts, Andrew Hetherington said: "Business to Arts is delighted to receive this two year commitment of investment from Minister Humphreys, a vote of confidence in the continuing impact of the 'New Stream' programme on the arts sector in Ireland.  We're looking forward to working with the Minister in contributing to the development work for Culture 2025, and hope to champion the positioning of a case study of Bank of America Merrill Lynch's investments across the cultural sector in Ireland to inform the Government's National Plan on Corporate Social Responsibility, as well as possible links between it and the Action Plan for Jobs."

About Business to Arts:
Business to Arts is a membership-based registered charity that brokers, enables and supports creative partnerships between business, individuals and the arts. The organisation firmly believes that creating the structures to support and fund the Irish arts community is essential to both Ireland's national development and international profile. They work to partner business members and clients with arts organisations and artists to develop bespoke solutions in areas such as sponsorship, philanthropy, brand development, training and leadership development and internal and external communications; and work with arts organisations and artists providing a range of training opportunities and coaching to help diversify income streams, grow audiences and improve efficiencies.

About New Stream:
Established in 2009,  New Stream is a project supported by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the Department of Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, The Ireland Fund, and the wider Business to Arts' membership. The programme is operated by Business to Arts, with the shared objective to strengthen the skills of the Irish cultural sector to generate new funding streams from non-public sources more effectively. New Stream evolves from year to year based on feedback from participants, and is evaluated in association with the UCD-based MA in Cultural Policy and Arts Management. This ensures that it achieves high standards and continues to deliver on needs through identifying opportunities for improvement and change.

Please see below a series of case studies of arts organisations which have benefitted from participating in the New Stream programme.

The Abbey Theatre - Integration of Marketing and Fundraising Efforts
Outcome: In one year, the Abbey Theatre has more than doubled its membership base, representing a 52% growth in membership income. Additionally, 17% of themembership renewals in 2013 increased their giving from one level to the next. During the same period, total individual giving grew 36%.

Wexford Festival Opera (WFO) - Major Donor Fundraising
Outcome: Between 2011 and 2013, WFO generatedincreased revenue from major gifts. Gifts from major donors increased in value by an overwhelming 81% from 2012 to 2013 alone. Major gift revenue represented 3.2% of the Festival's total income in 2012; and represented almost double that, or 5.6%, in 2013. Approximately half of the donors in this period were new to WFO, representing a major expansion in the diversity of WFO's funding base.

The Ark - Building "Family" through Membership
Outcome: The Ark has attracted 52 new Family Members, resulting in increased revenue. By the end of 2014, the Ark's target is to retain 200 family members; by 2015, that goal increases to 300. While revenue from this programme is still relatively modest, its significant growth in one year alone argues forcibly for the future impact of a properly-resourced effort.

Clonmel Junction Festival - Long-term Artistic Planning and Fundraising
Outcome: A number of significant outcomes have resulted from the introduction of a long-term planning approach paired with new fundraising mechanisms. A sponsor who hadcontributed for 10 years, made a three-year commitment at 250% of their original investmentlevel. At the introduction of the Commissioning Patron programme, three long-term, €300-level Festival Friends increased their gifts to the €500 level.

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