Small Arts charities need more private funds

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Small arts charities are struggling thanks to a private funding regime which favours larger London-based arts bodies.

That’s the verdict of a report on philanthropy in the arts by charity organisation New Philanthropy Capital.

The report The Art of Philanthropy, shows that 90 per cent of arts organisations have an income of less than £1m each and 40 per cent of these are made up of micro arts charities, with an income of less than £10,000.

However, current philanthropic giving in the sector is focused primarily on big, London-based organisations.

“A large proportion of arts and cultural organisations are headquartered in the south east of England, in particular London, which is home to over a fifth of the total number of arts organisations,” says the report. “The organisations also share more than half of the total income for the arts in England.”

The report adds that while “private funding in the sector has grown over the last few years” this fact has masked “the huge discrepancies between regions, art forms and high and low-profile organisations. Large art charities with a strong brand are likely to grow the most, leaving small charities to weather the storm of future changes”.

NPC calls on the charity sector to develop structures to help funding for small arts charities outside the south east of England. Philanthropic investment in regional organisations can help smaller arts charities attract and keep new audiences .

Other proposals include a network linking philanthropists and lesser known arts organisations and initiatives which demonstrate the impact of mall arts

Angela Kail, head of the funder team at NPC said: “Private donors have historically been very generous towards the arts, and they can meet the challenge again. But it will take careful and sometimes difficult decisions to ensure that its impact is maximised across the UK.”

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