Private Investment in Culture, a recently-published report from Arts & Business, reveals that the number of full-time fundraisers within the arts sector has decreased. In 2007/08, arts organisations surveyed reported that on average they employed five full-time fundraisers and this figure has fallen to an average of only two (2008/09).
Evidence suggest that whilst there are fewer full time fundraisers a greater emphasis is put on the importance of fundraising, as more fundraisers are currently re-numerated than previously and more members of staff from other departments are expected to contribute to fundraising targets (Market Trends Summer/Autumn 09).
Given the importance of revenue raised from the private sector in the current economic climate, the role of the fundraiser is of increasing importance. With businesses and individuals investing less in culture during the recession (hopefully only for the short term) it is vital that the arts have appropriate staff to maintain and build relationships with partners. Recent research suggests “friend raising” is currently the way forward with arts organisations increasingly trying to create relationships with more businesses and offering more for less (Market Trends Summer/Autumn 09). As exemplified by the research, appetite for investment from private sources is still strong, even if levels of investment are currently being challenged. An imminent upturn in the economy will translate to an eventual increase in giving (expected from 2011 onwards), so arts must ensure they have the right mechanisms and resources in place to harness the potential this offers – friend-raising and skilled fundraisers will be instrumental here.
Colin Tweedy, Chief Executive of Arts & Business says: “Even during this current recession, fundraisers in the arts have done a fantastic job as the figure of £654.9 million raised from the private sector in 2008/09 testifies. We need to ensure that we are still able to employ a skilled, talented and dedicated workforce to raise the necessary funds and ensure that the sector continues to flourish.”