Eight leading Irish arts organisations are aiming to raise €10 million in private funding over the next five years as part of a new Arts Council initiative. The pilot project is designed to place the organisations on a stronger financial footing and will mean people around the country will be able to experience more high quality performances, exhibitions, film screenings and other arts events.
The Arts Council's RAISE: Building Fundraising Capacity pilot initiative will provide one-to-one professional support to the eight selected organisations for two years through planning and implementing a tailored fundraising programme. The project will be guided by a specialist team composed of the company 2into3 and Kingsley Aikins of Networking Matters.
Income from fundraising by arts organisations in Ireland is less than 3 percent of total income. This is a much lower ratio than in other countries such as Britain or Australia, where arts organisations secure up to a third of their revenue from fundraising.
The arts organisations participating in the initial pilot are the Irish Film Institute, the Royal Hibernian Academy, Na Piobairi Uilleann, the Galway Arts Festival, the Model gallery in Sligo, the National Chamber Choir, Wexford Festival Opera and the Gate Theatre. As part of the selection process, all demonstrated that they have the ambition, potential and commitment to raise more than €250,000 per annum in private investment.
The initiative came about as a result of a request to the Arts Council from the Minister for Arts, Heritage & the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan TD. Formally launching the initiative today, Minister Deenihan commented:
"Today’s obvious constraints on the taxpayer mean that we have to look for innovative ways to address funding issues. Historically, however, philanthropy for arts and culture has been underdeveloped in Ireland compared to other sectors and other countries. For this reason the Programme for Government sets out a clear commitment that we must develop new proposals to build private support of the arts in Ireland."
"Following the Philanthropy Leverage pilot scheme I launched earlier this year, I warmly welcome the new Arts Council RAISE initiative as an important step towards building a new culture of private support for the arts in Ireland," he added.
Arts Council Director Orlaith McBride said the Council was committed to supporting arts organisations in maximising private investment such as donations from individuals, trusts and foundations as well as corporate philanthropy.
"More than 60 arts organisations applied to participate in the project, and the final eight organisations went through a rigorous selection process. With the help of the RAISE pilot project we will give them the tools, skills and resources to increase very significantly the investment they get from private sources," she said.