Culture Business 2019

In November, development professionals from Australia and around the world met for the Culture Business Conference in Sydney.

This gathering of senior arts professionals, philanthropists, entrepreneurial thinkers, and innovators explored new ideas and global best practice in fundraising and income generation. Across the two days, arts professionals shared their experiences and the latest fundraising strategies to strengthen arts organisations. What emerged from the presentations and discussions was an evolving sector of arts fundraising which incorporates fresh initiatives, deeper connection with supporters and a whole-of-organisation approach to raising funds. Below we share our highlights of this year’s conference.

Deepening relationships

Better engagement with donors and business partners proves paramount to sustainable fundraising. Expanding your partnerships strategies to align with shifting organisational goals was also an ongoing theme.

Rikke Moerch, Head of Communications at the Natural History Museum of Denmark shared insights of the fundraising strategy for their ambitious national project to create a new National History Museum, set to open its doors in Copenhagen in 2023. Combining years of fundraising, political work, and strategic communication to bring private foundations, the Danish Government and the University of Copenhagen together have contributed to 180 million Euros for the new museum.

In Australia, the Art Gallery of New South Wales has also joined its fundraising forces to complete ambitious projects. Director of Development, John Richardson revealed insights on how The Sydney Modern Project will transform the Art Gallery of NSW into an art museum with two buildings connected by a public art garden. The expansion has attracted unprecedented philanthropic support with the Capital Campaign surpassing its fundraising target.

Nuit Blanche discussed how deepening relationships with business partners has helped build their network of supporters through savvy partnering centered around the goals of their organisation rather than individual events they promote.

Looking ahead

Government funding is not always a reliable resource for arts organisations so orgainsations are considering what sustainable fundraising strategy will carry their organisation into the future. They are investigating what organisational change will encourage long term fundraising and how their supporters will follow them on this journey.

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra is diversifying their donor base and increasing their relationships with the Chinese community. Suzanne Dembo’s presentation shared the organisations experience in engaging different audiences and how shaping their future audience requires an all of organisation approach to development.

Large arts organisations are not the only ones looking to adapt. Alex Raupach and Roland Peelman from Canberra International Music Festival discussed how small organisations can foster support from donors and how a shared sense of purpose can bring a community of supporters into new artistic territory.

To learn more about what was discussed at this year’s conference, Culture Business has released six podcasts.

If your organisation needs help coordinating a fundraising strategy, contact your Creative Partnerships Australia State Manager, or browse our resources, guides and case studies.