Private sector for the arts: Final report 2 July 2014

Stuart Cunningham, Wendy Scaife, Christy Collis

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paper


The headline of a recent article posed the question: ‘Australians love the arts, but will we cough up the cash?’ (Neutze, 2014). It is an article reporting on the Australia Council’s recently released report entitled Arts in Daily Life: Australian participation in the arts. While there is overwhelming public support for the arts and overwhelming public participation in the arts, there is some reluctance amongst Australians to endorse higher levels of government funding for the arts. According to one survey by Essential Research (Alexander, 2013) during the lead up to the 2013 Federal election, arts rated second on the list of items that voters said they were prepared to see take cuts. This puzzling divergence between strong support and participation, but ambivalence about who should pay, underlines the importance of this study of private sources of arts funding. For the purposes of this report, private sources are taken to embrace philanthropy, sponsorship, bequests, investment options, crowdsourcing and other fostering of individual giving. This includes the diversity of more traditional fundraising mechanisms such as major gifts, capital campaigns, bequests, workplace giving, fundraising events and direct marketing appeals. It also encompasses using public monies to better leverage private sources, and private in-kind support such as business mentorship. Private support is becoming more important in the arts/cultural sector, and across Australia and the world, arts/cultural funding models are being reshaped. A constant theme is that the public purse and traditional sources such as sponsorship are not stretching to cover current needs, let alone growth. More organisations are linking sustainability to earned income efforts, and to philanthropy.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherMinister for the Arts, Australian Government
Number of pages65
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Private sector for the arts: Final report 2 July 2014'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this