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Jeremy Hunt Announces US Style Philanthropy Plan - ArtLyst Article image

Jeremy Hunt Announces US Style Philanthropy Plan

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Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt who will always be best remembered for James Naughtie and Andrew Marr’s four-letter slip up, has announced that the government is to make available an £80m 'matching fund' for arts organisations. The idea behind this move is not rocket science, or even science. It is simply a price matching exercise, which forces organizations to go out and prove themselves, before acquiring any form of Government funding. These funds will, in theory come from private donations and the government will apparently match the donation. The plan to court individuals to become high-giving ''Arts Patrons' is an American notion in the first place .This works well in America because they give tax-deductible incentives, equal to the donation. Therefore if a patron gives 30 million pounds to fund a new room at the Tate, this full amount is tax deductible. This only works if the donor is paying tax in the first place and as it goes so many of the donors in this country are living in tax havens and not paying their taxes. It all seems a redundant exercise. Those who donate will be rewarded via "more visible public recognition" such as the honours system.

The DCMS press office states; “This will help support smaller organisations, especially those outside London” – though how this will be practically implemented remains unclear. The government will support larger institutions that want to encourage endowments, though there is no mention of tax incentives within Hunt's policy.


Press Release

An £80 million fund is at the heart of a new Government drive to boost private giving to arts organisations and create a new generation of philanthropists, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced today.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England are to invest £80 million in a new series of ‘match fund’ schemes, to raise at least an equivalent amount from private donors for the culture sector.  This is part of a package of measures set out today to help arts and heritage organisations create long-term financial sustainability and to encourage increased giving to culture.   

Jeremy Hunt’s ‘ten point plan’ will catalyse and facilitate individual and corporate giving by removing barriers, creating incentives and highlighting and sharing what works.  It will also include a ‘year of corporate giving’ strengthening recognition for donors, harnessing digital technologies and building fundraising skills across the sector.

Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt said:

“This country has a great tradition of philanthropy in the arts, and I pay tribute to all those who have donated to our artists and cultural institutions, whether to the tune of ten pounds or ten million pounds.  They are role models, whose support and generosity shows just what can be achieved.

“Public funding of the arts will always continue – we have set out Government funding for the life of this Parliament, and we have increased the amount of Lottery money going to the arts.  But we must help our arts organisations develop more mixed funding models, to help give them long term financial stability and certainty. This stability will allow them to plan ahead with confidence, leading to a more vibrant and resilient cultural sector.

“There is huge scope to strengthen private and corporate support for culture over the next few years, for the benefit of the culture sector and audiences across the country.  The measures I am announcing today will do a huge amount to bring about a long-term boost to giving.”

The plan includes:

1.   An £80 million match funding scheme, with the potential to raise more than £160 million through a series of grants.  This will provide a range of support for smaller organisations, those outside London, and larger bodies, including those who want to develop endowments.

2.   The Government reviewing what it can do to encourage philanthropy reporting back in the spring.

3.   More visible public recognition for philanthropy, thanking donors, demonstrating the value of philanthropy and encouraging others to give. This could include greater recognition through the honours system.

4.   Developing fundraising skills and capacity across the culture sector – to increase and share skills and capacity, promote best practice, professionalise fundraising and develop a culture of ‘asking’ as well as ‘giving’.

5.   Promoting and increasing planned giving, including legacy giving - with an ambition for the UK to become the first country in the world in which it becomes the norm to leave 10 per cent or more of one’s legacy to charity.

6.   Supporting the long-term development of endowments. DCMS is publishing today reports by Neil MacGregor (director, British Museum) and Alan Davey (chief executive, Arts Council England) on how to increase endowments.

7.   Harnessing digital technology to boost philanthropy, building on the innovative work already done by many bodies.

8.   Increasing giving from international donors, just as we encourage other forms of inward investment.

9.   Encouraging more investment by the business sector - which already invests £150 million a year in the cultural sector.  This will include a series of events and initiatives throughout 2011.

10.                 Strengthening links between culture and other sectors which are supported through philanthropy, such as charities, community groups or social enterprises.

The Government is wholly committed to continued public funding to the arts, but greater plurality of funding will help cultural institutions become stronger and more resilient in the long term.  


" Comments by Ian McKay and Olga Dmytrenko: It will, most probably, work for famous big art institutions that already have a large network of donors and supporters...... and no way for young small organizations.. Trying to attract public sector investment that will benefit large institutions is one thing (and the US philanthropic model may have some success in that regard) but what's really required is the encouragement of art buying that will help ...the smaller, less-established artists who are still seeking to find their footing in the culture industries. Injections of cash into the lower sector of the art market requires a better understanding of the incentives that the British haute bourgeoisie would go for. If you give better incentives for the upper middle classes to buy/fund art directly at a more grass roots level, you encourage the future of the arts in the UK. If philanthropy is used to merely plug a funding gap at a national level, however, bolstering centres of excellence only, then all you encourage is cultural stagnation. Both Olga and Ian's points are correct. The smaller organisations have little chance to compete with the larger institutions. I cant even begin to think of how cuts will affect the purchasing budgets of ACE, The Art Fund and museums. Direct action is needed to encourage private donors to buy work from emerging artists to give to the nation. This will fill the gap in some areas. I never thought I'd find myself saying this, but the Austrians (or more precisely the Viennese) have quite a good model for what you describe Paul. The construction of Vienna's cultural quarter focuses attention on the culture industries and their centres of excellence (but with an active encouragement of younger talent and the celebration of experimentation and innovation in the arts) while the upper middle classes frequent the city's annual art fair and multitude of private galleries with a confidence and intent to buy that you just don't see in the UK (at least not on the scale that you find in Vienna). In the UK, it is increasingly the fact that artists from the regions beyond London no longer see a move to the capital as a prerequisite for the enhancement of their career, because the rewards are simple not big enough. In Vienna, artists from the newer European states (Bulgaria, Romania etc.) have been establishing themselves in the city in ever greater numbers for some time now, precisely due to the active encouragement they receive from an upper middle-class clientele. What Hunt has in mind is merely a way of funding centres of excellence however, and this will, in effect, kill the cultural life of the UK, as I've already said. It's just so short-sighted. Saatchi-style collectors simply do not exist in sufficient numbers in the UK, and UK initiatives to encourage art buying and art loans are simply not robust or imaginative enough to empower those with the money to buy. Attractive tax incentives for art buyers would be a start but there are other options, for sure. What we all agree upon is that an injection of cash at a grass roots level is not only urgently needed, it is essential to the survival of our cultural life. I've always thought that public sponsorship of young artists/organisations could be encouraged with an art loans scheme for example. Rather than the upper middle classes buying work which they then donate to a national institution, however, why not reverse the concept and ask them to adopt an arts/craft/drama graduate? In return, loan the sponsor one of the many unseen works of art currently languishing in the bulging archives of our national art institutions and public sector/government collections. Arts graduates could even apply for bursaries paid for by private donations, thus freeing them of their student debt in return for the donor having, say, a 20 year loan of an otherwise unaffordable work held in the archives of national collections. " - 14-12-2010  

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