I recently (last month) started writing posts for the new Arts Professional blog and this month’s has just been published, which talks about the UK coalition government’s plans to introduce a matched funding scheme for the arts to the tune of £80 million. In essence, I think the idea is a good one but in reality, I doubt that we can change the culture of giving in this country over night – which is unfortunate to say the least, given that the changes are being implemented pretty much overnight!
We don’t have the tax breaks of, say, the US and we do have a culture of government investing in the arts (as well as education, the health service and a whole host of other activities that are private funded in other countries, including the US). So, while I think that it is laudable to encourage philanthropy and sponsorship, I don’t think that either the systems are in place to encourage greater giving levels or indeed, to resource fundraising activity itself.
Simply telling people to give more money to the arts isn’t likely to achieve all that much – far more carrots and a few less sticks please!