The last few years have been tough for the for-purpose sector. Through fires, floods and a pandemic, fundraising practice has evolved. We were forced to do things differently, and this created opportunities to be creative in our approach to seeking support.
At the Australian Cultural Fund, we work with artists and arts organisations to support their fundraising goals and provide an online platform for seeking private support. We also work with the philanthropic sector to ensure seamless and impactful ways of giving to the arts.
Recognising the hardship of the arts and cultural sector during the pandemic and seeing a need to innovate to best serve the arts community, we remodelled the Australian Cultural Fund to remove all fees. This meant that donors and artists could know that 100% of funds raised through the fund would go directly to their campaign. This change saw annual donations via the fund double, a reminder of how in fundraising, small changes can make a significant impact on results.
Encouraged by the development of new philanthropic relationships stemming from this fee removal, an opportunity arose to provide a unique service for private ancillary funds (PAFs) and foundations to expand their scope of charitable giving to the arts and cultural sector via the Australian Cultural Fund. With support and advice from the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation, a program was built that directly addressed two barriers PAFs often encounter when wanting to support the arts — the inability to donate to individual artists and small organisations without DGR status, and the challenge of multi-year giving in the context of annual distribution requirements.
Amplify is a special initiative of the Australian Cultural Fund that allows PAFs to fund artists and organisations without DGR status and fulfill annual distribution requirements with flexible, multi-year distribution options. Amplify also provides advice on high-impact giving to the arts and cultural sector and offers grant management and administrative services.
These two innovations — the fee removal and the development of the Amplify initiative — have seen a surge in donations to the Australian Cultural Fund, coupled with an increase in artists and arts organisations holding their fundraising campaigns on the online platform. As the arts and cultural sector is revitalised this year, there is a bevy of sophisticated, high-impact arts projects on the fund that demonstrate how increasing philanthropic support for the arts improves the lives of all Australians. From individual donors making small monthly donations to support their favourite musician, to large philanthropic foundations providing multi-million-dollar grants to build art galleries in Australia’s regional communities, we are able to tailor what we do to support philanthropy in all its forms.
The end of the financial year is an important time for both donors and fundraisers. At the Australian Cultural Fund, we see over third of our annual donations received in May and June, making it the perfect time for donors to consider the impact they can have on the arts community by giving to an Australian Cultural Fund campaign.
Speak to the Australian Cultural Fund team and explore how we can assist you as either an art maker or an arts supporter via firstname.lastname@example.org