DCMS report suggests ACE funding should depend on philanthropic strategies

First published on Thu, November 22, 2012.

Efforts to increase private giving to charity are likely to be intensified as cuts to public subsidies for the arts take their toll, and before leaving the DCMS, former Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt commissioned three separate reports on the issue of arts philanthropy. In 2010/11, the arts formed just 1% of the proportion of the total amount donated to charity.

This report was compiled by Roland Rudd, founder of ‘Legacy 10’, an organisation set up to increase awareness of a controversial tax change introduced earlier this year, whereby those who leave at least 10% of their estate to charity benefit from a 10% cut in the rate of Inheritance Tax they are eligible to pay.

The report offers ten recommendations designed to allow organisations to target and generate legacy giving. Perhaps the most controversial of these is the recommendation that Arts Council England should not be permitted to release grants to any organisation unless they have demonstrated a clear strategy for legacy fundraising. The report states:

“This would ensure a clear message is communicated that it falls to arts charities themselves to create long term sources of sustainable income which will ensure the viability of the arts in the UK long into the future”.

The report has met with criticism on The Guardian, which questions whether targeting legacy giving as a funding stream is appropriate for all arts organisations, and raises a more fundamental question about the lack of fundraising skills many arts organisations possess.

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