Cause4 launches free fundraising training platform

A new online course has been developed to help arts fundraisers promote the arts as a charitable cause worthy of investment.

According to the latest Charities Aid Foundation CAF UK Giving Report 2017, the arts remain the least commonly supported cause in the charity sector, despite the high number of people who engage with the arts.

Some 24% of British adults have watched or participated in a production or arts programme run by a charity, and 64% have visited a charity-run gallery, museum or stately home – yet arts-based charities receive just 2% of all donations made to charities.

Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy aims to change that with its launch of “the world’s most comprehensive portfolio of free online learning and professional development for staff, practitioners and trustees in the arts, cultural and heritage sectors”.

“Many leaders of arts organisations are time poor and we’ve set up these training courses in bite-sized chunks to fit easily within a busy working day,” said Michelle Wright, founder and CEO of Cause4. “Being online allows us to update the material as legislation and technical information changes. We’re offering practical advice and helping demystify the fundraising process.”

Each course features leading arts fundraising trainers sharing their key insights and experiences. Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy will be collaborating with Cause4 Advance, University of Leeds and FutureLearn to deliver the courses.

Making use of the Proversity platform, the new portfolio has been supported by Arts Council England (ACE) to help shape the next generation of leaders in arts and cultural fundraising across the UK.

The Massive OnlineOpen Course (MOOC) contains modules that range from short two-hour training courses for first-time fundraisers, to a two-week leadership training course designed for senior leaders. They cover complex topics such as ethical fundraising, change management, policy making and strategy. Courses include ‘Asking People for Money’, ‘Trustee Leadership in Fundraising and Income Generation’, ‘Ethics in Fundraising’, and ‘Effective Fundraising and Leadership in the Arts and Culture’.

Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of ACE, commented: “We are pleased to support the development of these materials, through Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy, to provide a comprehensive bank of knowledge and experience that can be easily accessed by leaders of arts organisations and practitioners, both in the UK and internationally. One of our priorities at the Arts Council is to help arts and cultural organisations become more resilient and sustainable as they explore new revenue streams.”

The training modules feature insights and case studies from leading industry experts. Courses will be live on the website until 4 May.