Culture secretary Maria Miller welcomes report on philanthropy
Titled Removing Barriers, the report comes days after Nicholas Hytner and Danny Boyle hosted a conference at the National Theatre to discuss the difficulties faced by regional theatres in the wake of government spending cuts.
The report's author is Roland Rudd, chairman of the Legacy10 campaign to increase charitable giving in the UK.
Welcoming Rudd's findings, Maria Miller said: "There is enormous potential for the arts to benefit from philanthropy over the next few years, and we need to look at new ways of unlocking it. Although income from the National Lottery is set to rise significantly now that we have restored the shares of proceeds going to the original good causes, other avenues of potential funding need to be considered. The economic climate means that philanthropic support for the arts, especially through legacies, will be ever more important in the years to come."
Removing Barriers, one of three reports into philanthropy commissioned by the Government (two are still to be published), recommends ten steps to increase philanthropic giving in the arts (see below).
Miller, who also acts as Minister for Women and Equality, continued: "Some of our arts and heritage bodies have built great relationships with their supporters in this area, but for all that, only seven percent of people currently leave a legacy in their will. And too many companies and organisations in the arts and heritage world still have no legacy giving scheme in place. So, they need to get better at asking for this kind of support. I want many more cultural organisations to benefit from legacies, and we will be happy to help make this a core element of greater giving to culture across society as a whole."
But many are sceptical whether philanthropy will be able to provide adequate relief for the swingeing spending cuts, which have seen the Arts Council's budget slashed from £449 million to £314 million a year. During last week's regional theatre conference, National Theatre artistic director Nicholas Hytner dismissed Miller's policy as "wishful thinking". He told Whatsonstage.com: "Private money follows public money. Philanthropists want to get behind success stories, not dig people out of a hole."
Roland Rudd's recommendations:
For more on the impact of government spending cuts on the arts, see whatsonstage.com/cuts