All entries for November 2008

November 11, 2008

Credit crunch to hit sponsorship of the arts

Arts & Business have just issued a report on latest trends in arts investment. Here's Colin Tweedy's press release:

Artist Damien Hirst said on his record breaking auction at Sotheby's "people would rather put their money into butterflies than banks" as the global markets crashed.

No one has seen financial volatility like this before. Great institutions seem to vanish overnight and thousands of people lose their jobs. Luke Johnson said on 2nd September 2008 that the contemporary art market was bound to fail. Damian Hirst may be able to buck the economic trend; but surely the arts generally are not immune from the turmoil?

Our recent survey on trends in the sponsorship market (see below) reveals moderate short-term optimism, but medium term concern. But it is still far too early to determine an accurate picture. We have seen some of the biggest global sponsors go bust; but how much of their funding is still protected in their corporate foundations. We have also seen that disaster for some is financial reward for others.

The very foundations of capitalism are being both threatened and questioned; Governments are intervening in ways never before dreamt of. Wealth generation is not under question, but the means by which some acquire wealth certainly is. But when, eventually, the turmoil subsides, the institutions left standing and the new companies being formed will need to rethink their 'license to operate', i.e. their relationship to society and their contribution to the wider community, including the arts.

The cultural and commercial worlds will, in many cases, need to rebuild relationships, forge new friendships. But institutions like Lehman and HBOS should not be forgotten by the thousands of beneficiaries of their support through the years.

As we stand in awe and amazement at both Damian Hirst and the FTSE and Dow Indices, with their record highs and lows, we should remember that we need both butterflies and banks, in other words, both arts and business."

*Please note, this research was conducted in August 2008, before the collapse of the Lehman Brothers, the Iceland Banks and other indicators of the financial crisis unravelling in the UK and internationally.

November 06, 2008

Exploring the philanthropic potential of social networking

Here's a piece about using social networking sites to aid fundraising for the arts:

"Networking has always been an important means of garnering financial support for nonprofit arts organizations. But against a backdrop of a Wall Street meltdown, ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the most expensive presidential campaign in history, reaching out has become much more than a process of tapping tried-and-true donors. Increasingly, nonprofits like the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Ballet Theatre, and Spoleto Festival USA are tapping the philanthropic potential of social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. Long term, Charleston's arts organizations say they hope young professionals will be encouraged to support their programs monetarily after learning more about them on the web."

Full text at

November 2008

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