Jeremy Hunt. Credit: DCMS

Hunt announces £80m philanthropy fund

Rebecca Atkinson, 08.12.2010
The culture secretary unveils match-funding initiative to encourage philanthropy for the arts
Jeremy Hunt today announced an £80m match-funding scheme and a Treasury-led review into philanthropy next spring.

Speaking at the European Association for Philanthropy & Giving conference in London, the culture secretary outlined his department’s plans to boost giving by individuals and corporations.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Arts Council England (ACE) are to invest £80m in a series of match-fund schemes designed to raise an equivalent amount or more from private donors for the cultural sector. ACE will contribute up to £50m of lottery money to the scheme, subject to council approval.

There will be consultation into the scheme next year, and it is not yet clear how the funds will be managed or what organisations will be eligible for money.

However, it is likely that different funds will be pitched at different organisations, depending on their size and funding requirements. Hunt said. “It’s a fund that will be deployed in a range of ways to allow cultural organisations – large and small, London or regional – to access a scheme that suits them.”

Alan Davey, chief executive of ACE, added: “A match-funding scheme – pitched at the right scale – could trigger a radical shift in our fundraising culture.”

In his report into endowment funds, published today, Davey called for the simplification of Gift Aid and a review of tax treatments available to potential donors.

A Treasury-led review into encouraging philanthropy will be published before the budget next year.

“We know that there is a huge amount of frustration around the existing rules,” Hunt said.


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08.12.2010, 17:11
I'd wholeheartedly agree with Vanessa about the value of the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, but I'd also like to put in a word for its less glamorous and less wealthy cousin, the MLA PRISM Fund. The PRISM Fund for the preservation of scientific and industrial material has just been suspended for the remainder of this year and its future is uncertain. PRISM has provided funding for acquisition or conservation of industrial artefacts and papers for a wide range of museums and heritage organisations. The PRISM Fund budget is only £250k per year but it goes a long way towards supporting both professional and voluntary organisations with the preservation of our national industrial heritage, in a part of the sector where the potential for philanthropy is relatively limited.
Vanessa, Director, Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service
MA Member, MJ Subscriber, MP Subscriber
08.12.2010, 16:08
One of the best mechanisms for stimulating local philanthropy, which has been in existence since the late 19th century, is the MLA/V&A Purchase Grant for the Regions. This grant-in-aid scheme is crucial to all regional museums, enabling them to pursue an active collecting policy, including contemporary and commissioned works. With so much churn in the cultural sector I suspect that the work of the Purchase Grant Fund is in danger of becoming overlooked.

I speak from the heart as I managed this Fund for 14 years in the 1980s and early '90s. I know from the experience of allocating funds, and now from the perspective of a client, that the offer of up to 50% match funding is absolutely crucial in helping museums raise the wind for local fund-raising campaigns. The Purchase Grant Fund has certainly enabled us in the Norfolk Museums & Archaeology Service to aspire to acquisitions of international quality - purchases that might have seemed an impossible pipedream without the guarantee of a sympathetic hearing from a dedicated Fund. This pump-priming has generated considerable local philanthropy, an activity that the coalition government is seeking to encourage.

I understand that the Purchase Grant Fund is under threat. It would be a tragic loss if it was allowed to disappear.