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Simon Stephens
Two campaigns to acquire works of art have shown how online fundraising is a small but growing area for museums.

In August, the Ashmolean Museum successfully completed its eight-month campaign to raise £7.83m to buy Edouard Manet’s Portrait of Mademoiselle Claus.

The Oxford museum raised more than £8,000 via its online giving pages, with donations ranging from £5 to £1,000. The amount raised online accounted for 4% of the public response (which excludes grants or major gifts).

Last month, the Fitzwilliam Museum launched a campaign to acquire Nicolas Poussin’s Extreme Unction. The painting has been valued at £14m, but the museum can buy it for £3.9m through the Acceptance in Lieu scheme. The Art Fund is running the online campaign.

Some museums have been experimenting with the JustGiving fundraising site, with mixed results.

The Foundling Museum in London pays a monthly fee of £18 and makes about £400 a year from the site. The museum is to review whether it is worth continuing. The Porthcurno Telegraph Museum in Cornwall said the amount raised through JustGiving had been “disappointing”.

Other museums are more enthusiastic. London’s Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum said that since January, JustGiving had accounted for more than 30% of the £3,200 donated by researchers who had contacted its library.

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