The Holburne Museum in Bath, (c) Paul Riddle,

Mobile fundraising scheme launched

Rebecca Atkinson, 27.03.2013
Scheme enables visitors to make donations through their mobile phones
A new fundraising scheme that enables people to make donations to museums and other cultural institutions through their mobile phones has been launched.

Eleven cultural organisations have signed up to Donate, which is run by the charity the National Funding Scheme, for a six month pilot period. The scheme will be rolled out to all arts and heritage charities nationwide by the end of the year.

Donate allows visitors to use their mobile phones to make a donation to a specific venue, via text message, QR codes and near field communication. The scheme is free for organisations and donors, with the National Funding Scheme receiving 4% of donations.

Research commissioned by the scheme found that people are most likely to donate money when they are at an exhibition or performance.

Robert Dufton, interim chairman of the National Funding Scheme, said: “The scheme was created to help UK cultural organisations tackle the challenge of funding in a new, innovative way that engages supporters at the point of emotional engagement and encourages giving.”

The scheme also enables institutions to collect data on individual donors and maintain a relationship with them.

The organisations signed up to the scheme include: the National Trust; London’s Science Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Southbank Centre and Victoria and Albert Museum; the Holburne Museum in Bath; Kala Sangam in Bradford; and the Baltic in Gateshead.

The National Portrait Gallery today launched a £20,000 appeal to restore a portrait by Arthur Stockdale Cope, Naval Officers of World War I, through Donate.

A central platform offering mobile donations was first announced by the then culture secretary Jeremy Hunt last year. It is supported by grants from the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, among others.

Paul Cutt, the former chief executive officer of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group, has joined the National Funding Scheme as chief executive officer. Its patrons include former culture secretary, Chris Smith, as well as the co-founder of and member of the House of Lords, Martha Lane Fox.