Jeremy Hunt Announces US Style Philanthropy Plan

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt who will always be best remembered for James Naughtie and Andrew Marr’s four-letter slip up, has announced that the government is to make available an £80m ‘matching fund’ for arts organisations. The idea behind this move is not rocket science, or even science. It is simply a price matching exercise, which forces organizations to go out and prove themselves, before acquiring any form of Government funding. These funds will, in theory come from private donations and the government will apparently match the donation. The plan to court individuals to become high-giving ”Arts Patrons’ is an American notion in the first place .This works well in America because they give tax-deductible incentives, equal to the donation. Therefore if a patron gives 30 million pounds to fund a new room at the Tate, this full amount is tax deductible. This only works if the donor is paying tax in the first place and as it goes so many of the donors in this country are living in tax havens and not paying their taxes. It all seems a redundant exercise. Those who donate will be rewarded via “more visible public recognition” such as the honours system.

The DCMS press office states; “This will help support smaller organisations, especially those outside London” – though how this will be practically implemented remains unclear. The government will support larger institutions that want to encourage endowments, though there is no mention of tax incentives within Hunt’s policy.


Press Release

An £80 million fund is at the heart of a new Government drive to boost private giving to arts organisations and create a new generation of philanthropists, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced today.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Arts Council England are to invest £80 million in a new series of ‘match fund’ schemes, to raise at least an equivalent amount from private donors for the culture sector.  This is part of a package of measures set out today to help arts and heritage organisations create long-term financial sustainability and to encourage increased giving to culture.   

Jeremy Hunt’s ‘ten point plan’ will catalyse and facilitate individual and corporate giving by removing barriers, creating incentives and highlighting and sharing what works.  It will also include a ‘year of corporate giving’ strengthening recognition for donors, harnessing digital technologies and building fundraising skills across the sector.

Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt said:

“This country has a great tradition of philanthropy in the arts, and I pay tribute to all those who have donated to our artists and cultural institutions, whether to the tune of ten pounds or ten million pounds.  They are role models, whose support and generosity shows just what can be achieved.

“Public funding of the arts will always continue – we have set out Government funding for the life of this Parliament, and we have increased the amount of Lottery money going to the arts.  But we must help our arts organisations develop more mixed funding models, to help give them long term financial stability and certainty. This stability will allow them to plan ahead with confidence, leading to a more vibrant and resilient cultural sector.

“There is huge scope to strengthen private and corporate support for culture over the next few years, for the benefit of the culture sector and audiences across the country.  The measures I am announcing today will do a huge amount to bring about a long-term boost to giving.”

The plan includes:

1.   An £80 million match funding scheme, with the potential to raise more than £160 million through a series of grants.  This will provide a range of support for smaller organisations, those outside London, and larger bodies, including those who want to develop endowments.

2.   The Government reviewing what it can do to encourage philanthropy reporting back in the spring.

3.   More visible public recognition for philanthropy, thanking donors, demonstrating the value of philanthropy and encouraging others to give. This could include greater recognition through the honours system.

4.   Developing fundraising skills and capacity across the culture sector – to increase and share skills and capacity, promote best practice, professionalise fundraising and develop a culture of ‘asking’ as well as ‘giving’.

5.   Promoting and increasing planned giving, including legacy giving – with an ambition for the UK to become the first country in the world in which it becomes the norm to leave 10 per cent or more of one’s legacy to charity.

6.   Supporting the long-term development of endowments. DCMS is publishing today reports by Neil MacGregor (director, British Museum) and Alan Davey (chief executive, Arts Council England) on how to increase endowments.

7.   Harnessing digital technology to boost philanthropy, building on the innovative work already done by many bodies.

8.   Increasing giving from international donors, just as we encourage other forms of inward investment.

9.   Encouraging more investment by the business sector – which already invests £150 million a year in the cultural sector.  This will include a series of events and initiatives throughout 2011.

10.                 Strengthening links between culture and other sectors which are supported through philanthropy, such as charities, community groups or social enterprises.

The Government is wholly committed to continued public funding to the arts, but greater plurality of funding will help cultural institutions become stronger and more resilient in the long term.  



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