for Arts
& Culture
Headshot photo of Vernon Ellis, wearing dark suit, white shirt and gold tie

A welcome from our Chair

The arts and culture sector has long had a significant role to play within the fabric of our society. Spanning a wide range of different art forms, and offering opportunities for enjoyment, enrichment, participation and education, arts organisations across the country offer a rich and varied palette of activity, exhibitions and performances.

The sector has traditionally been funded through a blend of public and private funding, and many arts organisations enjoy longstanding relationships with their patrons and supporters. As activity increases, arts organisations are seeking to deliver ever more sophisticated outcomes, often with a wide social remit. I believe that philanthropy will have an increasing role to play, to help drive practical change and achieve sustainability for the sector.

I hope you will enjoy reading some of the many articles and case studies on this website, and that you will consider joining us in our mission to increase philanthropic support for the arts.

Sir Vernon Ellis

Chair, New Philanthropy for Arts & Culture

Two girls, one with white skin, one with black skin, are looking together at a bowl and jug. One girl is wearing a blue hoody with yellow and white flashes, the other is wearing a yellow t-shirt with a plain blue hoody.

© The Foundling Museum

What is NPAC?

New Philanthropy for Arts & Culture (NPAC) was established as a cause-related network in June 2019, under the chairmanship of Sir Vernon Ellis. The group’s focus has been on researching and developing means of attracting new philanthropy into the arts and culture sector.

NPAC has been operating under the umbrella of Beacon Collaborative, which has a mission to grow philanthropy across the UK, and our work has been designed to complement Beacon’s other projects and research.

The founder members of the network are generous supporters of the arts, aware of the significant potential of new sources of private funding, in particular from individual donors, to support and sustain the arts and culture sector.

As our work has developed we have created three resource hubs:

  1. Support for the arts and culture sector, which provides some resources to assist in attracting gifts for your organisations
  2. Support for arts supporters and would-be supporters through the formation of a series of place-specific networks of arts supporters
  3. Research into arts philanthropy; what motivates arts donors and how the sector model might evolve to attract new supporters

We have also developed a rich resource of 40 case studies across the arts and culture sector which together make a powerful case for support for the sector. We hope you find these both interesting and useful in your exploration of the sector.

NPAC Founder Members Contact Us

A man standing at a lectern addressing a group of people

Testimonials from partners

“NPAC have been invaluable to Culture Central in providing their expertise and networks in the development of Philanthropic activity in Birmingham. They have an excellent ability to identify opportunities and are bold and ambitious.”
Erica Love, CEO Culture Central, Birmingham

“We’ve really valued the encouragement and expertise we’ve received from NPAC in developing a plan to grow philanthropic support for arts and culture in Middlesbrough. Anna and Michael have a wealth of experience in this field, bring with them useful examples of good practice in other parts of the country and have a real passion for culture which is helping us to navigate untested waters for us and make real progress.”
Gaye Kirby, Creative Programmes & Partnerships Manager, Middlesbrough Council

What do we mean by ‘arts and culture’?

When we talk about arts and culture we mean art in all its forms. From performing arts such as dance, theatre and music to visual arts such as sculpture and painting. Arts and culture includes literature and filmmaking, textiles, architecture and more.

Arts and culture is an enormously versatile and wide-ranging sector, and can be created by anyone, for anyone.

What do we mean by philanthropy?

The original meaning of the Greek word philanthropy is ‘love of humanity’ but today it is more commonly understood as the desire to promote the welfare of others, often (but not exclusively) through the donation of money.

Philanthropic gifts can be of any size. Philanthropists often also give of their time and talents to support a charity.