for Arts
& Culture

Making the Case for Support

Why should philanthropists support cultural causes? What makes the arts deserving of their donations? The answer is practical and straightforward – the arts, culture and creativity change lives. They promote wellbeing, ease loneliness, enable individuals and communities to tell their stories, among many other benefits.

Sir Nicholas Serota
Chair, Arts Council England, March 2020

NPAC member SIR RICHARD STILGOE has written a passionate case for support for the arts post-pandemic.

“Give money to the arts, because they give us a glimpse of something above the merely human, and bring hope for the future.”

Read more
All fundraising is about making your case: What is your message? What impact will your project/initiative have? Why should a funder support your project or organisation ahead of others clamouring for their attention?

This is vitally important when it comes to raising support from individual philanthropists as opposed to other sources of support, as individuals don’t usually come armed with a grant-making policy.

Highlight the tangible benefits

Obviously each project and organisation will be different, but in making the case for support it may be helpful to highlight:

  • the tangible benefits for the individuals involved in the project – for example will your project introduce 90 children in rural Somerset to their first experience of chamber music? Or will your initiative work with 25 care home residents to explore their reminiscences and build an interactive exhibition?
  • the local aspect of your project – will you for example be working with low-income families in a particular postcode and signposting them to further arts activities in order to increase wellbeing locally?
  • the general societal benefits of the performing arts in terms of physical and mental health, education and social cohesion

The transformative power of the arts

There are many helpful research documents highlighting the transformative power of the Arts which it might be helpful to read when thinking about making the case for support for your project.

Arts Council England’s report into The Value of Arts and Culture to People and Society

“There is strong evidence that participation in the arts can contribute to community cohesion, reduce social exclusion and isolation, and/or make communities feel safer and stronger.”

A new report from the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre on Enhancing Creative Education illustrates the value of a creative education for all children.

“93% of 16-18 year olds report that creative education fostering self-expression, teamwork and empathy, positively impacts on their mental health and wellbeing.”

Nesta Creativity, Culture & Capital – a call for essays which showcase the power of the creative and cultural sector.

Health and wellbeing benefits

Creative Health: The Arts for Health and Wellbeing – Report by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Arts, Health & Wellbeing

“After engaging with the arts, 79% of people in deprived communities in London are more healthy; 77% engaged in more physical activity; and 82% enjoyed greater wellbeing.”

National Centre for Creative Health – a new charity which aims to make creativity integral to health and social care systems.

Arts and Health South West – a learning, development and advocacy organisation aiming to increase access to the arts for the benefit of people’s health and wellbeing.

Orchestras in Healthcare Report – produced by the City of London Sinfonia, Orchestras Live, Association of British Orchestras and National Academy of Social Prescribing.

The Baring Foundation’s Report into how heritage and creativity can support mental health

The importance of local – place-based giving

Charities Aid Foundation report on the benefits and opportunities for place based giving and the ways in which locally-based philanthropy can help to create and foster a sense for place.

CAF Place based Giving homepage

Click here for more details of the place based networks that NPAC has helped to date, and guidance for starting a place based network in your area.

Examples of good practice – NPAC’s 40 case studies of arts & culture projects

As part of the NPAC project, we have undertaken 40 case studies looking at a range of projects and organisations working across different art forms.

You can browse the case studies by area and artform, and explore the target beneficiaries and impact of each project.