A new report on the use of digital technology to boost fundraising and encourage philanthropy in the arts sector has been published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Democratising Philanthropy is the third report on private giving to the arts commissioned by DCMS and is intended to “advance key elements of the [government’s] philanthropy agenda” by showing “how arts and heritage bodies could unlock support by engaging broader audiences, and how more individuals can become philanthropists”.
Written by technology entrepreneur and chair of the Community Foundation, Matthew Bowcock, it sets out ten recommendations for government, national arts funding bodies and cultural organisations.
Among the measures suggested to government by the report are the simplification of digital giving systems, the introduction of a fund-matching scheme for online donations and “joined-up policy on philanthropy and giving”.
Funding bodies are being encouraged to create a repository of shareware applications, a digital education programme highlighting best-practice case studies and the employment of “digital catalysts” in client organisations, who themselves, the report says, should implement appropriate digital strategies to engage with audiences and encourage interdisciplinary cooperation.
Welcoming the report, culture secretary Maria Miller said: “We have many generous donors in this country, without whom our arts and heritage would be poorer in every respect. I am profoundly grateful for their support. Together with public sector investment, earned income and support from the National Lottery, philanthropy has the potential to enable our cultural sector to continue to lead the world. I share Matthew Bowcock’s desire to democratise philanthropy, and to make use of digital technology as one of the means to that end”.