A report released today has found corporate sponsorship and private donations of Australia’s major performing arts companies, although remaining steady during the global economic downturn, show the sector’s future remains volatile.
The Australian Major Performing Arts Group’s (AMPAG) Tracking Changes in Corporate Sponsorship and Private Donations 2011 survey found total revenue from corporate sponsorship, private giving and net fundraising events within the major performing arts sector increased $5.8 million or 11.9 per cent to $54.6 million.
“Despite these figures, much of the increase was affected by results of The Australian Ballet and Sydney Theatre Company, both of whom reported increases in private giving exceeding $2 million each,” said Sue Donnelly, AMPAG Executive Director. “Corporate sponsorship earnings increased by just $0.2 million or 0.8 % in 2010. This increase represents the third consecutive year of growth but they are significantly below CPI,” she said.
Sixteen of the 28 companies in the survey reported an increase in earnings from the corporate sector in 2010 with the remainder reporting a decline. Queensland companies were the only group to universally report increases in earnings from corporate sponsorship in 2010.
“There’s an expectation from the Federal Government that increased sponsorship from the corporate sector, coupled with private donations, will fill the gap while public funding remains static. But this is clearly not translating for most of the companies as they seek new partnerships with the private sector,” Ms Donnelly said.
“A closer examination of the data reveals five of the 10 NSW companies reported earning $3.9 million more in 2010 compared to 2001, while five companies report earning $3.2 million less. This pattern is reflected across the country, indicating a ceiling in earnings from corporate sponsorship may have been reached,” Sue Donnelly said.
“It is still much easier for companies to raise funds in Melbourne and Sydney. Queensland, however, bucked the national trend reflecting both an increased involvement of Queensland based corporations and the greater emphasis of the State Government seeking excellence in the performing arts sector,” she said.
Philanthropy and private giving account for a substantial part to the nation’s major performing arts companies fundraising activities going up by $5.4 million or 27.2 per cent on 2009 results. The Australian Ballet and Sydney Theatre Company figures accounted for 89 per cent of the increase.
“This growth in philanthropy reverses figures in 2001 when corporate sponsorship made up 72 per cent of total sponsorship and donation revenue nation-wide. In 2010 survey this share has fallen to 49 per cent,” she said. “In time, it may well outstrip the proportion of corporate sponsorship especially if the Mitchell Review of Private sector investment for the arts comes up with some new and interesting tax recommendations”.
AMPAG is the umbrella group for the 28 major performing arts companies of Australia. Based in six states, the companies produce and present vibrant performance for Australian and international audiences in dance, drama, music, opera and circus. Although most of the companies’ revenue is from box office, corporate and private sources, they receive direct investment from the Federal and State Governments.
ABOUT THE SURVEY
Now in its tenth year the Tracking Changes in Corporate Sponsorship and Private Donations 2010 Survey, a project of the Australian Major Performing Arts Group (AMPAG) tracks and analyses levels of corporate sponsorship and private donations for the major performing arts sector for the years 2001 – 2010.
MORE KEY FINDINGS
Major performing arts companies are substantially increasing their investment into securing private giving. In 2010, $5.3 million was spent to raise donation income, $1.4 million or 34.2 per cent more than 2009 levels.
In 2001, private giving made up 25 per cent of total sponsorship and donation revenue. By 2010, this proportion had increased to 46 per cent driving the overall reported increase in earnings for the sector. This increase has not been smooth with peak years often proceeded by a drop in income the following year.
Major performing arts companies reported an increase of $0.2 million / 0.8 per cent in corporate sponsorship earnings in 2010. While this increase represents the third consecutive year of growth, earnings in both 2009 and 2010 tracked significantly behind CPI.
In 2001, corporate sponsorship made up 72 per cent of total sponsorship and donation revenue. By 2010, this share had fallen to 49 per cent. While proportional increases in private giving have outpaced growth in corporate sponsorship, sponsorship still provides the largest proportion of revenue to the sector.
State Based Analysis
Corporate sponsorship income levels for New South Wales companies have remained essentially static for the past five years suggesting a ceiling may have been reached. NSW companies reported a 23.1 per cent increase in private giving in 2010, continuing the upward trend of sustained increases reported since 2003.
In Victoria, total corporate sponsorship, donation and net fundraising event income increased $2.3 million on 2009 results. Victorian companies have successfully increased private giving over the past ten years. They however report lower than expected income from corporate sponsorship.
Western Australian companies have capitalised on the mining boom in recent years and reported significant increases in corporate sponsorship earnings. In 2010 however, three of the four companies have reported a decline in earnings from this source. Private giving for Western Australian companies is also comparatively low.
Queensland companies were the only group to universally report increases in corporate sponsorship in 2010. Companies reported an increase of $624k in total corporate sponsorship, donation and net fundraising event income in 2010 compared to 2009 results.
South Australian companies collectively reported a decrease of $251k in earnings from total corporate sponsorship, donation and net fundraising event income. This result was due to the result of a single company. The remaining two companies reported modest increases.