Media release—Results show strengthening donor support for the arts

Revenue from private giving, corporate sponsorship and fundraising events in the major performing arts sector continued to grow in 2013, increasing by 11.3 per cent ($7.2 million) to $71.3 million on 2012.

Media release—Results show strengthening donor support for the arts


Of this, 55 per cent ($39 million) was private giving (that is, philanthropy) which reflects the highest proportion of private revenue that it has ever reached. In fact, private giving grew by 24.5 per cent ($7.7 million).

The Australian Major Performing Arts Group today released its latest survey of fundraising by the major companies,Tracking changes in corporate sponsorship and private giving 2014.

Bethwyn Serow, Executive Director of AMPAG, said, ‘The increase in private giving—five times more than 2001 results—reflects the deepening engagement that major companies have with donors, and the more sophisticated skills they have developed in raising private revenue.

‘The 2013 results are welcome news for the companies because they correct the 2012 dip in private sector support, and show real growth compared to the strong 2011 results,’ she said.

Even though two-thirds of the reported increase in private giving is due to the results of a single company, 22 companies raised more from this source, with just six companies reporting a fall. In 2012 only 12 companies raised more from private giving with 16 companies reporting a fall.

Ms Serow said, ‘Increases in private giving have never been smooth with peaks and troughs over years and between companies—but we can see steady underlying growth in private giving over the 13 years since AMPAG first commissioned this report.‘

‘Support is often directed to project based or a one-off fund raising appeals and therefore individual company results will vary between years.’

Total private sector support now comprises 15 per cent of total income for the companies, with 43 per cent from box office, 30 per cent government grants for core funding, 4 per cent grants for specific initiatives and 8 per cent other income.

Since 2001 total revenue has increased $41 million or 135.4 per cent, and continues to track well ahead of CPI levels.

‘The real growth has been in private giving which has increased over 400 per cent, tracking well ahead of CPI levels while sponsorship income value has only grown by CPI,’ Ms Serow said.

In 2013 corporate sponsorship accounted for 42 per cent of the total private revenue ($29.7 million)—a fall of 2 per cent ($0.6 million). This is the first fall in earnings from corporate sponsorship since 2007. Sixteen of the 28 companies reported an increase in earnings from this source in 2013 with 12 companies reporting decline.

‘It is important for us to acknowledge that private sector funds cannot be taken for granted or that growth can be assumed year on year,’ Ms Serow said.

‘As a measure of engagement and support in the arts these results reflect the growing understanding of the value of the arts and the real need for private giving to support initiatives that cannot be achieved through government funding or box office alone.

‘This survey signals a pattern of support that has benefited from long-term investment by the companies in developing their own specific approach to nurturing private giving.

‘All private sector support contributes to the vibrancy of companies and the sector as a whole.’


The pattern of private giving and sponsorship is not evenly distributed across states, artform or company size.


·Queensland companies have reported the strongest relative growth in 2013 for the sector. In 2013 all four companies reported an increase in earnings, with one company more than trebling its results.

·NSW companies reported a 46.8 per cent increase in private giving in 2013. While one company dominated this result, increases were reported by nine of the ten NSW companies.

·Western Australian companies experienced a second year of decline in corporate sponsorship income in 2013 after a steep increase in 2011. The 2014 results will confirm if this is simply a one-off fall or if it reflects a more systemic shift in WA.

·South Australian companies received 2 per cent of total private giving for the sector in 2013—a fall of 1 per cent from 2012 levels. SA-based companies have to work much harder to raise corporate sponsorship income than those in NSW. For example, SA companies serviced 83 sponsorships to deliver $1.3 million, while NSW companies serviced 248 sponsorships to attract $13.4 million.

· While sponsorship was down slightly donations to Victorian companies grew in 2013—up $0.4 million or 3.7 per cent on 2012. Four of the six companies reportedincreases compared to just two in 2012.

Art form
·Opera companies have consistently reported the highest level of efficiency in attracting sponsorship & private giving.

·Dance companies collectively reported a second year of decline in sponsorship with only one dance company reporting consistent increases in sponsorship funds in recent years. However, philanthropic support grew by $0.4 million or 3.5 per cent with three of the five dance companies reporting increases in earnings compared to 2012.

·Both music and theatre companies reported a large increase in the number of new donors attracted in 2013. Music companies more than doubled the number of new donors attracted (up 2,715 from 2,490). Theatre companies attracted an additional 547 new donors.

·The size of a company does make a difference with large companies receiving substantially more in both corporate sponsorship and private giving than small and medium companies.

·Medium companies reported a sharp increase in corporate sponsorship in 2013 up 13.5 per cent on 2012 with eight of the nine companies reporting increases. However three of the nine medium-sized companies are generating less from corporate sponsorship in 2013 compared to 2001 levels.

·And five of the 12 small companies generated a collective $875k less in sponsorship in 2013 compared to 2001.Overall private giving to small companies increased by $1million from 2012 to 2013 with increases to eight of the 12 small companies.

·But in general, small companies are increasing private sector income modestly but consistently.

For more information contact:

Bethwyn Serow

Executive Director

02 9253 5351



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