From the Foreword
For centuries, culture and private philanthropy have been inextricably linked. Early in the first century AD, the Roman poet Horace dedicated his first poem in Odes:I to his patron, Maecenas. The great painters of the European Renaissance were supported by wealthy individuals and rulers of states – both secular and religious. In pre-European Māori history, those with creative gifts were nurtured by their iwi or hapū. In modern Aotearoa New Zealand, the generosity of philanthropists over the decades has played a critical role in the growth of this nation’s cultural ecology.
However, for culture to flourish truly and sustainably, it’s vital we boost the level of private philanthropy in Aotearoa New Zealand.
This was the intention behind the Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Hon Christopher Finlayson’s establishment in 2009 of the Cultural Philanthropy Taskforce. His brief to the Taskforce was succinct:
I am keen for the Taskforce to explore whether there are new opportunities to encourage private investment in the arts in New Zealand over the next five to ten years.
The Minister also made it very clear that his intention is not to replace government funding but to grow the cultural philanthropy pie.
The Taskforce has met regularly over the last fifteen months to respond to the Minister’s brief. Together we have investigated best practice in philanthropy around the world, consulted within Aotearoa New Zealand with organisations and individuals, and drawn on the extensive experience and expertise of Taskforce members.
The government has done its bit, directly through grants and indirectly through establishing a favourable tax environment for charitable giving that requires very little refinement. Government support can only ever be one part of an overall strategy for the cultural sector. It’s now time to ensure the cultural sector plays its part.
Our recommendations are to:
• develop a fundraising capability building initiative to mentor and advise cultural organisations on a one-to-one basis
• promote knowledge and awareness of the recently introduced tax incentives
• introduce Gift Aid to boost private giving
• explore the workability of a cultural gifting scheme
• recognise and value the generosity of philanthropists
• reward with matched government funding cultural organisations that succeed in increasing their levels of income derived from private giving.