This evaluation assess how effectively Creative New Zealand’s three-year Creative Giving Pilot grew the capability and capacity of arts and cultural organisations to source and increase funding from the private sector.
Creative New Zealand has undertaken this evaluation to:
- assess how effectively the Creative Giving Pilot grew the capability and capacity of the organisations that participated
- Identify lessons to be applied to any future arts and culture philanthropic capability offering or programme.
The evaluation draws conclusions from the following
- synthesised existing information (eg data on participation, client satisfaction surveys, reports and feedback from participants)
- analysed available financial data for organisations who participated in the pilot, as well as data from a selection of arts organisations that did not participate in the Pilot (eg relating to revenue and donations from Annual Reports)
- telephone interviews conducted with a sample of participating organisations and donors/sponsors to fill information gaps.
The evaluation focused on outcomes, and was conducted retrospectively using limited information. The analysis indicates that the pilot achieved positive outcomes when targeted correctly, and some important lessons were identified.
Robust financial data was available for a subset of the participating organisations (34 out of 87). At the aggregate level, these organisations reported an increase in fundraising revenue following the pilot. Data was drawn from Pataka Korero financial reports for 2012 and 2014.
In contrast, organisations that did not participate in the Pilot (and who also provided financial reports to Creative New Zealand via Pataka Korero) reported that fundraising revenue remained static between 2012 and 2014.
At the individual organisation level, Pātaka Kōrero shows both increases and decreases in fundraising revenue between 2012 and 2014 for the 34 participating organisations.
Interviews with selected participating organisations found that about half reported an increase in their capability to fundraise. Those that didn’t often had staff turnover in the period since they participated in the pilot, while a few had used the pilot to verify the validity of their existing approach to fundraising.
There were indications of a relationship between positive outcomes and receipt of funding – either a matched funding grant or a grant from Foundation North. The most successful outcome that can be cross-referenced with organisations that received a Foundation North (formerly known as the ASB community trust) grant was the establishment of new donor/sponsorship relationships.
There were also indications of high turnover in the fundraising staff of arts and culture organisations. High staff turnover means arts organisations need to have systems in place to maintain effective fundraising when key staff leave or change positions. Ways to mitigate the risks associated with staff turnover include:
- board involvement: the active involvement, understanding and support of board members
- a planned approach that is not reliant on retaining a single staff member and ensures effective fundraising activity does not decrease as staff changes occur
- client relationship management systems and processes that document and record fundraising information and reduce the loss of staff knowledge and intelligence.
If an equivalent to the Creative Giving Pilot were to be offered in the future, it may achieve greater long term value if it had components that mitigate risk areas associated with the arts and culture sector’s high turnover of fundraising staff.
Preparedness to change was identified as a significant factor. Organisations were more likely to benefit from participation in the pilot when they were prepared to commit resources to implement necessary changes to their fundraising approach.
A future programme may need to be less general and more focused on organisations that are ready and motivated to implement required organisational change.