The Cultural Philanthropy Taskforce — 17.12.10

Arts Foundation pleased increased philanthropic support for the arts recognised by Minister’s taskforce

Image:  Sir Eion Edgar and family have recently donated $500,000 to the Arts Foundation.


The Arts Foundation of New Zealand, established over a decade ago to promote philanthropy in the arts, is pleased that the case for substantially increasing private and institutional philanthropic support for the arts has been recognised in the Cultural Philanthropy Taskforce in its report, released today.  In particular, the Foundation supports the recommendation to use government funds to match private sector giving.

Over the last decade the Foundation has raised almost $10 million, distributed over $3 million to artists and has over $6 million in its Endowment Fund.

According to executive director of the Foundation, Simon Bowden, matching is a critical part of any strategy to grow patronage; a similar initiative has been announced recently in the United Kingdom.

The Arts Foundation was established through a matching programme whereby $1 million of Lottery Grants Board funds had to be matched before $4 million more was provided to establish the Foundation's Endowment Fund.  The Foundation has $15 million pledged in legacies and does not receive funding from government.

"We support the report's focus on endowment funds. Not only do these funds provide support for organisations, in perpetuity, but they give comfort to donors that their donations will be effective for generations to come."

The Arts Foundation has developed real expertise in establishing such funds in partnership with private donors. Most recently, by way of example, it announced a new award for children's book illustrators funded by a significant donation by Ann Mallinson.

The report recommended the establishment of an office to provide one-on-one mentoring to arts organisations to improve their ability to generate philanthropic funding. It highlights the need to promote the recent lifting of the rebate cap on tax deductions for donations to charity.

"We strongly support the need to promote these tax advantages but query whether potential patrons would go to a new agency for advice," he said.

"In our experience patrons of the arts tend to have close associations with artists and/or their work. They are very focussed in who they want to support and why. The Arts Foundation was established to facilitate philanthropy to support artistic excellence."

The report highlights the Arts Foundation's Award for Patronage as a mechanism to encourage more people to become significant donors to the arts. The Award for Patronage has been awarded five times and includes a $20,000 Arts Foundation donation to be directed to the arts by the patron recipient. In all cases the recipient has at least doubled this amount with their own funds. Recipients of the Award for Patronage include Denis and Verna Adam, Dame Jenny Gibbs, Roderick and Gillian Deane, Lady Adrienne Stewart and Gus and Irene Fisher. Sir Eion Edgar and his family recently donated $500,000 to the Foundation.

The Arts Foundation was established by Creative New Zealand to provide a charitable framework to work strategically with patrons to achieve their wishes to support the arts.

Over the last decade it has honoured and supported a growing list of some of New Zealand's most exciting artists through the annual $250,000 Laureate Awards, the  $125,000 New Generation Awards and the Icon Awards.


For further information:

Simon Bowden
Executive Director
Arts Foundation
Ph. 04 382 9691