Here are a range of excellent guides, toolkits and resources on ethical fundraising and sponsorship. We will update this page with new articles and materials as they are made available.
Creating ethical guidelines for fundraising – by Culture Hive
Culture Hive provides this guide which ‘provides useful advice on how to set up ethical guidelines to ensure that trustees, staff and any potential commercial partners share a common understanding of your organisation’s ethical values’.
You can download the full guide here.
Take the Money and Run – by LADA/Platform
In this Study Room Guide from the Live Art Development Agency, Jane Trowell from Platform has selected some key texts that are useful in helping to position yourself ethically with regard to financing or supporting artistic practice through business or corporate sponsorship. You can view it in full here.
Fundraising Policy Template – Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy
Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy is England’s national arts and cultural fundraising programme. On their website they have a range of resources, including an ethical fundraising policy template, available for download here.
Museums’ Environmental Framework
The Museums’ Environmental Framework is a brand new resource released by Julie’s Bicycle (more info on them below) and funded by the Arts Council. It was developed in collaboration with organisations in the museums sector including Happy Museum Project, Museum Development Network, Museums Galleries Scotland, Museums, Archives and Libraries Division Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Museums Council.
It aims ‘to both celebrate good practice and inspire more’. It features case studies and insights from key sector organisations, and defines best practice on finances, investment & fundraising as including:
- divestment criteria applied in choosing financial services e.g. banking, pension
- ethical sponsorship, partnership and fundraising policy defined, applied and evaluated
Download the framework here.
Meeting Ethical and Reputational Challenges – What Next? toolkit
Practical guidance on the subject of ethical and reputational challenges, intended to help cultural organisations and their governing bodies meet such challenges with a greater sense of confidence.
Developed in 2015, it stems from a What Next? discussion about the difficult situations arts organisations can find themselves in when an action sparks controversy. A contentious sponsorship deal was one of the key examples that came up. This guidance aims to help with the development of policies and strategies to address such situations.
The guide can be downloaded here.
Mind the Gap: Contradictions in Tate’s ethical decision-making over BP – by Platform
In 2015, Platform put together Mind the Gap, which drew together reflections and commentaries on the deliberations that were undertaken by Tate’s Ethics Committee as they prepared to make a recommendation on whether the Gallery should renew its sponsorship deal with BP in 2016. We now know that BP’s sponsorship of Tate did come to an end, and it is likely that these ethical complexities and the spotlight on Tate’s decision-making played a role.
With contributions from David Carrington (independent governance advisor), Bridget McKenzie (Director of Flow Associates UK) and Tim Crook (Head of Media Law & Ethics and Radio, Goldsmiths University), Mind the Gap is an invaluable resource for any members of staff undertaking complex ethical decisions but particularly around sponsorship.
You can view the full publication here.
Julie’s Bicycle supports arts organisations in reducing their environmental impact, primarily by helping them to consider operational issues and explore ways to cut their carbon footprint. However, they have many resources and blogs giving examples of how different arts organisations are embracing sustainability.
Following their ‘Leading Change’ event in 2015 where over 20 ACE National Portfolio Organisations came together, those present agreed that…
“We need strategies for ethical funding and sponsorship. The issues around ethical investment, sponsorship and fundraising are becoming more public, as evidenced by the divestment movement, and the focus on oil sponsorship in the arts and culture. Whatever the view of your board, organisations would be well advised to have a policy on investment and sponsorship, and be able to defend it. And it is always worth identifying alternative sources of income that can replace investment linked to environmentally damaging activities.”
BP’s Cultural Sponsorship: A Corrupting Influence – by Art Not Oil
While Art Not Oil‘s report is a specific investigation into the impacts of a single sponsor, it raises a whole range of ethical questions around corporate sponsorship. It perhaps demonstrates the risks that an arts organisation might face if it fails to be consistent and transparent in how it goes about making decisions about sponsorship, or put necessary policies and processes in place.
You can read the report in full here.