18/10/12 – Opportunities to grow philanthropic support of the arts must be seized – Deenihan
Thursday, October 18th – Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has told a major conference on Philanthropy and the Arts that the constraints on the taxpayer mean that innovative ways to address funding issues in the arts and culture sector must be sought, and has said that philanthropy must become a mainstay of funding for the future.
Minister Deenihan was speaking at the conference, taking place at Smock Alley Theatre, which has heard from a wide range of speakers including Peter Keegan (Bank of America Merill Lynch), Caitriona Fottrell (Ireland Funds), John R. Healy (Forum on Philanthropy), Orlaith McBride (Arts Council), Dennis O’Connor (RAISE), Liam Keogh (Revenue Commissioners), Frances McGee (National Archives of Ireland), Stuart McLaughlin (Business to Arts), Trevor White (Little Museum of Dublin), Patrick T. Murphy (RHA), Breda Kennedy (Independent Consultant, Arts and Culture) and Patrick Sutton (Smock Alley Theatre).
Minister Deenihan commented:
“We know that Ireland is one of the great philanthropic countries of the world. It is a core characteristic of ours – and one that we rate highly – that we take an interest in others, and that we support their work and efforts through the donation of our time or our money.
“Today, it is estimated that total philanthropic income in Ireland is in excess of half a billion euro annually. This is a very sizable amount for a country of our size. However, the arts sector in Ireland receives only approximately 0.6% of this amount. This is something we have to challenge and to change.
“My vision of philanthropy is not one in which ‘one size fits all’. It is not about saying there is a single approach which works for everyone. Since becoming Minister, I have driven and encouraged policy development on philanthropy through two new schemes, each quite different from the other – the Philanthropy Leverage Initiative operated by my Department and the RAISE Programme operated by the Arts Council.
“Through these schemes I want to incentivise organisations to grow their funding by augmenting private sponsorship with taxpayer funding. I also want groups to build the skills – and confidence – to seek long term funding partnerships with the private sector.
“The constraints on the taxpayer mean that we have to look for innovative ways to address funding issues. At a time when taxpayer funding to arts and culture is under pressure and decreasing it is more important than ever that organisations seek to tap whatever reserves of private support may be in place for funding. Any opportunities to access philanthropic support must be seized.
“Our new focus on philanthropy is not simply about helping organisations to function through the downturn. I firmly believe that philanthropy should grow to be a mainstay of arts and culture funding for the years and decades ahead, even when State funding to arts and culture begins to increase again at some point in the future.”