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30th May 2019 Jemma Green

The value of benchmarking — three things you never knew about arts business models

Benchmarking / Business models

What is it about?

Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy in partnership with MyCake launched the first Arts and Culture Fundraising dashboard in September 2018. The dashboard is designed to help organisations in the Arts Council England (ACE) National Portfolio and in the wider non-profit cultural sector, compare and contrast business models, their achievements in income diversification and set targets for the future.

This free tool looks first at the national picture but then digs into the detail of how that picture changes when you start looking at individual artforms, areas and turnover bands. Ultimately the goal is to support the Trustees and leaders who run arts organisations to explore the benchmark dashboard themselves, create meaningful slices of data, and build evidence to support your own organisation’s aspirations for growth and change, as well as to build effective fundraising strategies.

Join us in this session to talk through some findings we discovered when we first built and started using the dashboard, and then work through an example of how it can work for an organisation like yours.

What will I gain?

— An insight into how benchmarking works

— Trends and suggestions around your business model

— Advice on how to diversify your income

Who is it for?

Senior Management, Trustees and other staff interested in business models and income diversification.

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David Johnson | Head of Programme | Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy

David joined Cause4 in April 2018 as Head of Programme for Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy, an Arts Council England Sector Support organisation within the National Portfolio. From 2011 David was Head of Development at the Albany, an arts centre in South East London and was responsible for earned and raised income generation, partnership development and contract management. During his tenure the Albany more than doubled its turnover. He also supported the leadership of the national Family Arts Campaign.

Prior to this, he worked in the Cultural Development team for the London Borough of Hackney, supporting the development of 2012 Cultural Olympiad projects and producing the borough’s key youth arts festival – Discover Young Hackney; and as Company Manager for outdoor arts organisation, Emergency Exit Arts. He sits on the board of Babylon Arts in Ely and is a member of the Institute of Fundraising.

Sarah Thelwall | Founder and CEO | MyCake

Sarah set up MyCake in 2007 to enable creative, cultural and non-profit organisations to access sector specific business information tools. The core of MyCake’s work is the development of a series of financial benchmarks to track the trends in the changing business models in the non-profit cultural sector. These benchmarks are then used to support strategic decision making both in individual organisations and with funders and policy makers. Benchmarking can inform your work to answer questions such as ‘what does a successful cafe/shop/room hire business look like as an income stream for a cultural organisation?’ or ‘what level of sponsorship and donations income should we be aiming for given our location, sector and size?’.

Since 2012 MyCake has been analysing the ACE NPO annual data set to produce a benchmark dashboard of the results. In 2018 MyCake partnered with Cause4 to produce the first Arts & Culture Fundraising Benchmark and combine the insight and experience of Cause4’s work on income diversification with MyCake’s expertise in data analysis and insight.




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