managing change in the arts and not-for-profit sectors


Arts Quarter Launches Legacy Fundraising Report

17th January 2011


To download a summary of the Report, click here

To request a full copy of the Legacy Fundraising Report, free of charge, click here


Following pronouncements made in December 2010 by Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State, Department of the Olympics, Culture Media and Sport on the potential of legacy giving as a key revenue source for the arts, Arts Quarter has published the findings from its survey on current levels of legacy fundraising within the sector.

This latest AQ Report published in partnership with Legacy Foresight highlights not only evidence of opportunities for significant growth but moreover the fundamental need for capacity building if the aspirations of the Coalition Government are to be realised in this area of arts philanthropy.

Survey findings show that irrespective of whether arts organisations are actively promoting legacies as a giving opportunity, under half of those surveyed (41%) have received any gifts in wills over the past three years.

Despite the current low levels of legacy fundraising, half of all the arts organisations surveyed reported that legacy income will be important to their organisation in the next five years. A quarter described it as 'very' or 'extremely important'.

Only 12% of responding organisations founded after 1981 currently encourage their stakeholders to leave gifts in wills, and only 19% of them had received any legacies in the past three years. Around 27% of respondent organisations founded after 1981 stated that they have never thought of promoting legacy giving.

Among the smallest organisations surveyed, only 5% of respondents conducted any form of legacy promotion. Apart from lack of capacity, the main reason given was lack of awareness, with 41% of respondents admitting that they had "never thought of working on this".

In presenting the findings from this Arts Quarter/ Legacy Foresight Survey, John Nicholls, managing partner of Arts Quarter commented, 'These results come at a time when government is embarking on a period of deep reflection about the future of arts funding and philanthropy. At present, legacy giving only features in a small number of organisations but we would agree that there is real potential for growth provided that sufficient capacity building and resourcing is provided. By itself, more proactive legacy marketing is unlikely to provide a 'quick fix' to the funding issues facing the cultural community today but as part of a portfolio approach to conversing with donors, it has clear value.'

A summary of findings is available by clicking on the link above. A copy of the full report can be obtained free of charge by request.


In all, some 198 arts organisations took part in the online Survey from 16th November to 20th December 2010. The report looks in detail at legacy fundraising activities across all art-forms, scales of organisation and regions of the UK.

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