Cultural Sector

IoF Cultural Sector logo


Our strategy: if you share our goals, will you help us grow?

Why is there a need for the Cultural Sector Network?

A strong and financially sustainable cultural sector means a society in which all can flourish, with all the economic and social benefits that the cultural industries provide.  We can see state funding of the arts and heritage under threat, local government funding declining and the charity fundraising sector under scrutiny like never before. The charitable case for supporting culture is not promoted as powerfully and frequently as it should be. Despite all this, there has been no organisation to speak unequivocally for fundraising across the whole range of arts and heritage.  The CSN - as part of the Institute of Fundraising - aims to become that organisation.

Who are we?

We are a group of volunteers working with the IoF to address these challenges. The CSN is one of the IoF’s strategic Special Interest Groups. We see enormous added value in being part of a professional membership organisation with a solid record of training, research expertise and advocacy with government. The IoF has welcomed the opportunity to engage with cultural fundraising and strengthen the whole profession by working alongside arts and heritage fundraisers.

Who are we working with?

We have two main audiences

  • fundraising practitioners in organisations across arts and heritage
  • consultants and service providers working across the cultural sector

We also partner with public funders, cultural stakeholders, private donors, sponsors and academic institutions involved in research and teaching.

Where are we working?

We are committed to becoming a national network. Our 18 volunteer Committee members are currently based in London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, Plymouth and Exeter, working with a wider group of 20 volunteers in our sub-committees, and a Supporter Network of around 400 people across the country.

What is our vision?

Our aim is to break down the silos separating arts and heritage fundraisers and develop a truly public understanding of the charitable case for supporting culture.

What do we do?

Our mission has three principal goals:

1. To raise the profile of fundraising for arts and heritage and extend its influence 

2. To enhance the expertise of cultural sector fundraisers and share that knowledge

3. To engage with other charitable sectors to develop best practice and ethical fundraising

How do we deliver against our goals?

Our six sub-committees – Advocacy, Events, Marketing, National Networking, Professional Development and Research – work to deliver the following:


best practice knowledge through our events and our annual conference, benchmarking, training, mentoring and information


connecting the unconnected, linking up the unlinked and developing partnerships, in order to create a common language fostering co-operation and complementarity


engaging with national and local government, cultural stakeholders, philanthropy organisations and donors to extend the reach of cultural sector fundraising and awareness of the charitable case for supporting culture     

What are our current priorities?

On our first anniversary in April 2016 and looking forward into 2017, we are developing plans around the following priorities: 

  • Benchmarking cultural fundraising results
  • Supporting smaller arts and heritage organisations with few or no fundraising staff
  • Engaging with young and new fundraisers in the cultural sector
  • Responding to cuts in cultural budgets from local authorities
  • Linking with cultural fundraising in education, healthcare and traditional charities
  • Ensuring culture is not adversely affected by public concern over poor fundraising practice


It’s your Network!

If you share these goals, please get involved. To find out more, please email us. 

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