The first steps in rolling out the Cultural Sector Network across England


17 April 2018

Martin Kaufman, Chair of the IoF Cultural Sector Network, gives an update on Network and the upcoming Arts Council England funded programme

It’s already been a month since over 250 arts, culture and heritage fundraisers joined us at the Barbican Centre in London for our 2018 National Conference 2018. Thank you to all those who came and supported the event and to all who submitted such incredibly useful feedback afterwards. We owe a great deal to our Professional Development Sub-committee and volunteers, and in particular to Samir Savant who chaired his third and final CSN National Conference. Many thanks, Samir,  I am so glad you are staying on the CSN Committee and handing the baton over to Kane Moore as the new Conference Chair.

We received many responses to the needs analysis survey we ran earlier in the year and to our request for sharing the job spec for Programme Officer for our Arts Council England-funded programme. Your feedback has been invaluable in helping shape the direction of the project and ensuring we have the right team in place to accomplish our objectives over the next four years.

So what are we looking to achieve through the National Roll out of the IoF Cultural Sector Network, funded by Arts Council England?

Firstly, we want to raise the profile of fundraising for arts, culture and heritage throughout England, flying the flag for its charitable case for support.

Secondly, we want to link the unlinked, to broaden the ethnic and wider diversity of cultural fundraising and fundraisers, to get through to the more isolated and less supported organisations, and to give practical support to young cultural fundraisers.

Thirdly, we are looking to enhance the expertise of individual cultural sector fundraisers through peer learning, providing access to conferences, looking to share knowledge and celebrate excellence. We want to share the knowledge of what is so wonderful about what we do in the cultural sector, but also to learn from other charities and education to do our job even better.

To do all these things, we will be working in partnership – step by step over the four years - with all nine IoF regional groups across England, with Black Fundraisers UK and Sole Fundraisers IoF special interest groups, and with Young Arts Fundraisers, the network for emerging fundraisers within the arts and cultural sector. We will also be working in partnership with other key sector bodies and organisations, including Cause 4 (also a National Portfolio Sector Support organisation) and their Arts, Fundraising & Philanthropy programme.

We have received enormous support from IoF Head Office in the production of the successful Arts Council England bid, and we are truly delighted that the Institute has embedded support for the arts and cultural sector at the heart of its strategic plan for the very first time. This year, for the first time, the opening plenary speaker at the Fundraising Convention in July will be an arts speaker – Will Gompertz – so the times are definitely a’changin'! Our upcoming programme, plus wider support from the Institute, will help build greater levels of fundraising excellence in the sector, helping secure its legacy for everyone. Working with the Institute’s leadership, under its CEO Peter Lewis, we have set out to embed arts, heritage and cultural fundraising into the life of the UK’s number one professional body for fundraisers.

More details of the programme including what, how and where you can get involved, will be published soon, but if you have any questions or would like to hear more in the interim, please don’t hesitate to contact us on

Thank you again for all the support you’ve shown us over the last three years. I have no doubt that we can look forward to an exciting future based on the energy we all exhibit inside our organisations as staff, volunteers and trustees, and based on our creative ideas and commitment to showing how cultural activities really do change people’s lives.

Martin Kaufman, Chair – IoF Cultural Sector Network