Knowledge Centre Tips from the industry

Before you start

Make sure your Board and Senior Staff (Leadership) are fully behind the fundraising initiative and that they will personally participate as donors and/or solicitors on behalf of the organisation’s fundraising needs.

All Leadership should assess if the right people are in place to ensure your organisation will be able to fundraise. Is the Leadership willing to devote sufficient time to fundraising? If you do not have the right Leadership in place, what are your plans to identify and recruit additional Leadership that will embrace fundraising?

Not all Leadership can give large amounts of money, but they should be willing to support your organisation’s fundraising needs commensurate to their capacity.


Spend time with your Leadership identifying reasons why people should support your arts organisation. Great art is always a good place to start!

Be able to articulate a compelling and concise reason for why funds are needed. Have you identified what your organisation will accomplish with the funds raised?

Funders are usually interested in enhancing your organisation’s offering not just helping it survive. Are you able to communicate what your organisation’s priorities are? For example, does your organisation want to:

  • Provide increased offering (eg. exhibitions, performances, events or education) or the quality of offering?
  • Commission or employ more artists?
  • Improve the facilities or services you offer your stakeholders?
  • Engage more audiences?

Identifying qualified prospects starts with your organisation’s database and the knowledge of people that engage with your organisation’s audience.  If you are aware of audience members that support other arts organisations or people who love what you do that support organisations in your local area, these people are usually a good place to start.

While most arts organisations need to generate funds as soon as possible, the longer your lead-in time is the greater your ability will be to identify, strategise and engage your prospects with your organisation’s fundraising needs.

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