Tuesday, 10 January 2017




Welcome back to another wintery semester MMSt-ers! To kick-start the semester with another (fun)draising discussion, I am sharing some of my ideas that went into a much more extensive paper this past semester. 

As we know, this is a big year for the Canadian cultural sector with Canada 150 and the Canadian Government's Budget 2016. What we might not consider as often, is that there are innovative ways for cultural institutions to maximize funding, regardless of country-wide celebrations and new leadership. 

Funding is a constant topic of discussion across the Canadian not for profit sector. However, when NFPs and funding sources are not well matched, funding does not go to where it could do its greatest good, and as a result promising programs are cut or never launched. So what is the logical (or innovative?) next step to maximizing well matched funding opportunities? 

Strategic planning in the arts sector should have a multi-sectoral approach to attract public funding. 

PA Day Students at the AGO. Source.

Methods of traditional fundraising in Canada include telemarketing, major gifts, foundation grants, memberships, direct mail appeals, and more. However, more innovative fundraising efforts should include peer-to-peer fundraising, corporate challenges, micro-donations and incentive partnerships. 

Do we still need to be telemarketing? Source.

The Intersection: Arts and Health

As art and health have always been major players in human interest, a strong case can be made for programming that offers incentive partnerships for both sectors. The good news? Canada already has existing platforms that support the intersection of art and health for the country. 

Arts Health Network Canada (AHNC) is one example of a successful cross-sectoral platform and is the country’s primary arts and health knowledge sharing, networking and capacity building hub. AHNC helps to promote and facilitate the development of arts and health initiatives across the country. 

Arts and Health Awareness Month is another example of a successful and internationally recognized cross-sectoral platform that celebrates and raises awareness about arts’ contributions to health, healing and wellbeing. The month of November provides a platform to expand the ongoing dialogue about how these two seemingly contrary fields overlap. It is a month that encourages Canadians to think critically about how arts can improve health and wellbeing. 

Cultural organizations should engage with this level of critical thinking. Initiatives such as Arts and Health Awareness Month provide knowledge-sharing models that adopted a cross-sectoral approach to strategic planning and fundraising. Not only does cross-sectoral programming attract funding that would not otherwise be available, it also works for the benefit of more Canadians and encourages a more creative and healthy nation for all.

Do you agree? Should cultural institutions be critically engaging with other public sectors as a fundraising initiative? 

What are some other examples of cross-sectoral platforms that encourage funding from multiple public sectors? 

Comment below! 


Arts Health Network Canada. (2015). About. Retrieved from http://artshealthnetwork.ca/about/overview

Cultivating Canada. (2016). November is Arts and Health Month. Retrieved from http://www.cultivatingculture.com/2013/11/05/november-is-arts-health-month/

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