Artsupport Australia is a unit of the Australia Council. Its role is to assist in the development of philanthropy within arts organisations.
They have an office or representation in every state, and work mainly with key arts organisations who receive funding from the Australia Council, but will also provide advice and support to individual artists and non Ozco funded arts organisations on request.
One of the best things that Artsupport offers is access to prescribed ancillary funds, as they have developed a good list of these which have an interest in supporting the arts. In order to qualify for money from PAFs you need a) to be an organisation and b) to have both DGR and TCC status. Note that Artsupport won’t just hand over contact details for these funds – that is why they used to be called private ancillary funds, but if you can make your case for support to Artsupport and they consider that one of the PAFs they are aware of may be interested, they can act as an introduction service for your arts organisation.
Artsupport also has some good and clear tax advice for artists and arts organisations in their Arts Guide to Philanthropic Gifts and Tax: The Dry Stuff which clearly articulates the difference between gifts and sponsorships and how to calculate which part of an event/fundraiser entry is tax deductible. I use the guide quite often – and it is also applicable to non-arts tax queries in relation to fundraising.
Their website has some great case studies of both organisations and individuals who have used their services to increase their development dollar, (some in conjunction with AbaF’s Australia Cultural Fund). I’d encourage you to explore their web presence, especially their resources and links, and if you haven’t yet – get in touch with their representative in your state as they generally have the skinny on what’s going down in arts funding and arts philanthropy and opportunities.
The staff are very well networked across the arts and the philanthropy all around the country – most of them have a strong personal background in the arts: Anna Draffin in Melbourne has worked at Heide and the St Kilda Festival, Fiona Maxwell is new in the Brisbane office direct from managing the Next Wave Festival and Gillian Harrison does great work with indigenous arts organisations in the Northern Territory.
I can’t omit the Director of Artsupport Australia, Louise Walsh, who has worked unceasingly to promote the arts to the philanthropy sector, and develop relationships with trusts, foundations and smaller funds, keeping the arts on their radar, and stressing the importance of their support.
So have a look – get in touch – they may be able to help you.
I’d love to hear your feedback on how your interactions with them are, or have been in the past.