THE first round of grants has been administered under the state government’s Philanthropy Incentive Program, which aims to link philanthropic donors with arts organisations, using the Department of Culture and the Arts as a conduit.
More than $176,000 was gifted to not-for-profit arts organisations in the name of four private family foundations under the program, which encourages new philanthropic foundations to consider the arts as a worthy beneficiary.
The Rowley Foundation, the Galvin Family Foundation, Tate Family Foundation and the Mostyn Family Foundation were the four private funds involved in the program, with contributions made to Artsource, Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre, WA Opera, WA Symphony Orchestra, WA Youth Ballet, Barking Gecko Theatre Company, Theatre Kimberley and Sculpture by the Sea.
Private foundations are not permitted to donate money in the first year of establishment, but through the program the state government will give grants of up to 7.5 per cent of the fund’s total capital (capped at $50,000) in the name of the foundation.
Artsupport Australia state manager James Boyd said the program aimed to encourage new foundations to include arts organisations in their giving programs and long-term partnerships between philanthropic funds and arts organisations.
“In Western Australia, support for the arts is 80 per cent corporate support and 20 per cent philanthropic and in the eastern states it is more like a 50-50 balance, we need to be quite proactive in regards to trying to encourage more philanthropic support to go to the arts. We are a long way behind the eastern states,” he said.
“The Philanthropy Incentive Program (PIP) is just proving to be a terrific way for new foundations to experience philanthropy through the arts, whether it is arts for arts sake causes or the arts as a vehicle to support social change or address community disadvantage or issues.”
Rowley Foundation trustee Lorraine Warner said the foundation was set up as a result of Graeme Rowley having the means to set up a private fund thanks to his involvement with Fortescue Metals Group as a non-executive director.
She added that Mr Rowley’s involvement with Artsource as chairman, and her career as an art teacher, had helped to develop their appreciation for the important role the arts played.
“We have always had an interest in the arts,” Ms Warner said.
Through PIP, $25,000 was gifted to Fremantle-based Artsource and $25,000 to the Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre in the name of The Rowley Foundation.
Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre marketing and sponsorship manager, Nicole Clarke, said the support came at an opportune time, as the organisation had just received support from east coast-based Ian Potter Foundation in the form of a ‘challenge grant’, made on the basis that the grant should be matched again by WA funds in a limited time frame.
“The timing couldn’t have been better,” she said.
Ms Warner and Ms Clarke said the PIP was helping to make clean matches between organisations and philanthropic funds in their values.
“When you establish the foundation you have to outline a mission statement. We made a broad paragraph that took in health, education, the arts and children and made it WA based,” Ms Warner said.
“We might change in the future, but we will always have a focus on helping people through the arts.”
Galvin Family Foundation trustee Anita Pickworth said Artsupport and the PIP was helping to create a better understanding and knowledge of the scope of arts organisations in WA.
“It certainly opens your eyes to what you didn’t necessarily know before. There is a wealth of organisations, and it takes a long time to sift through them,” she said.
Support was given to WASO, WA Opera, Barking Gecko Theatre Company and WA Youth Ballet in the name of The Galvin Family Foundation, and WA Youth Ballet grants coordinator Fiona Palmer said the program was a good match for the organisation and fund.
“I can see it is going to be a great relationship, and I can see there has been a lot done behind the scenes to match us up with them,” she said.
Mr Boyd said it would take time for the long-term benefits of the program to become evident, but when they did he hoped the program would be given support by future state governments.