19/07/2012 - 11:50

WA tracks ahead of nation for arts donations

19/07/2012 - 11:50

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WA's major arts companies hit first place for corporate and philanthropic support in 2011. Source: AMPAG

Western Australia’s major arts companies led the national pack in generating non-government support last year, more than doubling corporate sponsorship, philanthropy and fundraising event income between 2010 and 2011.

The annual survey from Australian Major Performing Arts Group, the umbrella group for the country’s major arts companies, found that corporate support in WA grew by 13 per cent between 2010 and 2011 and philanthropic support grew 528 per cent, or $6.2 million.

WA sits at number one for corporate and philanthropic support followed by New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.

Victoria had the second highest increase in philanthropic support in 2011, 30.4 per cent, and Queensland reported a 20 per cent jump in corporate sponsorship; Queensland’s average corporate support across companies was just over $600,000, while WA’s was $1.5 million.

WA’s philanthropic support for the arts rivalled that of Victoria’s in 2011; both states were on par for the highest rate of donations at an average of $1.8 million for each arts company, and WA’s corporate sponsorship was the highest in the nation sitting at an average of $3.25 million, just above New South Wales’ rate of $3 million.

Corporate sponsorship in the west accounted for 21 per cent of the total across the national sector in 2011, while philanthropic support in WA made up 21 per cent of the national total, up from 5 per cent in 2010.

WA’s enormous growth in philanthropy in 2011 (up by an average of $1.5 million for each arts company) was partly due to the significant $3.7 million donation in Fortescue Metals Group shares from company founder Andrew Forrest and his wife Nicola to Black Swan State Theatre Centre, WA Opera, WA Ballet and WA Symphony Orchestra.

The AMPAG survey has been running since 2001 and showed over the 10 years total national income has increased by $35 million; total income across the country’s 28 major performing arts companies increased by $10.8 million (19.9 per cent) to $65.2 million in 2011.

Corporate support accounted for 43 per cent of non-government income nationally in 2011, a marked change from ten years ago when it amounted to 72 per cent of total non-government income; philanthropy accounted for 53 per cent in 2011 and fundraising made up 4 per cent.

Philanthropic support increased by 379.5 per cent over the last 10 years nationally, and this is the first year it has outweighed corporate sponsorship for major arts companies across the country.

In 2002 WA had the second lowest rate of non-government income, an average of $500,000. Ten years later that figure is $3.25 million and the state had the highest levels for 2011.

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