Day of Arts Philanthropy

Report on the day of Arts Philanthropy


Report on

The Day of Arts Philanthropy



Emilie van Heydoorn, Morgane Moco, 

Karel de Leeuw & Adam Rakestraw

January 30th, 2017


Morning Programme: Seminar for (inter)national researchers

  1. Theme 1: (Arts) Philanthropy in Europe: what’s going on? A transnational comparison
  2. Theme 2: Who is giving and why? European donors and their motives for donating to (arts) philanthropy
  3. Theme 3: Instrumentalization of Civic Giving

Afternoon Programme: New Donors for the Arts: Pioneers in European Arts Philanthropy

  1. Theme 1: Arts Philanthropy in Europe: Trends and Developments

Morning Programme

for scholars and researchers from 9:30 to 12:30.


The seminar for (inter)national researchers is introduced by Rosemarie Buikema, professor of Art, Culture and Diversity at the University of Utrecht. Buikema also presented the organizer of the ‘Day of Arts Philanthropy’: the Senior Research Fellow Arts Philanthropy at UU, Renée Steenbergen. Firstly, Buikema underlines the importance of art philanthropy and private donation for the durability of our cultural institutions. The symposium embodies the emergence of a European community of scholars, culture professionals, politicians, fundraising organizations and philanthropy circles.

Theme 1: (Arts) Philanthropy in Europe: what’s going on? A transnational comparison.

Moderator: Michiel de Wilde, director of the Erasmus Centre for Strategic Philanthropy: Short presentations by: René Bekkers, Kai Fischer & Renate Buijze

René Bekkers is professor of Philanthropy at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. He is part of the European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP), creating a quantitative database for all the European countries. Convinced of the societal significance of philanthropy, Bekkers stresses the necessity to promote a ‘culture of giving’ among European citizens, policymakers and politicians, but also to contribute to the professionalization of the philanthropy sector. The ERNOP realizes national benchmarking studies, questioning the cultural differences within the EU. However, these studies require a better quality of quantitative data in every country, in order to give to philanthropy a voice is needed at the European table of policy makers.

Kai Fischer is a fundraiser and researcher at Universität Bremen, in Germany. Fischer analyzes the reasons why the donor-rate in Germany is so low, compared to its neighboring countries. It appears that in the German conception of society, the government is the guarantor and has the responsibility of taking care – of arts and culture, amongst other sectors. However, financing nonprofit organizations is not a priority. If the resources of civil society could be an argument for the citizens’ common interests and collective activities, nevertheless philanthropy is regarded as a project for the elite. Through this case study, it is interesting to see how cultural values affect philanthropic behaviors. It appears that an important effort has to be made to bring philanthropy awareness in the collective mind.

Renate Buijze is a researcher in fiscal economy at Erasmus University and she focuses on transnational giving. Most of domestic donations for charitable causes or the arts are supported by tax incentives. However, when philanthropy crosses borders the tax benefits do not always apply; a phenomenon that obstructs international fundraising. Buijze studies the legal and financial possibilities in order to facilitate cross-border giving in Europe. If we consider the German case, it is interesting to think that the low domestic donor-rate could be balanced by a more international call for philanthropy. It opens new perspectives for creating an international philanthropic network.

Comments made during panel discussion:

The discussion has been related to the previous presentations and several points have been raised: (1) a real issue is present in Europe when it comes to the culture of giving, if compared to the USA. This is caused by the fact that it is the government, which takes care of the arts and culture in Europe. A mindset change must be undertaken and supported by the European Union. (2) It seems that the low donor-rate in Germany might be compensated by a stronger local involvement. (3) Progress has been made in the legislation for tax benefits inside the European Union. (4) The progress of arts philanthropy studies (in Amsterdam for instance) is also a way to bring issues into the public debate and to professionalize the sector.

Theme 2: Who is giving and why? 

European donors and their motives for donating to (arts) philanthropy 

Moderator: Marco van Leeuwen, professor of Historical Sociology at Utrecht University

Short presentations by: Pamala Wiepking, Cathy Pharoah, Renée Steenbergen & Paul Smeets.

Pamala Wiepking, is an assistant professor at the Department of Business-Society Management, Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and affiliated with Erasmus Centre for Strategic Philanthropy (ECSP). Wiepking studies philanthropy and non-profit organizations from a cross-national and interdisciplinary perspective. Wiepking is a member of the editorial board for the International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, and board member and founding member of the European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP). During her short presentation she focussed on the factors facilitating philanthropic donations.

Why do people give? 

  • Individual factors: values, personal motivations, etc.
  • Contextual factors: differences between countries

Wiepking argues that the next step should be to facilitate an increase understanding of the practice of philanthropy. Developing the field with all its expertise as a sector that stands on its own. Wiepking points out limitations of the field and where the focus should be on. She elaborates on the culture of philanthropy.

A culture of philanthropy 

  • Afraid that private would fund public goods and services (like education). Scared on the power that philanthropy involves
  • Philanthropy is discussed openly (share positive experience)
  • Type of fundraising according to the country matters a lot e.g. USA is successful because they have an individual scale and approach relationships differently.

Cathy Pharoah is co-director at the Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy at CASS Business School, City University in London. This network of researchers contributes to a broader understanding of giving and philanthropy through research and dissemination of knowledge and expertise. Pharoah specializes in philanthropic giving and is an expert in funding for the voluntary and charity sector. During her presentation she focussed on giving behaviour of young professionals.

She presented results of her research on giving by young employees in the City, which include findings of the first London-wide research on employee involvement and attitudes around giving and volunteering. In collaboration with Dr. Catherine Walker, the report “More to Give: London Millennials Working Towards A Better World” was published in 2015 and commissioned by City Philanthropy. This report reveals a strong motivation amongst younger city employees to support the work of charities and community groups through giving and volunteering.

Pharoah elaborates on the context in which giving takes place.

  • Economic recession context
  • Benefits of mass consummation, new media

Pharoah concludes by saying that “they don’t want to donate passively. They are looking for social change,” which shows a change in attitude when it comes to giving, and the importance of focussing on sustainable relationships in the philanthropic sector.

Comments and concluding remarks

  • One-third of under-35s aspired to give more than they currently do.
  • Half of under-35s agreed today’s employees are looking to work in companies which aim for social and environmental value
  • There is significant opportunity to engage more young employees in philanthropic activities, particularly work-based.
  • The relevance of bringing young professionals with mutual interests in philanthropy together, to share philanthropic experience while getting social benefits.

Renée Steenbergen, Senior research fellow Arts Philanthropy at Utrecht University, presented on motivations and giving behaviours of younger European donors and founders for the arts. As Steenbergen states philanthropy is a relatively new development for European art institutions since the cut downs on arts budgets. There is a process of individualization of giving that is specific to the Netherlands. Donors tend to build their own foundations or work with designated trusts. This happens at the costs of art institution memberships. Young people engage through different channels for example social media networks and on a temporary or no-strings-attached basis.

Main comments made in Steenbergen’s presentation are the following;

  • Younger donors show new ways of involvement with philanthropic sector
  • Endowed and designated foundations flourish while crowdfunding and friendraising gain popularity.
  • Key question is; do donor for the arts willing to compensate for governmental funding gaps or prefer to work on own agenda?
  • Pioneering appeals to (art)philantrepreneurs   and provides a match with the art world

Paul Smeets, experimental economist at Maastricht University, presented on giving behaviour of wealthy people. Smeets stated that wealthy citizens play a relevant role in charitable giving. Smeets presents results that show that millionaires give more than any other group studied. In his research Smeets let millionaires participate in what is called, the dictator game or ultimatum game where they were asked to interact with another millionaire or a low-income individual. The millionaire decides whether to divide a particular amount of money between herself and the recipient who has no power. In this game the recipient is required to approve the millionaire’s proposal otherwise both players are paid zero. The findings have important implications for charities and financial institutions that deal with wealthy individuals Results are interpreted as follows;

Main conclusion of Smeets presentation is that millionaires give more to a low-income participant in the dictator game than in the more strategic ultimatum game. 28% of the donations by rich people are given away for charity causes or the arts. Resulting in millionaires giving 70% more than the others.

Theme 3: Instrumentalization of Civic Giving

Moderator: Lennart Booij, art historian and moderator of the afternoon symposium.

Short presentations by: Arjo Klamer, Ida Lunde Jørgensen, Tine Faseur & Maikel Waardenburg

The third theme discussed during the symposium relates to instrumentalization of civic giving in donor behavior. Four researchers presented under the theme; Arjo Klamer, Ida Jorgensen, Tine Faseur, and Maikel Waardenburg. The follow text will aim to give a brief overview of each researcher, namely by examining important statements by the speakers, important statements from the discussions, and brief summaries within the theme and conclusions of the research being presented.

Arjo Klamer takes an economical approach in auguring for the examination of the “value based” approach within cultural economies. Specifically he examines culture as a means of investment and argues for public subsides to factor into justification for said invest. His line of questions reflects such thought, what justifies the spending of tax money on what we are doing here (symposium)? What is our impact? What is our return on investment? Specifically he focuses on understanding donor values as social commodities when they want to contribute to a particular community. They are societal when they aim at a political impact, when they make art to contribute to social justice, political freedom, human rights, or national identity. Their values are artistic when they care most about an artistic practice, want to make art for art’s sake, or sustain cultural heritage or a cultural tradition. His research focuses on a quantities approach about giving. His conclusion is arguing for personal art not as a product, nor should Art be viewed as public good for public subsidies, but rather viewing art investment as a an ultimate goal of a common shared good for a means in keeping the arts alive. He is better quoted in, “For the sake of our future I have a proposal for you to address the rather depressing situation in which we find ourselves.” It is a proposal to bring back agency in our work, to recognize the moral in our science, and to inspire people working in the arts. Who knows, the proposal may inspire young economists and all those others who are interested in another economy and for that reason seek another economics”

Ida Jorgensen is a Danish researcher who focuses on both public and private funding in the Danish context. Specifically in two research projects Cultural Policy and Finance for the Art her dissertation work where she investigated the institutions and legitimations of two central funders of the arts in Denmark; The Danish Arts Foundation and the New Carlsberg Foundation from ca. 1965 to 2015. As well, the second project The Impact of Large Companies on Danish Society. The project investigates how the Danish economy and societal development is connected to the development and growth of Denmark’s largest companies. She addresses the need for Instrumentalization of art support in Denmark, by quoting, “We cannot know really why they donate but we can study why they say they do it.”  The ‘raison d’être’ invoked in her presentation supports the arts in these ways:

Carrying instrumentatlization of art support

  • Inspired – artistic value
  • Knowledge – aesthetic intelligence
  • Civic/ industrial – arts develop our society
  • Emotional – get closer to humanity
  • Renown – reputation of a city / a country
  • Civic – people should enjoy the arts
  • Emotional / civic: Common cultural heritage

She concludes by stating that opposition to market forces until 2014 increase of the market logic since, as well will potentially create innovation.

Tine Faseur is Assistant Professor at KU Leuven, and focuses on instumentalization of civic participation. Her main research interests mainly focus on social marketing, nonprofit marketing and sustainable consumer behavior. The main question that drives her research is: “How can we motivate people to act in a pro-social way (donating, buying sustainable products, consuming sustainably, helping others, etc.), without forcing them?” Her work specifically is in conjunction with the Belgian association of ethics in fundraising Question to Belgium donors on ethics in fundraising. She defines perceptions about the ethical acceptability of fundraising activities are driven by criteria:

  • Freedom of choice of the donors
  • Dignity,
  • Authenticity,
  • Long term relationship,
  • Sense of purpose,
  • Equilibrium / control.

With her ultimate line questioning is; should a code of ethics exist?

Maikel Waardenburg, the last presenter in this segment, included central themes in his research which are; governance of civil society organizations, institutional change, public-private partnership, professionalism, sport policy development and interpretive research. In his qualitative research he reflects on themes like social cohesion, social capital, in- and exclusion, and professionalization of sports organizations. Waardenburg defines the concept of instrumentalization as follows:

  • Type: economic, societal,
  • Form: instrumentalization of art organization / of the arts
  • (Un)intentional strategy
  • Intensity

Furthermore, Waardenbug engages with municipalities and sport organizations to judge the correlation of form of reciprocity between the two actors. He argued that this form works in both ways through mutual obligations and responsibilities. With creating policy and organizational change he argues that attitude matters and that the “values of the organization between the public and the private” should be examined.

Afternoon Programme

Public Symposium for arts organizations, donors for the arts and researchers

from 13:00 to 18:00 at the Academy building of Utrecht University


Theme 1: Arts Philanthropy in Europe: Trends and Developments

Moderator: dr. Lennart Booij (art historian, curator) introduced and interviewed the director of the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, a partner of the Day of Arts Philanthropy, and the senior research fellow Renée Steenbergen.

Renée Steenbergen, Research Fellow at UU, explains that within existing research arts philanthropy is mainly defined as:

  • Citizens donating money and/or objects
  • Individually and collectively
  • Founders of endowed and designated foundations
  • Main beneficiaries arts organizations
  • Visual and performing arts institutions
  • Voluntary work not included

The field of arts philanthropy is a field that holds many unknowns right now. Fortunately we do have some figures to give us a sense of what the current atmosphere is. According to the Charities Aid Foundation’s World Giving Index (2016) people in the UK are most likely to give. Somewhere between 67% and 69% of the Britons give. The Netherlands comes in second with 66%. Respectively around 18% and 13% give to the arts. The UK is again the top scorer in Europe in this category. To give some perspective, in France this is around 6%. We also know that the average gift to the arts in the Netherlands is around €40,-.

Thanks to Geven in Nederland, a research by VU University Amsterdam, we know a little bit more about the Dutch situation. The following figures are figures compiled in 2013.

  • The total amount donated to culture was €281 million (this includes gifts by foundations, corporations, the lottery and private individuals).
  • Around €60 million is said to be donated by households (or around 25%). The lottery donates about the same.
  • Donations towards the arts have fallen with 12% between 2011 and 2013.

To get to know more about donor behavior Steenbergen has done preliminary research on young donors (max. 40 years old) from Club Foam, the giving circle of Foam museum in Amsterdam. A membership for Club Foam costs €450 per year of which €300 is used as a donation. In her research 20 of the 35 members responded to her questionnaire. She found the following statistics:

  • 90% of the respondents have an academic or higher education.
  • 70% of them state that their main reason for joining Club Foam is learning more about photography
  • 48% would like to see more information about the impact of their financial donation. People like to be involved in that way.
  • 26% also contributes to other arts organizations.
  • 21% also gives to other charities.

Steenbergen has also looked into endowed individual or family foundations. She had in depth interviews with 12 founders and 2 next generation family members of founders. This is the profile she found:

  • Mainly entrepreneurs
  • Strong personal involvement
  • Proactive: not waiting passively for applicants
  • Social impact investment
  • Close involvement with beneficiary/partners
  • Multi annual partners
  • International focus and area of activity

Furthermore she stressed that a lot of cultural institutions are fishing in the same pond. When they finally find a suitable donor they often ask that donor too often to donate, hence here quote “Het Mecenaat is geen pinautomaat,” [The patrons are no ATM]. In other words, money is not provided by donors on demand. A lot of institutions do this because they lack a good long-term strategy.

Mrs. Ina Giscard d’Estaing, Direction des Relations Exterieures at the Louvre Museum in Paris. She is the director of the International Patrons Circle and Great Donors at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. D’ Estaing has worked as chairperson for the international patrons circle of the Concert hall of Amsterdam. The French patrons are now integrated in the international patrons circle of the orchestra of the Royal Concert hall of Amsterdam. During her talk she stated the following information relating the developments at Louvre Museum:

  • In 2015 the first contributing geographical areas were France (61%) and Japan (28%), followed by the United States of America and Europe.
  • The Louvre’s annual budget amounts to €200 million. 50% of that comes from the state, the other 50% comes from the museum’s own revenue.
  • 61% of the own income is generated by ticket sales. About €20 million of the own income comes about through patronage and sponsorship. Other sources of income are: museum space rental, concessions and branding.

Pamala Wiepking is an assistant professor at the Department of Business-Society Management, Rotterdam School of Management at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and affiliated with Erasmus Centre for Strategic Philanthropy (ECSP). Her research focused on reasons why people give. She has found eight major reasons and has explained three of them in-depth.

Why do people give?



The idea is that people give to strengthen their social reputation. Giving is socially rewarded, and people care about the opinion of others. The stronger the connection of the asker is, the more likely the giver is of giving. It also helps to ask when others are around, but the group must not be too large. That way more people can actively observe what is going on.

Psychological rewards

The idea is that people give to feel good about themselves and to reinforce their positive self-image. Economists call this phenomenon the ‘warm glow’ or ‘joy of giving’ effect. This effect can actually be measured neurophysiological.


The idea is giving is more attractive to people with more pro-social values (e.g., empathetic concern, social responsibility or altruistic values). People want to change the world in line with their values and can use the charitable giving as an instrument to do so.

Cathy Pharaoh, Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy/City University London, shared information on family foundations. When comparing family foundation giving in the UK, Cathy Pharaoh has found that there has been an increase in the total amount that is given. In 2005/2006 family foundations gave about £1.15 billion. In 2014/2015 this amount rose to £1.70 billion. They mainly supported sports and culture. What is striking is the fact that in a 2012 survey they found that arts & culture receive about 18% of all grants, right behind education (20.3%) and welfare (19.7%).

When looking at US family foundations she found that:

  • 2/3 of the foundations primarily focus on geography.
  • 1/5 of the younger foundation have opted for a limited life-span, compared to just 3% of the older foundations.
  • 70% of the foundations are created after 1990.
  • 66% have younger generations on board.
  • 2/3 of the foundations still have the founding donors actively involved.

In a research on donations in the UK in 2015 she found that most of the individual donations are in the £100-£499 range. For trusts and foundations the most donations are below £5000. Of all donations to the arts & culture, by far the most money goes towards heritage. Her research also shows that younger people want to know more about the impact of their donation, the older demographic seems to care less about that.



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