Assessing the changing environment for arts philanthropy

Posted on: October 9, 2013

In Monday’s (10/7) Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin writes, “If previous generations innately understood the importance of orchestras and museums and gave to them from a sense of noblesse oblige, their children and grandchildren, coming of age in an era of corporate hegemony, have other priorities. ‘I think the challenge is not the prospects or who has the capacity, it’s what they choose to support and with what intention,’ says Robert Capanna, former executive director of the Settlement Music School [in Philadelphia] and now a director at Prudent Management Associates. Newer donors, he says, ‘don’t want so much to support an institution as much as an idea or a cause.’ … There are, simply, more ways to give than ever before. Whether democratization leads to an actual increase in philanthropy remains to be seen…. Crowdfunding models, like Kickstarter and USA Projects (created by United States Artists), hold enormous potential for arts groups…. The singularly startling evolution in philanthropy has been in the growth of donor-advised funds. With the muscle of mutual fund giants like the Vanguard Group and Fidelity, individuals can set aside as little as $5,000 in an account and receive an immediate tax credit, while directing the gifts to charities later.”  

Posted October 9, 2013