The consortium, led by Sound and Music with the London Sinfonietta, Café Oto, and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, will see each organisation run trials involving crowdfunding, mobile giving, online giving and cultivating mid-level donors.
The project starts immediately and will last for two years: consortium members will directly fundraise for new commissions using a variety of techniques and record their findings; the process, they hope, will create a lasting legacy of evidence and case studies for the sector.
‘Part of the thinking behind the consortium is that between Sound and Music, London Sinfonietta, Café Oto and HCMF we have a very broad range of organisations,’ said Nick Sherrard, head of development at Sound and Music. ‘As a result the toolkits we produce from the project should offer really practical learning for organisations of all sizes.’
The participating organisations will examine donor motivations and how to create effective packages for givers. The project will also highlight the technical infrastructure and staff skills needed ‘to fully realise the potential for audiences to become donors’.
The award of £139,500 has been made as part of ACE’s Catalyst scheme.
Andrew Burke, London Sinfonietta’s chief executive, said: ‘The London Sinfonietta is proud to be part of this project. We work to be pioneering in the way we make new music, and this project offers us the chance to explore new ways of raising money to support it. It’s very important to us that what we discover to be successful will be useful learning for the whole sector.’
Graham McKenzie, artistic director of HCMF, said: ‘This award will enable HCMF and the consortium partners to explore in depth the potential for philanthropic support for new music. HCMF contributes over £1.2m per year to the local economy, and we have a strong record of supporting new and emerging composers and providing gateways to new international markets for composers through our networks. By generating increased support through individual giving we can, in turn, give more back ‒ to the local area, to composers and artists.’
Hamish Dunbar, founder, of Café Oto, said: ‘Being part of this consortium will enable us to find new ways to support musicians and bring music to new audiences. Through working with our consortium partners we hope to continue to sustain, develop and expand the community that has built up around the venue.’
Susanna Eastburn, Sound and Music’s chief executive, said: ‘Commissioning new work is an essential part of the continuing health and vitality of music in Britain. It is also a great opportunity for people to be directly involved in bringing new work to life.
‘We think there is the potential to unlock more individual philanthropic support for commissioning, and now, with the support of the Catalyst grant, the consortium partners can work together to make this a reality for themselves and, ultimately, for others in the sector.’