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Essentials in Arts Fundraising

Develop practical skills to help you fundraise from a variety of sources and build resilience in arts and culture organisations.

2,732 enrolled on this course

Audience attending an art show

Essentials in Arts Fundraising

2,732 enrolled on this course

  • 2 weeks

  • 5 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Learn how to fundraise effectively with arts and culture industry experts

External investment and philanthropy have always been crucial for arts and culture organisations. As the sector recovers from the pandemic, fundraising is more important than ever.

This two-week course, led by experts in arts fundraising, will show you how to fundraise from a variety of sources to build resilience, even in times of crisis.

Write a compelling fundraising application

You’ll learn to identify the criteria and strategies of the organisations that you are approaching. This knowledge will help you understand how to present a strong business case that explains the return on investment of your proposal and a clear budget that quickly shows what you’re trying to achieve.

Explore corporate sponsorship

You’ll be introduced to corporate sponsorship and understand what corporations are looking for when seeking partnerships with arts organisations. You’ll learn the benefits and challenges of working with a corporate partner and how to effectively identify, research, and approach partners that best represent your organisation’s unique values.

Design campaigns that promote individual giving and learn about digital fundraising

You’ll discover different types of individual giving programmes, understand what motivates people to give, and will design strategies to encourage donors to give. You’ll then be introduced to digital fundraising before exploring crowdfunding and how to develop appealing propositions suitable for your audiences.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds SPEAKER: The arts and culture sector faces multiple challenges when it comes to funding. As the sector recovers from additional challenges caused by the pandemic, fundraising for the arts and culture will be more important than ever. This online course has been put together to help you develop key fundraising skills, so that you can research, plan, and launch your own successful fundraising campaign. You’ll learn how to classify different income sources and how to use tools for effective fundraising applications, informed by your organisation’s unique values and activities. You’ll pick up top tips on how to attract and sell arts programs to businesses and how to develop the most appropriate individual giving scheme for your organisation.

Skip to 0 minutes and 49 seconds The course will introduce you to tools for digital fundraising and show you how to evaluate fundraising strategies to manage risks and build resilience in times of crisis. If you want to start raising funds in the arts and culture sector, then join this course today.

What topics will you cover?

  • Introduction to fundraising, what makes effective and sustainable fundraising, and assessing potential income streams.
  • Writing effective fundraising applications.
  • Developing corporate sponsorship programmes: design, implementation, ethics and evaluation.
  • Creating individual giving schemes and exploring the different motivations of donors.
  • Making the most of digital fundraising possibilities.
  • Approaches to fundraising at times of crisis.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Investigate different sources of income and their potential for your organisation.
  • Explore tools and tips for writing effective fundraising applications that reflect your organisation’s values and activities.
  • Identify how to select appropriate corporate prospects, develop compelling proposals, and apply the language skills necessary to attract and sell arts programmes to businesses.
  • Identify individual giving prospects by comparing and contrasting what motivates people to give, the internal and external factors that can influence donor relationships, and different fundraising opportunities that can target individual donors.
  • Evaluate strategies for online fundraising and assess the usefulness of different tools to make the most out of digital fundraising.
  • Evaluate fundraising strategies to manage risks and build resilience in times of crisis and for fundraising in the future.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone working in the arts and culture industry who wants to take their first steps in fundraising.

It will be useful to businesses, artists, leaders, managers, trustees, volunteers and learners who are new to fundraising or require a refresher.

Who will you learn with?

Michelle Wright is CEO of Cause4 and Programme Director of Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy. Michelle specialises in strategy, fundraising and innovation development for the charity sector.

Who developed the course?

University of Leeds

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy

Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy transforms the fundraising knowledge, skills and levels of success of arts, culture and heritage organisations. Funded by Arts Council England, Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy provides programmes in strategy, fundraising, training and innovation.


Cause4 is a social business founded to support charities to achieve more and better. Specialising in support and advice, fundraising, training and programme development, Cause4 partners with charities, philanthropists and corporations that want to make change. Cause4 leads Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy with consortium partners the Arts Marketing Association (AMA) and the University of Leeds (UoL).

Endorsers and supporters

funded by

Arts Council England

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$104/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Tests to boost your learning
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 3 Jul 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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