Online course in Business & Management

Effective Fundraising and Leadership in Arts and Culture

Improve your chances of raising funds for arts and culture by developing your leadership and entrepreneurial skills.

  • Duration 2 weeks
  • Weekly study 4 hours
  • Learn Free
  • Extra benefits From $94 Find out more
  • Accreditation Available More info

Learn how to help arts and cultural organisations thrive

As the global funding landscape is changing rapidly, arts and cultural organisations are becoming increasingly concerned about what actions to take.

On this course, you will learn about the importance of developing organisational resilience through effective leadership and management, and how to diversify income streams by becoming more entrepreneurial. You will explore different leadership styles, change management and entrepreneurship, so you’ll be in a better position to lead your organisation’s fundraising strategy and offer better value to your audiences.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsTo be successful in fundraising, I think organisations need to adapt to a changing landscape. Traditional sources of funding are declining. Everyone agrees about that. And organisations, therefore, need to diversify their income sources. In order to survive and indeed thrive in this new funding climate, organisations will have to take risks, be innovative, and learn from others' experiences. The course exists to help organisations to develop their leadership styles, to explore new business models, to think about how to diversify their income streams, and to be inspired by examples of effective leadership and business models elsewhere. So entrepreneurship is important in the arts because most arts organisations aren't just charities, and they're certainly not just businesses.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 secondsThey need to increasingly think in different ways, and do things differently from other organisations and from commercial entities. So what we encourage in this course is for learners to be inspired by entrepreneurial thinking, to take risks, to develop innovative business models that futureproof their organisations. We're going to develop leadership skills in how to create and share a vision for an effective organisation. We're also going to look at how leaders can empower everybody within the organisation. For example, by adapting their leadership style so that everyone across an organisation can take an effective role in developing fundraising activity. I think learners might be surprised and inspired by how to deal with change, how vision and mission is related to organisational values.

Skip to 1 minute and 46 secondsThis course is designed for a whole range of learners. You may be a leader working in a national organisation. You may be a fundraiser working in a small organisation. You may be a board member trying to get more actively involved in supporting fundraising activity. All of you will find something useful in this course. This course was funded by Arts Council England, as part of a consortium, managed by Cause 4, the University of Leeds, and Arts Marketing Association. The course is going to be open to learners from around the globe. And of course, there will be lots of examples given from lecturers, from practitioners, from case studies.

Skip to 2 minutes and 23 secondsWhat we're really hoping is that learners will share their examples from diverse organisations and contexts all around the world. Sign up now for Effective Fundraising and Leadership in Arts and Culture.

What topics will you cover?

  • Introduction and overview: why are we talking about arts fundraising and organisational development? Global perspectives.
  • A values-based approach to vision and mission development and the implications of this for authentic arts fundraising.
  • The role of leaders and leadership in managing changing cultures of fundraising and organisational development.
  • Theories and practical applications of change management in the arts and cultural sector.
  • An evolving ecology: Cultural entrepreneurship and new venture creation.
  • Developing and debating ‘resilience’ by critically exploring emerging business models and structures in the arts and cultural sector.

Who is this accredited by?

The CPD Certification Service: This course has been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development principles.

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

  • Available now
    This course started 30 Sep 2019

What will you achieve?

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

  • Explore how to develop an enterprising and effective arts and cultural organisation.
  • Evaluate the opportunities and challenges of raising funds in the arts and cultural sector by exploring examples and strategies from arts management and cultural policy.
  • Critically investigate key ideas and models of arts fundraising, cultural leadership, organisational development and change management.
  • Reflect on ways to develop enterprising and effective arts and cultural organisations.
  • Identify and debate the challenges unique to leading contemporary arts and cultural organisations.

Who is the course for?

This course is for chief executives, senior managers and board members involved with fundraising in the non-profit arts and culture sector, whether in the UK or internationally. It also aimed at those aspiring to take on a leadership role in the future.

You may be working in a museum, a gallery, theatre or a community arts centre trying to reach wider audiences and build stronger partnerships. If you are working in the arts and cultural sector and trying to create a sustainable organisation this course will help you achieve it.

This course might also be of interest to postgraduate students of visual and performing arts, and of arts management, business and management, museum and gallery studies and cultural policy.

Who will you learn with?

Ben Walmsley

Ben Walmsley

Associate Professor in Audience Engagement in the School of Performance & Cultural Industries, University of Leeds (UK). Further information at

Emilee Simmons

Emilee Simmons

I'm a Teaching Fellow for the Leeds Enterprise Centre at the University of Leeds. My focus is on Social Enterprise and "Intrapreneurship". I also have a background in the Performing & Visual Arts.

Leila Jancovich

Leila Jancovich

Leila worked in the arts and festivals sector as a producer, researcher and policy maker before entering academia where her research focus is on cultural policy, participation and leadership

Claire Antrobus

Claire Antrobus

Dr Claire Antrobus is Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Leeds and an independent arts consultant and coach with a background in managing galleries and museums

Lisa Baxter

Lisa Baxter

I'm the Founder of The Experience Business, an audience champion, a creative facilitator and a friendly provocateur on all things Audiences, Experience and Purpose.

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Who developed the course?

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.

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Available until 31 October 2019. T&Cs apply.