Arts sponsorship outlook survey 2009

18 May 2009

The global financial crisis will impact on corporate sponsorship of the arts, with 49 per cent of companies stating that they expect to decrease their arts sponsorships over the next 12 months. But the picture is not all bleak. 

While support is expected to decrease over the next 12 months, it is likely to pick up after 18 months, although not returning to its present levels within that timeframe. Currently, 95 per cent of companies say they are satisfied with the business returns they gain from sponsoring the arts.  

These are among the findings of the Arts Sponsorship Outlook Survey 2009 by the Australia Business Arts Foundation (AbaF). AbaF surveyed CEOs of major companies across Australia to find out how the GFC has affected their arts sponsorships, their level of satisfaction with existing arts sponsorships, and the factors that drive their arts relationships.

AbaF asked all its councillor companies to participate and received responses from CEOs of 39 companies, a response rate of 61 per cent.  

Some key findings are:

  • 95 per cent of companies report satisfaction with their arts partnerships.

  • Companies making a larger investment in the arts (over $500,000) are more likely to decrease their arts investment over the next 12 months than companies investing less.

  • Almost one-half of respondents are more likely to pursue in-kind support rather than cash sponsorships.

AbaF CEO Jane Haley says that the findings reveal important challenges for the arts. "Businesses do see the value of arts sponsorships and want to maintain them, in many instances at a lower dollar value. In this climate businesses are looking to the arts to extract more value through creative and imaginative leveraging.

"It's essential that the arts keep talking to business through this downturn. Maintaining relationships now, even if there is less money, will assist the arts to attract support when the situation improves."

Ms Haley said that AbaF will continue to advocate to business the benefits of arts partnerships, will provide new workshops for the arts, and create opportunities for the arts and business to connect.

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