16 March 2015back

Creative Internships Blog Week 23

Alexandra Roberts, National Museum Wales

Over the past couple of weeks I have been thinking a lot about Philanthropy. When considering possible nominations for the Arts & Business Cymru Philanthropy Award, we needed to consider whether our individual supporters would want the attention of winning an award. Initially this seemed quite odd to me, these are people who work hard to support Amgueddfa Cymru, both financially and as ambassadors, why would they not want acknowledgment and thanks for their selfless generosity? This, along with the competitor analysis I have been doing for our ‘Support Us’ page on our website, has really made me question people’s motivation to give. I’ve been reading through our Patrons questionnaire, seeing why our regular supporters say they give and comparing other charities websites to see what it is about other organisations which would entice me to give.

A lot of the time, a charity cannot offer much more than gratitude, and most donors aren’t looking for much in terms of a reward, yet people are inclined to give. The tactics used for charities such as children’s charities are easier to understand. Personally, if someone shows me a picture of a starving child or a sick puppy, I’m not going to walk away, especially not without feeling a sense of guilt. We feel a sense of responsibility to look after those less fortunate, and the majority of the time when I see a charity campaign using these methods, I don’t even read the majority of the information provided before deciding it is a worthy cause.

It is understandably a completely different story when it comes to arts organisations. Our support relies on our ability to validate the work the museum does, and show the effect it has on the community. We also rely on other people’s passions, towards art, archaeology, science, history, and heritage, for them to want to see our projects succeed and our vision met.

This question of why individuals give philanthropically is something I can’t pretend to have the answers to, everyone is different; whether it’s knowing that their grandkids can learn about Welsh History, or wanting to see a specific art work displayed. Each person has their own reason for supporting arts organisations, and it’s proving to be a really interesting task trying to find out.

I’m now at the halfway point in my internship. Looking back at these past 5 months I have definitely learnt a lot and enjoyed my time here so far. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 5 months bring!

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