Some months ago I received some very good news indeed; Cheltenham Festivals had been selected by the Arts Council to participate in a new match-funding grant programme as part of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport’s scheme to boost philanthropic giving in the UK. The importance of Cheltenham Festivals as a leading arts charity was recognised through our receipt of the maximum grant under this, their Catalyst scheme.
It’s a well-publicised fact that philanthropic giving is the funding bedrock of arts and performance in the US. It is very much a way of life across the pond and one that works very well. It is also vital to us as just 40% of the funding we need to put on our four festivals each year is generated through ticket sales; the rest has to be found through fundraising and sponsorship.
Our fundraising team do a brilliant job and make all of our donors feel a valued part of the organisation. Support for the Festivals offers the satisfaction of knowing that we are not only stimulating and safeguarding the vitality of something exciting that we love for ourselves, family and friends, but also for others and for the greater good of our local and creative economy.
For me the beauty of this Arts Council grant is that everyone who donates makes a serious contribution to the Festival’s future as all gifts are not only doubled, but Gift Aid eligible too; an impressive 125% increase in your investment to us. For example, a £10 donation attracts another £2.50 for the Festivals with Gift Aid and, another £10 from the Arts Council Catalyst grant making the true value £22.50!
With The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, the finale of the Festival year, now only weeks away, I’d like to extend a very warm thanks to all who have supported us throughout 2013. And if you have still to do so, we would really appreciate your support when you book your Literature tickets, online, by telephone or in person. Or if you would like to discuss giving to the Festivals, Richard Smith, Head of Individual Giving can be reached on 01242 537262 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I sincerely hope that you have enjoyed some unforgettable moments, exciting nights and days of inspiration and new discoveries with Cheltenham Festivals in 2013. There is little to compare with seeing the people of today whether musician, writer or politician, comic or composer, live. And introducing these people to young minds through our education and outreach programme is also at the heart of our work, too. You will also be supporting our work in this aspect with your donation to Cheltenham Festivals.
I look forward to meeting many of you during the Literature Festival. The feedback on the programme has been enormously positive so do book soon, if you have yet to do so, to secure your tickets. Thank you.
Donna Renney, Chief Executive of Cheltenham Festivals