Positive Trends in Arts and Culture Funding—At Least on the Surface - NPQ - Nonprofit Quarterly: On the heels of the Giving USA finding that arts and culture was America’s fastest-growing philanthropic cause in 2012, Americans for the Arts (AFTA) has reported an uptick in business support for the sector. The latest edition of Giving USA cites an estimated 7.8 percent increase in arts and culture funding to $14.44 billion in 2012, compared with 2011. This exceeds the pre-recession peak of $13.7 billion in 2007 (not adjusting for inflation). AFTA’s BCA National Survey of Business Support for the Arts reports an increase of 18 percent in business giving to the cultural sector from 2009 to 2012, after downward trends in 2006 and 2009.
The BCA Report 2013 is based on a survey of 600 businesses, ranging in size from less than $1 million to more than $50 million. While the recent resurgence in arts funding by businesses was led by the largest companies, more than 80 percent of contributions reported came from small and mid-sized businesses.