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University of Leeds

Effective Fundraising and Leadership in Arts and Culture

University of Leeds via FutureLearn

This course may be unavailable.


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.

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.

Taught by

Ben Walmsley


4.7 rating, based on 31 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Effective Fundraising and Leadership in Arts and Culture

  • Meirul DinManning
    Wonderful course. Thoroughly recommend it to others. I learnt so much in developing fundraising when applying for funding and also hearing about previous case studies from other leaders also helped.
  • Anonymous
    This was a great course. It was challenging without been life consuming and I can tell it is going to be a marvelous asset.
    I’ll have to put some order in my notes but following the syllabus will be easy.
    I highly recommend this course.
  • Anonymous
    I have found this course very relevant to my role as a business manager and as a trustee for a charity. I have a much better understanding of how fundraising does not exist in a vacuum and how important good leadership, understanding core purpose, being resilient and entrepreneurial are all important factors to diversifying income. The course was engaging, interactive, informative and very enjoyable.
  • Anna Zhironkina
    Quite useful course. There are some new insights as well as a couple of forgotten basics. Working in ACO implies a daily routine and sometimes it results in a tendency to forget our value and mission. Doing this course is a great chance to refresh the understanding of ACO which is, I believe, necessary for every leader. Also listening to many experts sharing their experiences was helpful to get new vectors for improvement and look at the new facets of development. There was only a bit of “watery” info here and there but above all high quality content.
    I would highly recommend it to ACO leader as there are a lot of useful knowledge and structured guidelines. I made a lot of notes! thank you for developers and mentors! Great job!
  • Anonymous
    I am living in France where fundraising in arts and culture is few developed. I am very satisfied.
    The MOOC is very WELL-STRUCTRURED and PROGRESSIVE. I dedicated 1-2 hour a day. I really appreciated the questions at the end of each step to orientate and ENCOURAGE THINKING about my professional project. Now I have a clear vision of what doing now to ENHANCE my organisation. During the MOOC, I defined step-by-step my PRIORITIES for the future to get my objectives. Also the comments shared by participants were very interesting for me to get new ideas, nourishing my own CREATIVITY and thinking. At last it was welcome pause in the daily race, I really enjoyed the moment when I was focused on the MOOC, far from the covid10 context.
  • Anonymous
    This course is predominantly aimed at people who are currently working in the art sector or who are planning to do so, and it is a very good course for that purpose. My understanding was that this will be rather introductory 101 class on Fundraising and Leadership, which it eventually was for me as my knowledge of the topic was very limited. But stay assured that this is a very well-crafted course. I especially appreciated listening to people from within the art world who offered a wide range of interesting points from different perspectives. The knowledge I acquired from this course will be a definite asset in the future as it is applicable in any art sector.
  • I feel this is an informative course for those who have already got an organization. It gave information on how to make funds, it also taught about types of leadership and the different types of business models. It touched on the topic of social enterprise and SWOT analysis.
    As for me, I am taking this course with the hope of getting income or learn how to set up my own business in art and culture. So, perhaps I need to find some more info on the topic in other course.
    Update by me, Adeline G Khaw AiGuat here, today 17April 2020 0900 local time.
  • Anonymous
    I am still and student and interested in working in fundraising after graduation so this was a great way for me to learn some career specific theory as well as the general business theory i learn at uni. The exercises and tests allow you to put your knowledge into practical situations and the course overall is very interesting. I am hoping that the certificate adds an interesting talking point on my CV that other applicants might not have, as it is difficult for me to find work experience/internships in this sector.
  • Anonymous
    I have mixed feelings. while I enjoyed case studies presented and some of the speakers were very interesting, I was put off by pretty aggressive promotion of paid sections. I really hate when course is rated as free and it turns up that it is not exactly the case. Similarly, suggestion of 'check your creativity' website, which was fully immersed in corporate culture was really a major mistake of choice in my opinion.
    The saddest part was the air of acceptance of support for culture just taken away.
  • Anonymous
    I found the course really useful - the content was very interesting and delivered clearly and comprehensively. It was very insightful to be able to hear from peer fundraisers and leaders in other ACOs through the message board. I think it is useful for staff of all levels in an organisation to undertake this course to gain insight into and better understand fundraising and leadership in ACOs.
  • Anonymous
    The course was very informative and useful if you'd like to learn about fundraising for your art organization. It also gave an interesting perspective on the leadership styles, values of the organization and practical assignments, which you can use to evaluate your organization and start using the skills you learned during the class right away!
  • Anonymous
    The course content was very interesting and filled with good examples. It incorporated different learning styles which was very helpful. It explored the ideas broadly and gave a really good introduction and exploration into Fundraising in the arts. It has really expanded my ideas and understanding on the topic!
  • Anonymous
    The course was really interesting and challenging. The ability to follow online based on your time availability is really a great possibility for those who already work. Having the possibility to better know the reality of the UK was extremely useful for a constructive comparison with the Italian reality!

  • Profile image for Keita Sugawara
    Keita Sugawara
    I will set up a company as a designer and creator in the near future.
    Having taken this course now has helped me to think about that strategy.

    And,I have no economic ability to get a good education at university. So I thank you for offering this online course.

    From Japan.
  • Anonymous
    I found this to be a seriously well-designed course with excellent content for Arts Organizations. As we all adjust or adapt to the changes in funding for traditional arts organizations this kind of course is a must to help navigate the challenging and compelling times we live.
  • Anonymous
    I work for a small museum charity, we can hardly afford any training. To get this amount of extremely high quality training has been amazing.

    Informative and wide ranging. Thought provoking. I took far longer on it than 4 hours a week as the comments and material were so absorbing.
  • Anonymous
    This course is fantastic - every word is useful. It is presented in a very clear and interesting way and includes interviews from different professionals as well as practical information about management in Arts and Culture. I loved it and found it very useful and inspiring.
  • Anonymous
    It was a really informative course, and well thought trough. Everything was very clear, explained step by step, and easy to understand. One thing I really like are the explanation videos, that make the learning more fun and captivating.
    The fact that is free is also a plus.
  • Anonymous
    All the content was presented in a consistent and structured manner. Some of the interviews were genuinely eye-opening. I think it is a great course for all the people (senior management, project coordinators, volunteers) active in the cultural sector. Highly recommended!
  • Very useful course - it covered wide areas and borrowed from different pertinent fields, which made for a compact and thought-provoking course.

    It is helping me in many ways - as I look at myself in a managerial role and at the organisation within which I am working.

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