FTI Director of Skills & Engagement, Annie Murtagh-Monks, represented FTI in Sydney this week at a meeting of the Casting Guild of Australia then at the 'Culture Business - The Art of Fundraising' Conference. 
Annie was privy to insights about changes in the landscape of fundraising, primarily about a shift away from a world in which some produce and many consume media, towards one in which everyone has a more active and participatory stake in the culture that is produced.The conference explored many topics including 'Clicktivism”, the use of online media or other methods to support a cause. 
Speakers and attendees from around the world shared their insights including ex PIAF CEO Jonathan Holloway, who provided a case study of how he turned hundreds of 'no's' into yes's to raise $5.4 million to bring The Giants to Perth last year. 
Panels of leading Australian corporate sponsors shared what they now look for when partnering with an arts organisation (cheque book sponsorship is out, partnerships are in) and how they seek authenticity, where strategic directions and values are aligned, so that ongoing relationships can be created. The panel suggested that valuing donor’s iconic status and engaging donors is vital, rather than merely valuing the economic contributions. They also pointed out that community engagement is important to many companies. 
The most eye opening session was a panel discussion with four leading Australian female Philanthropists who spoke about their foundations. (see photo) Chaired by Sam Meers, Co-founder & trustee, Nelson Meers Foundation; with Marilyn Darling, Chair, Darling Foundation; Jojo Ferris, Documentary Australia Foundation and Catriona Mordant. They dispelled the myth that philanthropists have accidentally ended up with lots of money that they don't know what to do with. These women have donated a huge amount of time and energy to helping organisations. They are all actively involved in boards and fundraising for arts organisations and are passionate about the causes they support. 
Annie said “I can’t wait to use the insights I’m gaining to benefit FTI's Philanthropy Program to help our WA screen sector.” 

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