Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Management Honours


Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)


Faculty of Education and Arts

First Supervisor

Christopher Chalon


The purpose of this study is to examine why individuals philanthropically contribute finances to public art galleries in Australia. As· government funding decreases philanthropy is becoming an increasingly attractive option for public art galleries as alternative sources of revenue need to be sought. A thorough understanding of the factors that influence giving is imperative for any organisation that engages in philanthropy as a revenue stream. This study examines these factors using a fundraising campaign conducted by the National Gallety of Victoria as a case in point. The motivations and characteristics of donors who gave to this campaign are examined using the between-method form of triangulation. In particular, a total of 64 donors completed a questionnaire and 6 donors participated in semi-structured interviews. Both these methods were designed around the factors that influence giving outlined by Sargeant (1999). This study found that NGV donors are typical arts attendees, consistent with international literature. They are wealthy, jn the late stages of their life and share a love for the visual arts. All these elements were shared amongst donors; a positive reaction to the way they were approached, a good perception of the NGV, and some kind of past experience with it. Six motivational factors were identified through the use of principal axis factoring; 'Personal Rewards', 'Altruistic Appreciation', 'Social Benefits', 'Benefits', 'Expectations' and 'Gratitude'. Each factor had varying levels of importance, however, overall it was found that benefactors were more strongly motivated by intrinsic motivations than extrinsic rewards. The only notable exception is the extrinsic reward that donors can receive through enjoying the gallery improvements made possible by their donation. This motivation is not dominant in current literature and could be specific to the visual arts, as would often not be relevant to most charities. Numerous tests were conducted to assess 11 hypotheses relating to how various characteristics vary according to the size of the contribution made. Overall it was found that females give more often, but when men do give, they give higher amounts. It was also found that chief wage earners give larger contributions than non chief wage earners, higher income levels result in greater contributions, and the stronger motivation to give, intrinsic or extrinsic, the larger the contribution. Higher levels of past experience with giving and public art galleries also correlated with higher contributions. While findings may not readily be generalised outside its specific context, this study aims to provide some empirical evidence towards this area which may help other art galleries further understand donors, and consequently aid the solicitation of future gifts.

Included in

Art Practice Commons