Study: Rethinking Cultural Philanthropy in Montréal

A recent study on philanthropic culture in Montreal, published by the Conseil des arts de Montréal(CAM) and HEC Montréal, recommends that “actively evolving relationships with those close to the organization’s art and mission can produce committed donors and board members.The study, titled Rethinking Cultural Philanthropy in Montreal: Relationship and Communityis by Wendy Reid, professor of management at HEC Montréal, and involved qualitative analysis on over 50 case studies and 100 interviews with arts organizations of varying sizes based in Montreal, including orchestras.  

Cover page of the study

The study provided 4 key recommendations to aid with the evolution of cultural philanthropy in Montreal:   

1- STRATEGY: Long-Term relationships are key!  

Fundraising events, while potentially remunerative, can absorb a lot of time and energy.  Arts organizations should put more focus on retaining and evolving their relationships with those close to the organization’s art and mission, integrating galas and events into relationship development to produce committed donors and board members. Those relationships can continue in the afterlife: don’t forget about planned giving!   

2- CULTURE: Linking philanthropy and artistic craft  

Develop a culture of philanthropy that involves everyone, and Include board members, staff, artists and volunteers in that culture. Link artists’ pride in their craft with donor generosity and integrate employees responsible for revenue in the broader work of the organization. 

3- PEOPLE: Artists, cultural workers and peers  

Ensure that training and professional development opportunities – whether for artists or arts workers – include some focus on philanthropy.  Artists, as potential allies in philanthropic efforts, should be oriented to the role that philanthropy plays. Internships should be an opportunity for professional development in philanthropy for emerging arts workersCareer fundraising professionals can benefit from peer exchange across the milieu.  

4- TOOLS: Data and Databases  

To support better relationships with stakeholders, invest in customer relationship management software in which ticketing and donor-focused data work together, and build a culture of data analysis and digital literacy. 


Read the executive summary 

Read the full study  

Watch a video of the launch of the study, followed by a panel discussion in which Annie BoisclairDirector of Fundraising at OSM, participated. (In French only) 

Read the press release