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Artsupport Australia was launched in 2003 by the former Prime Minister, John Howard AC, for the sole purpose of growing cultural philanthropy in Australia. It began as a three-year joint pilot between the Australia Council for the Arts and the Australia Business Arts Foundation (AbaF).
In 2006, Artsupport Australia began operating solely under the auspices of the Australia Council and has grown from two staff members in the Sydney headquarters to include managers located within the state/territory arts ministries of Darwin, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Western Sydney (meet the team).
Their efforts have paid dividends. In fact, more than $77 million of new philanthropic income has been facilitated to around 200 Australian artists and 600 arts organisations since 2003. It is a strong outcome for a government investment of nearly $5.2 million, providing a return of over 1,000 per cent.
Artsupport Australia defines philanthropy or giving as: individual gifts or donations (including major gifts, bequests, workplace giving, direct mail appeals and crowd funding), philanthropic grants by private and corporate foundations and corporate philanthropy.1