The Barnes Foundation consists of a private art collection and a belief that art education is for all, which it primarily enacts through varied outreach programmes aimed to develop local communities. The Foundation’s development structure reflects a recognition of human connection, framing corporate sponsorships more similarly to personal partnerships.
Corporations recognise that contributions to positive impact lead to increased employee retention. Cultural organisation have become a stronger focus for many corporations as their potential to enact social good is often part of their DNA: the arts have long been champions for social responsibility, design thinking and creative placemaking.
In light of this shift, The Barnes Foundation aligned its corporate giving programme with its membership packages.
This included a new approach: corporate partnerships should appeal to client and/or marketing objectives, company leaders and employees at all levels, while also highlighting
The Barnes Foundation’s expertise, spaces and resources.
Corporate partnership benefits are broken down into four categories – admission, entertainment and tours, events and programs, recognition and visibility – and are adaptable
to different company needs.
As corporate gifts are channeled into educational outreach programmes, each partnership offer is supplemented with materials of what the gift will support.
Appealing to company leadership involves highlighting the value of The Barnes Foundation and the outcomes the partnership can deliver – these leaders then become ambassadors for the partnership, promoting the corporate connections to their staff. Executives are keen to provide this kind of social initiative to their team. Not only does it give them
a clear channel for staff engagement (a big tick in executive outcomes), it provides a neutral space for the local business community, and, of course, it offers each staff member a personal connection with the collection. These relationships create individual, corporate and community fidelity, and can lead to further marketing and advertising opportunities.
- Respect human relationships everywhere
- Consult your employee groups.
- There is much power in community building (creative placemaking, education, etc.)
- What’s good for one organisation is good for its neighbours.