The free courses will be available on two learning platforms and will offer content on themes including ethical fundraising, change management and organisational resilience.

Photo of money

A series of free online courses aimed at staff, practitioners and trustees working in the arts is aiming to help promote the arts as a charitable cause “worth investing in”.

Issues such as what ethical policies senior arts staff should put in place when deciding whether to accept sponsorship; how donation schemes should be managed; and how leaders can demonstrate resilience in arts organisations will be addressed through what has been billed as the world’s “largest portfolio of online training for the arts”.

Co-ordinated by Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy, the consortium programme developed by Cause4, the Arts Marketing Association and the University of Leeds, the initiative will make three courses from Cause4 Advance available on learning platform Proversity. The modules – each under two hours in length – will focus on individual giving, trustee leadership in fundraising and fundraising ethics.

In addition, a Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) from the University of Leeds, designed to develop organisational resilience through effective leadership, will be available on the learning platform FutureLearn.

Each module will include peer forums and devised assessments, and case studies and insight from sector leaders including Nicholas Serota, Chair of Arts Council England; Julia Farrington, Associate Arts Producer at Index on Censorship; and Michelle Wright, Founder and CEO of Cause4.

Speaking about the courses, Wright said: “We’re offering practical advice and helping demystify the fundraising process.

“Case studies throughout the training modules will help inspire the learners with great examples of new business models and quick wins for the long term and we will combine with micro-learning modules of 3-5 minutes for those practitioners that struggle to fit in learning.”

Serota added: “Over the past few years, technology has developed to the extent that effective e-learning is a real possibility for arts and cultural practitioners, wherever they may be.

“We are pleased to support the development of these materials, through Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy, to provide a comprehensive bank of knowledge and experience that can be easily accessed by leaders of arts organisations and practitioners, both in the UK and internationally.”

The courses will be launched on Monday 12 March.