MyCake Datacast: Turnover vs Arts grant dependency

Presented by Sarah Thelwall, this video datacast takes the approach we pioneered with the Culture Benchmark and uses it to analyse the Arts Council England 2011-12 annual dataset. The video runs for about 10 minutes 🙂 The blog post below looks at five things we think are interesting as a means to starting a conversation Read the full article…

DATA CRUNCHERS: MyCake and DONATE are collaborating on cultural data development

MyCake’s Culture Benchmark, specialising in business data in the arts, is launching a collaboration with digital giving experts the National Funding Scheme (registered charity no. 1149800) and their DONATE platform, to combine the resources of both organisations, in order to better understand and utilise cultural data. Both organisations have a shared objective of improving data Read the full article…

Benchmarking for Catalyst Arts orgs: What we learnt

We spent Wednesday 19th Feb with some 30 ACE Catalyst funded organisations to look at how to use data to help them plan and measure the successes of their income generating activities. Sarah Thelwall was joined by William Makower and Paul Cutts of the National Funding Scheme who gave an overview of how Donate works Read the full article…

Arts Council England open application process for NPOs

The next round of funding for National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) is open for applications. From now until 17 March 2014 the Arts Council England application process is accepting submissions from UK organisations for the next three years of funding streams for the period 2015 – 2018. In the announcement yesterday from ACE, Chief Executive Alan Read the full article…

Culture Benchmark Workshop: setting the baseline against which to compare progress of your Catalyst activities

The purpose of this half day workshop is to respond to the various enquiries that we have received about whether and how the data in the Culture Benchmark can be used to benchmark your current income generating activities against your peers. As you are probably aware the Culture Benchmark provides a mix of free and paid services to arts organisations to help them to use financial data to adapt their business model in response to the changes in arts funding. Benchmarking is something that works both at an individual organisational level and with clusters of organisations who have something in common.

In this afternoon event we will help you:

  • Structure your thinking about how you are leveraging both your tangible and intangible assets into new income streams
  • Work out what comparison groups would be most useful to you … by turnover range, geography, and by sector and types of activity
  • Understand how the data held in the Culture Benchmark can be used to set a baseline against which to compare your income development progress … not just as an organisation comparing progress against your own history but also by comparison to your peers and thus the ‘average’ and ‘best in class'
  • Work out what ‘best in class’ looks like for your type of organisation and mix of activities
  • Use benchmark data to set targets internally and communicate your successes to your stakeholders

The plan is that by the end of the session you will have:

  • Clarity on what comparisons are most useful to your organisation
  • Clarity on who to class as your peers within the context of this income development work
  • Thoughts on clusters of peers you might like to convene on an occasional basis to share experiences with
  • Understanding of how the Culture Benchmark could be used in your organisation (along with clarity on what’s available free vs. what is included in a subscription)

Event details: SOLD OUT**
Time: 2-5pm
Date: Wednesday 19 February 2014
Location: The Showroom, 63 Penfold St, London NW8

All recipients of ACE Catalyst funding are eligible to attend this free workshop but places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. To attend please book here on our eventbrite page

**please email to register your interest for a future seminar.

What is benchmarking anyway?
If the concept of benchmarking is new to you and you are wondering what it is and how it works you might find these free resources useful:


We are hosting a free half day workshop at the Showroom in London from 2-5pm on Wednesday February 19th for any (or all!) ACE Catalyst funded organisations to learn how to use benchmarking data to set a baseline against which to compare the progress of their Catalyst activities. Places are limited so please book here Read the full article…

Euclid: creative Europe in a time of austerity roadshows – June/July 2013

Euclid are taking to the road this summer with creative Europe in a time of austerity roadshows at various locations across the UK. Starting in London on 24 June the half-day roadshow will present the best of the “creative Europe in a time of austerity” conference which was held in Manchester on 9 May. The Read the full article…

CIDACo’s Creative Capital – the time is now

Last week we welcomed in the launch of Creative Capital – a new Arts Council funded initiative from Yorkshire based consultancy CidaCo who specialise in creativity, innovation and enterprise. The Creative Capital programme is designed to boost the Northern region’s creative sector, as arts organisations across Yorkshire and the surrounding areas experience budget cuts and Read the full article…

Upcoming event: creative Europe in a time of austerity

UK / European conference – Thursday 9 May 2013 Conference website: Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, UK In a time of financial austerity in the UK and across the rest of Europe, this event aims to provide arts and cultural organisations with a range of ideas to help them decrease their reliance on public subsidy Read the full article…

Alternative financing models: re.volution Hack Day 22 February

We are taking our Culture Benchmark data up to Edinburgh this month for Mission Models Money’s re.volution Hack Day event on Friday 22 February. Registration is open and it is free for MMM re.volution members to attend. In attendance will be a whole host of arts and culture organisations with a desire to change their Read the full article…