How it works

artsVest is Business for the Arts’ national flagship program, funded by federal and provincial and/or municipal governments, that works directly with small to mid-sized arts organizations, equipping them with in-depth training, tools and mentorship relationships. These components are thoughtfully created to build sustainable partnerships between arts and businesses and to spark sponsorship opportunities. As an added incentive, artsVest participants can apply for matching grants – for every one dollar raised in sponsorship, Business for the Arts will match it with another dollar – doubling their sponsorship opportunity.

In order to support participants as they work to secure sponsorship opportunities, artsVest provides access to Ongoing Training, Matching Fund Incentives and Program Support.

  1. Ongoing Training

artsVest uses multiple training components to guide  arts organization through their sponsorship cycle, from developing a their sponsorship plan to creating a sponsorship proposal.

a) Online Training Resources – These can be accessed by participants at any time throughout the artsVest cycle!

i) Sponsorship E-Learning Course: Six in-depth online sponsorship modules introduce the fundamental concepts of sponsorship to artsVest participants. These modules allow participants who are new to sponsorship to learn about sponsorship basics, and are also great for those more experienced with sponsorship who wish to refresh their skills and knowledge. These modules allow participants to learn at their own pace, and share what they learn with their team. To view course outlines, click here.

ii) Resource Bank: The artsVest team has put together a resource bank filled with helpful tools and templates that you can use towards your sponsorship efforts and activities. These documents can be easily edited and adapted to the needs of your organization, and can help organizations who are new to sponsorship implement sponsorship processes and systems without having to start from scratch.

iii) Marketing, Branding and Social Media Webinars: artsVest has created three instructional videos that can be viewed by participants at any time throughout the artsVest cycle. Tutorials explain how to utilize marketing to leverage their brand, and thereby, their sponsorship potential.

b) Live Training Events – These events will be delivered live by the artsVest team and our roster of artsVest Mentors over the course of the artsVest cycle. To meet the volunteer mentors, click here. To see a region’s timeline, click ‘Participants’ and your local region above. click here. When possible, it is strongly suggested that two individuals from an organization attend the training activities, including a board member.

i) Live Sponsorship Workshop: At the beginning of the artsVest program cycle, arts organizations attend a live workshop led by an expert in corporate sponsorship. Here, organizations are introduced to corporate sponsorship and learn about how to secure and nurture long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships with businesses, and diversify revenue streams. In some communities, Advanced Sessions are also delivered for organizations who are returning to artsVest. Attendees are also given detailed instructions on how to successfully apply to continue in the artsVest program. For arts organizations intending to apply for the artsVest program, above workshop/session attendance is required.

ii) Live Webinars: These online webinars are delivered by artsVest Sponsorship mentors, and touch on a wide variety of subjects. Some webinars focus on introductory subjects and will complement the learning that sponsorship beginners gain from artsVest Online Training Resources. Other webinars focus on advanced sponsorship subjects, and will be primarily relevant to those who have some previous experience with Sponsorship.

iii) One-on-One Mentorship Sessions: artsVest participants can access highly individualized support from our team of expert artsVest Sponsorship Mentors, by scheduling up to two One-on-One Mentorship Sessions whenever they need extra support. Need some feedback on a proposal? Stumped about how to make a pitch to a potential sponsor? Why not speak to an expert? These sessions can happen over the phone, online or in person, depending on the needs of the participant and the preferences of the mentor. This exchange will provide arts organizations with a special opportunity to pose direct and unique questions to seasoned fundraising professionals.

iv) Live peer-to-peer mentoring workshops: artsVest participants will attend live workshops facilitated by artsVest staff in their communities, where they will build relationships and share insight with one another through guided peer discussion and evaluation activities.

2. Matching Fund Incentive

In addition to Ongoing Training, a predetermined amount of Matching Funds are allocated to each participating artsVest organization based on their application to the program.

What are ‘Matching Funds’?

When your organization secures sponsorships from the private sector during the artsVest cycle, artsVest will match the sponsor’s investment up to a certain amount that has been predetermined for your organization. The Matching Fund Incentive is a tool that can be used in tandem with artsVest training by participating organizations to spark sponsorship opportunities and build sustainable partnerships between arts organizations and businesses.

Once approved for the program, organizations have approximately seven months to successfully secure business sponsorship and submit documentation outlining their new business partnership, resulting in matching funds. Organizations’ matching fund amounts will be pre-approved by a local jury.

3. Program Support

We don’t want you to miss out on any of the artsVest program opportunities. That’s why an artsVest Program Manager will be available to you throughout the artsVest cycle to help you make the most of artsVest training, and to support you as you work to unlock artsVest matching funding by securing sponsorships from the private sector.