What a shame that Culture Secretary, Sajid Javid isn’t aware of Ilkley Literature Festival’s great record on sponsorship and philanthropy over the last decade. Earned (ticket sales) and contributed income (donations, sponsorship from a raft of supportive local, regional and national companies and our fantastic Friends organisation) makes up 62% of our total income and has done for years.
Amazing to think that over the last 5 years alone sponsorship from local, regional and national companies has contributed £189,575 to the Festival. Raising this kind of money in the North of England, and particularly this side of the Pennines, is not easy – even industry experts acknowledge how hard it is so it’s no surprise we’re very proud of what we’ve achieved.
These days we have a portfolio of over 50 highly valued business partners from small one person bands to big national companies – 23 different companies joined in sponsoring last year’s Festival. And our partners don’t just sponsor events – they do all sorts of imaginative things, from giving Festival tickets to carers at local hospices to encouraging secondary schools to bring groups of pupils to an event about economics or arranging transport for local primary schools to see a well known children’s author.
Alongside that we have lots of initiatives around individual giving, reminding people that, like most literature festivals, we’re a charity and encouraging people to make a donation whenever they can. We even used crowd funding to help support our commission from Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.
How the Culture Secretary missed that big donate button on our website we’ll never know!