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MyCake and DONATE partner on cultural data development

MyCake and DONATE partner on cultural data development

The , creator of the DONATE fundraising platform, and MyCake’s Culture Benchmark, the business in the arts specialist, are collaborating to understand and utilise cultural .

The two organisations will work to bring together their definitions and data sets so that the detailed data on arts and cultural giving being generated by the DONATE platform can be put into the context of arts business models as articulated by MyCake. It is a case of the Culture Benchmark’s breadth of data being combined with the depth of data that DONATE gathers about casual incremental and digital giving.

DONATE platform’s findings

A year after its launch, the National Funding Scheme reports that

    • The average donation through the DONATE mobile web platform is £26.58. Amounts range from £3 to £3,750
    • 43% of donations are by the mobile app but these account for 87% of the donated amount. The remainder are by text.
    • 80% of donations using the mobile web platform have Gift Aid added.
    • 38% of donations are from registered users; the remainder are guest donations showing the popularity of casual one-off giving.
    • Of the 59% that identified their tax bracket. 45% pay basic or no tax showing DONATE appeals to all income brackets.

Culture Benchmark’s findings

The MyCake Culture Benchmark’s national data shows that

    •  In 2011 and 2012 private donations were worth an average of 6.6% and 6.0% of turnover respectively.
    • Whilst the 2013 data set is still changing, as data is submitted, early results show a similar picture.
    • The average Revenue Income for the sample of 341 organisations benchmarked in 2011 was £5,105,870 and thus the value of private donations was, on average, worth approximately £300,000.
    • In 2011 Gift Aid was worth on average 4.0% of turnover.
    • There are marked differences between London and non-London subsets of the data when it comes to private giving.
Sarah Thelwall, founder of MyCake, explained the reasons behind the joint project.

“Over the last four years MyCake has built a broad data set focused on detailed income and cost information and it is now widely used by arts organisations, funders and stakeholders who wish to improve the sustainability of their organisation or the sector.

“The National Funding Scheme has more detailed insight into the private giving sector than we will ever achieve so it makes perfect sense to combine our breadth with their depth. Getting the datasets to talk to each other is the easy part, now we want to focus on connecting the insight and analysis!”


Paul Cutts, CEO of the National Funding Scheme, added:

“By providing a digital platform, the cultural sector for the first time is able to have statistical insight into mass casual giving. We are delighted to have partnered with MyCake in order to put our statistics into perspective across the cultural landscape.”


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

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