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Infamous UK Minister of Culture Jeremy Hunt, has announced plans to initiate a program through which people could donate money to the arts using their cell phones. Donations could be made either through text via a person’s service provider or through an app. Those donating could remain anonymous or reveal their identity and will still reap the same tax benefits they would through a traditional donation.
Hunt is hoping that this platform will mimic the success of President Obama’s fundraising campaign for the 2008 election. Instead of the traditional format of garnering large donations from a relatively small group of supporters, President Obama made it easy for the everyday person to give whatever they could; that quantity of people added up for the election and could add up for the arts.
Hunt has been brutally honest to the cultural sector, stating that in the current economy, it is unwise for any arts organization to expect to be able to sustain itself on government funds. The time for innovation is now, he says, and any cultural institution that expects to weather the storm is going to have to be willing to think creatively.
This program, tentatively titled The National Funding Scheme is hoping to be launched sometime in early spring 2013. The only thing making that date dubious? The UK’s government has to raise money to fund the platform.