UTS Social Impact Toolbox
The Social Impact of Australia’s Arts & Cultural Sector

The Social Impact of Australia’s Arts & Cultural Sector

The UTS Social Impact Toolbox is empowering organisations to evaluate their social impact in a way that is reliable, accessible and free. It aims to build the capacity of the not-for-profit sector through democratising access to the validated tools, resources and methodologies needed to evaluate and communicate social impact.

The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the Nelson Meers Foundation (NMF) share a common vision for the arts and cultural sector, and core values around the power of arts and cultural organisations to realise positive social change.

UTS is committed to social justice and has made this central to who we are as a university. We believe that universities are public purpose institutions that have a critical responsibility to contribute to the community through research, education and practice. This commitment is reflected in a diverse set of institution-wide social justice initiatives that have only expanded in scope and depth over the years. A major new initiative is the UTS Social Impact Framework, within which UTS seeks to:

-          contribute to increased public good, social mobility and equity;

-          support the creation of enabling environments for communities to thrive; and

-          positively impact the public, the individual and systemic forces that shape justice.

NMF’s key objective is to foster innovative artistic and cultural expression, and to encourage greater engagement with the diversity, complexity and richness of the cultural sector. They support organisations that produce innovative, engaging cultural programs, and those that utilise creative expression to promote individual wellbeing or to create a range of social outcomes. They prioritise projects and programs that create positive social change, promote individual wellbeing, community cohesion and cultural tolerance and build the long-term capacity of organisations and the sector as a whole.

UTS and NMF believe it is crucial to value and promote Australia’s arts and cultural organisations. These organisations enrich our personal lives and make a crucial contribution to building a vibrant and connected society. These common values have translated into this collaborative partnership to build the capacity of the Australian arts and culture sector to measure and communicate their social impact.

The UTS and Nelson Meers Foundation Making a Difference: The Social Impact of Australia’s Arts and Cultural Sector project is about democratising access to social impact measurement expertise to empower our arts and cultural organisations to measure and demonstrate their social impact.

This report is part of the UTS Social Impact Toolbox. The Toolbox is a collection of resources that includes online courses with video, forums, questionnaires, interactive templates and a repository of reliable, verifiable and validated impact measures – all housed on an open digital platform at socialimpacttoolbox.com.

We hope this report and the UTS Social Impact Toolbox will help all Australian arts and cultural organisations, regardless of size or resourcing, to present methodologically robust evaluations of their activities to secure the support of funders while also informing better practice.

Together, UTS and NMF seek to ensure that funding for the arts and cultural sector is grounded not in an individual organisation’s resourcing but in their capacity to make a difference.

The above content is an excerpt from report - read the full report here:
 Written by Dr Andrew Wearring, Professor Bronwen Dalton, and Rachel Bertram, of UTS Business School and the UTS Social Impact Toolbox, in partnership with the Nelson Meers Foundation.