Course 2019-2020 a.y.


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 19
ACME (6 credits - II sem. - OB  |  4 credits SECS-P/03  |  2 credits SECS-P/07)
Course Director:

Classes: 19 (II sem.)

Class-group lessons delivered  on campus

Mission & Content Summary


Public policies in the arts and cultural sector are rarely developed by governments by themselves. In most democratic countries third sector organizations, business firms and civil society are deeply involved in the production, distribution and promotion of arts and culture playing a major role in sustaining innovation in the creative sector. On these grounds, we take the perspective of a nonprofit organization operating in the arts focusing on the range of techniques and processes that it can employ to successfully collect funds from different public and private stakeholders. Nonprofit organizations in the arts, as well as cultural firms, play another role in the arts in cultural policies: often they are advocating the importance of the arts and the need for government intervention. The second part of the course is therefore focused on how nonprofit organizations might exercise pressure and raise attention (i.e. advocating) on different arts policy issues. To this end, we focus on how to assess and communicate the impacts of their cultural programs to claim for funds and recognition.


The course is divided into two parts: fundraising and cultural policies.

  1. Fundraising (FR): The first module focuses on strategic fundraising. This module centers on how to maximize revenues from sources not directly linked to services provided, i.e., donations, grants, contributions. Starting from an overview of the potential funding sources available to an artistic and cultural institution, we discuss why fundraising has become pivotal to organizational sustainability. We introduce the basic tools of fundraising and discuss the main typologies of fundraising campaigns, with a focus on capital campaigns. We discuss the role of the general public and the increased use of crowd funding techniques. Finally, we discuss how to ensure private corporate support, with a focus on grant-making foundations and venture philanthropy.
  2. Cultural policy (CP): The debate around defining and measuring the ‘value’ of culture is still alive in the cultural policy field. Some scholars (i.e.: Klamer, 2004) suggest that using market valuation for cultural goods affects negatively the perception of the importance of the art. Other scholars (Throsby, 2003) support the idea that the cultural value and the economic value of the arts are correlated, favoring the development of valuation methods techniques. On these grounds, the Cultural Policy (CP) module focuses on cultural program/policy evaluation taking a pragmatic approach and describing how policymakers might compare and communicate the effectiveness of a public program for the arts. This module serves as an introduction to evaluation methodology and evaluation tools commonly used to assess publicly funded cultural programs. Students become familiar with the concepts, methods and applications of evaluation research; which is akin to general social scientists’ research approach.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Create a fundraising campaign integrating the most advanced techniques and tools.
  • Maximize the effectiveness of grant applications.
  • Discuss the main financial instruments, their application and their cost and benefits.
  • Describe the main cultural policies of a country/institution.
  • Identify the main challenges related to cultural public policies.
  • Measuring the impacts of a public policy in the arts.
  • Discuss different cultural policies issues.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Assess the funding needs of an artistic and cultural institution.
  • Make strategic decisions on the best funding source to address those needs.
  • Choose the appropriate methodologies related to policy formulation and implementation.
  • Interact and communicate effectively in multi-cultural contexts.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Company visits
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


The learning experience of this course includes, in addition to face-to-face lectures, case discussions, a group project, real examples and interactions with guest speakers/company visits from institutions that are involved in developing and implementing cultural policies in Milano.

  1. In the first part of the course students are engaged in a group project that builds on all concepts presented and discussed during the fundraising part with the aim of developing a fundraising plan for a cultural project.
  2. In both parts of the course, students are engaged in case discussions through case studies and role-playing.

Attendance: due to this teaching methodology, heavily based on interaction and class discussion and participation, attending is strongly recommended.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)


With the purpose of measuring the acquisition of the above-mentioned learning outcomes the student assessment is based on three main components:

  1. Group work (50%): students are asked to develop a fundraising plan for a cultural project. Each group proceeds through the following relevant steps: generation of the idea, identification of both the funding needs and the mix of funding sources, elaboration of the case for support, selection of the appropriate fundraising techniques, and elaboration of a detailed budget plan. Deliverables: fundraising report AND in-class elevator pitch presentation.
  2. Final partial written exam (50% of the final grade) aims to assess the student’s learning level of the issues and models discussed in class and guest lectures. The exam is based on a mix of closed and open ended questions.


General written exam, (100% of the finale grade) based on open questions related to the reference materials, which aims to assess the student’s learning level of the main concepts, methods and tools detailed in the teaching material as well as the ability to analyze some implications related to them through the presentation of examples and references.

Teaching materials


  • Slides uploaded on the Bboard platform.
  • Selected readings  available on the Online Course Reserve.


  • S. WEINSTEIN, The Complete Guide to Fundraising Management, John Wiley, 2009 3rd ed. 
  • H.P. ROSSI, M.W. LIPSEY, H.E. FREEMAN,  Evaluation. A systematic approach, SAGE, 1999, 6th ed.
  • J. SNOWBALL, Measuring the value of culture, Springer, 2012.
Last change 03/05/2019 14:21