Culture is what we share and what we choose to value.
Culture Counts supports organisations, practitioners and philanthropists to craft rich evidence-based stories about the value they create.
We foster transparent investment systems by quantifying the impacts of funded activities. We help researchers, policy-makers, and peak bodies create robust arguments for long term investment in culture.
We work with a range of sectors eager to quantify the value that sits below the surface through consistent and collaborative language. When we measure and communicate the things that matter, we enable deeper engagement with audiences and our communities, ultimately building a stronger case for support and investment.
We make culture count.
Our Founding Principles
Standardise and define intangible terms like ‘excellence’ or ‘connection’ and create a common descriptive language for the concepts we value
Give control of that language to the sectors that use it
Modernise the means of evaluation so that it operates in real time and is accessible to all types of organistions
Enable organisations to compare and aggregate their results, thereby strengthening their combined voice
Engage funders and investors to ensure that decisions are driven by data, ensuring sustainable access to those resources
To understand or quantify ‘value’, the critical component is consistency. Relying on standard outputs like attendance numbers or box office revenue is the consistent default for many. Still, these figures don’t reveal the true value that we might implicitly feel or experience.
Between 2011 – 2014, across Australia and the United Kingdom, a group of economists bought together artists, academics, administrators, policy-makers and practitioners to ask the question – “could we agree on a set of qualities about ‘culture’, using shared definitions?” To the surprise of many participants, the answer was yes! We created a pilot program to test this theory and subsequently released a sector-led metric framework capable of quantifying some of these intangible values of culture.
With the methodology in place, it became apparent an online evaluation platform was required to implement the framework. We built a prototype survey tool that could consistently collect data, then aggregate the analysis to create an industry-wide understanding of value.
In 2013, our dream of a unified value-based evaluation approach was shared with the world. We formed an independent company and launched the Culture Counts Evaluation Platform. With a growing number of users eager to implement evaluation in their work, we continue to build new features and tools based on their feedback using this approach in the real world.
Much like culture, value is constantly evolving. Collaboration with partners is key to creating a living evaluation framework, working across sectors and practices to identify common needs and solutions that would support an entire evaluation ecosystem.
Our ongoing research and development have included many partners along the way, including: Arts Council England, DLGSC (WA), Creative New Zealand, Create NSW, Create Victoria, Arts Queensland, Cultural Development Network, Canada Council for the Arts, Public Libraries Australia, Australian Library and Information Association, the Wellcome Trust, the Ian Potter Foundation and Nesta.
We always strive to work with new partners to ensure Culture Counts remains a relevant, comprehensive and powerful evaluation solution.
Managing Director – Australia
Managing Director – UK
Project Coordinator – UK
Client Director (parental leave)
Nicole Tan Emery
Chief Technology Officer