Funding and Fundraising

Finding money to support a project can be difficult, especially when proposal-writing can consume more time than actually making work. It is important to keep an eye out for various opportunities and to understand the kind of funding that is available for your work.

There are many places you can go to seek funding, which depends largely on the kind of project you are working on. Most available funding tends to be for organisations with charitable status or other kinds of constitution, but some supports individual artists too. Use your networks and the internet to research what might work for you.

Words of Advice

I think it’s important to constantly apply for stuff. Even though 90% of the time the submission is unsuccessful, the minutest success makes all the rejections worthwhile. It also takes a few before you learn how to make a good application.

– Haroon Mirza, Artist


Guides to Fundraising

Sponsorship and funding for business

Creative Choices
Fundraising Toolkit including factsheets on the five steps to arts sponsorship, making a formal partnership agreement, and trusts and foundations.

Also see: ‘Company Giving’ published by the Directory for Social Change and The Guide to UK Company Giving 09/10

Youth Arts Starter Kit
Youth Arts Starter Kit is produced by Artswork, the national youth arts development agency, as part of their Artsplan department. The kit contains the youth arts funding guide titled ‘Get Sorted: how to get organised, sort the budget and go for funding for your youth arts project’, plus three sets of practical guidelines: ‘Working together: using the arts with young people’; ‘Creating Respect: promoting an understanding of cultural diversity’ and ‘Access All Areas: disability and youth arts’.

Case Study

Philip Venables

A large Endymion project last year required a lot of funding, and we started preparing the project three years before the performances. I was working with one other person on funding, I was the bid writer and the other person was researcher. We made about 25 funding applications, each tailor-made to the strengths and interests of the funder, to emphasise the relevant areas of our project, and strongly emphasising the breadth of the project, and the number of partners involved. We received eight positive responses, which gave us enough money to put the whole project on, coupled with money from production partners. At each step we discussed our applications with the funders, made sure our financial information was as up to date as possible, reflecting any support we had already secured, and reflecting the financial and logistical input from our partners. Some applications were one page long; others were 20 pages long, depending on what the trusts wanted. After the project was over, we wrote a very detailed evaluation report, completed our final financial accounts for what had been spent, and made a CD and video of parts of the project, and a compilation of press reviews, all of which was sent to all our funders. We continue to invite these supporters to our concerts and we try to keep lines of communication open to them about our continuing success so that they can see that their support has had a long-term impact on our work and went beyond that of the specific project they supported.

Philip Venebles

Philip Venables (1979) was born in Chester and studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Philip Cashian. He is the Artistic Director of British chamber ensemble Endymion. In the last two years his commissions have included: Ensemble 10-10 of the RLPO (ANIMA), Endymion (Fight music), Bregenz Festival in Austria for Ensemble LUX (In America et ego), the BBC Singers for SPNM (Thalidomide), the BBC Symphony Orchestra for SPNM (Ora) and the Black Dyke Brass Band for the Deal Festival (Lullaby, for solo Euphoniumist David Thornton and Brass Band.

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