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Catalyst: From ‘Small Change’ to Bigger Sparks

This week it was announced by Arts Council England that Artsadmin, and our partners Live Art Development Agency, were to be awarded up to £150,000 in match funding as part of their Catalyst: Evolve programme to help “achieve a step change in their ability to earn philanthropic income”. 

You might have noticed over the past few years that we’ve started ‘talking money’ a little more. That’s because in 2013-15 we joined forces with LADA and Home Live Art to investigate, interrogate and learn about the how, why and when of arts fundraising as part of ACE’s first round of Catalyst funding. 

Together with artists, staff, trustees, supporters and our friends at Platform we jumped into the world of fundraising from private sources (individuals, corporates, trusts and foundations) and the ethics around it. We hosted public events on the practicalities of raising funds in Money Talks, and the ethics of sponsorship in Take The Money and Run?; with Indigo Ltd we learnt more about our audiences and how they do, or might, support us; we trialled Sparks, a fund for commissioning new work (watch this space!); we invited seasoned fundraisers from the arts sector and beyond to tell us about their experiences; and we road-tested our own ways of fundraising – take a look at some highlights from LADA’s A Live Art Gala.

During the project we created and distributed an Ethical Fundraising Policy and at the end of it the three organisations created a Fundraising Resource Handbook to share everything we learnt about raising money, whilst staying true to our values. 

Then we made a plan.

Learning is brilliant, but it’s even better when you put it into action, and that’s what Catalyst: Evolve is all about. Over the next three years we’ll be investing 25% of the award in our fundraising systems and processes, and the remaining 75% will be awarded annually by ACE as match-funding when we achieve the targets we’ve set for ourselves. It’s no small challenge, but it wouldn’t be fundraising if it was easy, would it?! 

We’ll keep you updated about how we get on, but in the meantime, thanks to all of you who have supported Artsadmin’s work so far. If you’ve not yet done so but are keen to (or would like to again), maybe you’d like to give a small donation, to support the next round of the Artists’ Bursary Scheme, in 2017.