Catalyst Arts

The Catalyst programme is one of the measures we are putting in place to help create a more sustainable, resilient and innovative arts sector - one of the five goals set out in Great art and culture for everyone, our 10-year framework for the arts.

Catalyst: Evolve

In January we will be opening a new £17.5m funding programme which will build on our Catalyst investments. Catalyst: Evolve will support organisations that have a limited track record in fundraising to enable them to attract more private giving.  To find more information about the fund and how to apply, download the guidelines here.


The first Catalyst programme was a £100 million culture sector wide private giving investment scheme aimed at helping cultural organisations diversify their income streams and access more funding from private sources. The scheme was made up of investment from Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).  Arts Council England invested £70million in the scheme. 

Catalyst Evaluation Year Two report now published

We have just published the Catalyst Evaluation Year Two report. Take a look at the new publication and Executive Summary.

The Catalyst Year One report can be downloaded here.

You can also read a selection of short case studies from the funding scheme.

Read a new blog from Clare Titley, Director of Philanthropy, about the latest Catalyst Evaluation and the challenges of fundraising.

About the Catalyst funding scheme

Applications are now closed.  Catalyst: Evolve will open in January 2016.

The programme is one of the targeted grants in our strategic funding programme.  

Catalyst offers organisations the opportunity to move their fundraising and development expertise on to the next level, whatever their current starting po9int.  Through all strands of the Catalyst initiative, we aim to support creative and innovative activity that will test a range of fundraising approaches.

  • Catalyst Arts: building fundraising capacity
    A £7million programme aiming to enable arts organisations with an under-developed fundraising model to increase capacity and expertise, improving their resilience.  We awarded grants of between £60,000 and £150,000 to 62 consortia, benefitting 217 organisations.
  • Catalyst Arts: endowments
    A £55million culture sector-wide scheme funded jointly by the DCMS, Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England offering match funding to arts organisations with a successful track record of fundraising to help them build endowments that provide an annual income.  We allocated £30.5million to 18 arts organisations.
  • Catalyst Arts: capacity building and match funding
    A £30million scheme to support organisations in building their fundraising capacity and capability over a three-year period.  We awarded grants of between £120,000 and £240,000 to 173 organisations.

You can see how all three tiers of the programme have progressed in the Catalyst Evaluation Year Two report.

For information on Heritage Lottery Fund Catalyst initiatives please visit the website.

Catalyst commissioned fund

Transforming arts fundraising

Applications are now closed

The Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Consortium has been selected as the national delivery partner for our Transforming arts fundraising programme.

Find out about the Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Programme.

Useful links and resources

For more information on building fundraising capacity and organisational resilience, including links to resources on consortia development visit the useful links and resources page.