The Transforming arts fundraising commissioned grant is part of the Catalyst scheme. Applications to this grant are now closed.

We have selected The Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Consortium as the national delivery partner for our Transforming arts fundraising programme. You can find out about the Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Programme that has resulted from the grant here. More information is also available at

Consortium partners include Barbican Centre East London and City Culture Hub in partnership with Cause 4, the DARE Partnership comprising Opera North and the University of Leeds, the Arts Marketing Association, and the Philanthropy Foundation. Umbrella bodies including the Visual Arts and Galleries Association; Association of British Orchestras, Dance UK and the Free Word Centre also form part of the group.

Opera North will act as the grant holder for the consortium, which will work to provide opportunities for the arts sector to develop fundraising skills and potential.

From summer 2013, the consortium has delivered an England-wide programme of fundraising and philanthropy training, apprenticeships, coaching and digital skills development. Funded by Catalyst, this work supports effective practice in arts fundraising and helps stimulate philanthropy.

The programme provides support to National portfolio organisations and the wider arts sector. It is for people just starting out in fundraising, through to Chief Executives and Trustees. Activity started in May 2013.

The funds are from the £3 million Catalyst strand which aimed to address knowledge sharing and learning. It has been designed to complement the other Catalyst arts schemes: endowments, capacity building and match funding and building fundraising capacity.

Transforming arts fundraising will support activity which aims to professionalise arts sector fundraising across England while improving perceptions of the arts as a charitable cause among potential and existing donors. The programme is one of our commissioned grants designed to support delivery of our goal three of our strategic framework: Great art and culture for everyone.

Our aims for the programme

We expect the activity undertaken through Transforming arts fundraising will address the following objectives:

  • ensure more income is generated for the arts from private giving and businesses
  • develop the skills of individuals and organisations seeking to fundraise from the private sector
  • achieve a demonstrable change in the professionalism of the arts fundraising sector by building on existing best practice across the whole charity fundraising sector from the UK and further afield, and sharing that best practice widely
  • build a peer-to-peer leadership community which positions arts fundraising as a competitive, desirable and progressive career and which retains, develops and widens the talent pool
  • ensure that arts organisations better address the needs of current and prospective donors, as well as attracting first-time givers to the arts
  • develop an enterprising culture in which fundraising is placed at the heart of an arts organisation's business model and ethos, enabling organisations to better integrate their fundraising work with their artistic ambitions and their audience development activity and, by so doing, helping organisations better understand and articulate their case for support
  • maximise learning through knowledge exchange, resources and thought leadership

Value of awards

Eligible organisations and consortia were asked to make applications for a total investment of up to £2 million across the three year period 2013-16.

They were asked to outline budgets which demonstrate value for money and clearly outline any proposed costs to arts organisations as part of a pricing structure.