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£17.5million awarded to successful Catalyst Evolve applicants

Posted on 27 July 2016

Arts Council England have announced the 140 projects that will collectively receive a total of £17.5 million through the Catalyst Evolve programme.

Catalyst Evolve is a new initiative that aims to support organisations with a limited track record in fundraising to attract more private giving.

The Evolve fund will help organisations develop successful and sustainable fundraising models by investing in their capacity.  Money raised will be matched by the fund over a period of three years.  It is expected that organisations will continue to generate new money for the sector beyond the end of the grant programme.

I am delighted that Catalyst Evolve will help these fantastic projects to develop resilient, sustainable fundraising models.Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture

Successful projects include:

  • Based in South Bristol, from where it uses digital technologies, music, media and the arts to support people to make positive changes in their lives and communities, Knowle West Media Centre is deeply rooted in its local community.  This funding will help KWMC to expand its donor base and develop fruitful relationships with individual givers, private trusts, foundations and corporates so the organisation can invest more resources in the production of high-quality art and cultural experiences, particularly for young people and communities who have had the least opportunity to take part.
  • Evolve will help Project Art Works (PAW) significantly increase its capacity to fundraise, supporting the team to develop new relationships with trusts and foundations. It will also support them to expand recent philanthropic work with individuals and businesses. The investment will provide PAW with the resources to explore additional collaborations with academia, creating new revenue opportunities for the future.
  • Unity Theatre in Liverpool has been awarded £133,900 which will help it to deliver an ambitious and exciting creative fundraising programme additional to its current activity. The theatre will test a range of methods of income generation, building upon its recent experience of fundraising for their current capital project, including establishing a number of point of sale and regular giving schemes with the aim of increasing and complementing its current philanthropic income.
  • The Bureau of Silly Ideas has been awarded £150,000 as lead in a consortium also including Red Herring and KP Projects (Bicycle Ballet). The funding will allow the organisations to invest in the development of their corporate and social profiles, fundraising skills, strategies and capacities in order to encourage more varied income sources and significantly enhance their continued resilience and sustainability.
  • Two of England’s regional development agencies for literature are joining forces to take a new approach to securing investment from trusts, foundations and sponsorship. Through a focused programme of training and research, Writing West Midlands and Writing East Midlands will increase their fundraising so they can create more opportunities for people of all ages to be inspired by the written word.

Clare Titley, Director of Philanthropy, Arts Council England, said: “Arts and cultural organisations are working hard to attract new income and particularly to encourage more private giving.  We can see from the number and quality of the applications that there is a real impetus among small and mid-sized organisations to make a step change in their approach to fundraising and develop their business models, delivering greater returns.

I’m looking forward to seeing how our investment can have a real impact and watching the progress of the organisations towards their matched income targets over the next three years.Clare Titley, Director of Philanthropy, Arts Council England

Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, said:  "British art and culture is among the best in the world. We want to see it thrive. That means continued public funding, which is a critical underpinning. And it means increased philanthropic and private investment has a vital role to play in their continued success. Catalyst Evolve uses public investment to attract more private funding, meaning we all get more bang for our taxpayer buck. 

“I am delighted that Catalyst Evolve will help these fantastic projects to develop resilient, sustainable fundraising models.”

Further details about the fund and a full list of successful applicants can be found on our website here.