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£17.5m fund from Arts Council England to help arts and cultural sector with fundraising skills

£17.5m fund from Arts Council England to help arts and cultural sector with fundraising skills

In January 2016 Arts Council England will start accepting applications to a new £17.5 million funding programme to help arts and cultural organisations further improve their fundraising.

which will build on its previous Catalyst investments for the arts and cultural sector.

Catalyst: Evolve will help organisations that have a limited track record in fundraising to enable them to attract more private giving. In particular, it will support organisations that have recently begun to fundraise “to achieve step change in their ability to raise funds”. It will build on the Council’s previous Catalyst investments in fundraising skills for the arts and cultural sector.

Arts Council England will:

• offer match funding to incentivise private giving

invest in the skills, capacity and culture of organisations to enable them better to raise funds.

ACE will make around 150 grants to support organisations for up to three years. Organisations can apply for between £75,000 and £150,000.

Catalyst: Evolve will build on what the funder has already learned from its Catalyst arts programme. Its investment will help arts and cultural organisations “to develop successful and sustainable fundraising models that continue to generate new money for the sector beyond the end of the grant programme”.

The funding is not open to museums and libraries. The Museum resilience fund is due to open for a second round in 2016, dependent on the fiscal environment at the time.

All activities funded by the programme must be completed by 31 August 2019.

When and how to apply to Catalyst: Evolve

Online applications will open on Thursday 14 January 2016. Applications must be submitted by midday on Friday 19 February 2016.

Meanwhile you can read the guidance for applicants (a PDF download).

Eligible organisations are encouraged to attend a workshop to be delivered by Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy in November or December 2015. This will help organisations to understand more about the programme and to learn about the evaluation of the first Catalyst programme.

Photo: theatrical mask by Andrey Burmakin on


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

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