There is a range of funding opportunities available for organisations and individuals with great ideas for arts projects to access. Although competition for funding is becoming increasingly fierce, those armed with a coherent fundraising plan underpinned by detailed fundraising research will be in a strong position to secure the funds they need.
Successful arts organisations are increasingly those that manage to secure a mixed funding model where income from public funds and grants from charities or foundations are balanced by income from corporate sponsorship, donations from individual supporters and earned income from charging for services and resources.
The links below provide additional information about opportunities to widen your funding base and alternative sources of funding such as Creative Industry Finance.
Local Initiatives Fund
The Local Initiatives Fund supports activities and improvements in Islington’s neighbourhoods including arts projects, festivals and estate community events. Each Ward has an annual budget of £15,000 from which local councillors can recommend a project for support usually in the range of £500 - £1,000. These small allocations can be used as match funding for larger projects to lever in other funding partners.
Voluntary and Community Sector Partnership Grants Programme
The Council's VCS Partnership Grants Programme provides core funding to local charities and community groups.
Voluntary Action Islington
Voluntary Action Islington (VAI) supports the development of the voluntary sector in Islington providing a range of services from one-to-one support, through to training and money management. VAI maintains a number of useful information directories that can support your fundraising research and funding application development.
Their ‘Information and useful documents’ page provides links to demographic information and relevant polices that can inform your funding bid including the Islington Evidence Hub, Census 2012 Information for Islington and the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment.
VAI also compiles a comprehensive downloadable funding booklet detailing all the main local funding sources for the voluntary sector including opportunities to source funding for the arts. The booklet is updated every six months.
Creative Islington is the umbrella network organisation for artists, arts organisations and creative businesses based in Islington. The organisation works in partnership with Islington’s Arts Service to support the development of the cultural sector and the benefits this can generate for local residents in terms of employment opportunities, skills development, income generation and improved wellbeing.
Creative Islington is a membership organisation which holds an extensive directory of the borough’s creative population. Through its website, regular e-bulletins, networking and events programme, it can provide you with the latest industry news, promotion for your organisation and events, training and skills development and fundraising advice.
Visit the Creative Islington website for more information.
Awards for All
Provides funding for community-based projects across the UK.
Visit the Awards for All website for more information.
Islington Hive is a crowdfunding platform for local inspirational projects. If you have a great new idea simply add a project to the Islington Hive page and use the online tools to build your local fundraising campaign.
Visit the Islington Hive website for more information.
Arts Council England
Arts Council England funds a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. They are a major funder of arts and culture offering a number of important funding programmes to support artists and arts organisations including the Artists’ International Development Fund, Strategic Touring Programme and the Arts Impact Fund which will provide repayable loan finance.
Many smaller scale and local arts projects secure funding through their Grants for the arts, a rolling deadline funding programme providing support for arts activities and organisations in England.
Arts Council England also publishes one of the most comprehensive lists of major funders. The major funders are incredibly competitive and time consuming to apply to, so do read their criteria carefully and contact their advisors if you are unsure as to whether or not your project is eligible to apply.
The Funding Central website offers a funding search facility which allows registered users to look for a wide range of funding sources including the government, National Lottery and charitable trusts. The site allows you to specify your organisation’s status and your funding needs to help you avoid spending time researching funders that are not a good fit.
Visit the Funding Central website for more information.
This website offers comprehensive information, updated daily, on government grants for voluntary and community sector groups.
Visit j4bCommunity website for more information.
Creative Industry Finance
Creative Industry Finance (CIF) is a programme designed to assist creative and cultural enterprises in securing the finance and investment they need to successfully develop and grow into sustainable businesses. The programme offers tailored advice to improve the business skills and commercial experience of businesses in order to make them ‘funding ready’ and support them through the process of applying to one of CIF’s lending partners for a business development loan.
CIF is open to a wide range of creative and cultural enterprises, from micro-businesses through to major institutions including charities, social enterprises and commercial businesses, sole traders and individual artists. Any business model is acceptable - limited companies, partnerships and not-for-profits - as long as you are able to demonstrate that the production of new, creative content is at the heart of what you do, that you have been trading for at least eighteen months and that you are based in England.
Visit the CIF website for more information.