Arts Council England
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We announce successful Catalyst capacity building and match funding applicants

Arts Council England recently announced the 173 successful applicants to our £30 million Catalyst Arts: capacity building and match funding scheme.

You can read a full list of successful applicants by region on the Catalyst pages of our website.

The Catalyst Arts scheme aims to make arts organisations more sustainable, resilient and innovative by increasing their fundraising potential and attracting new money to invest in additional artistic work. It acts as challenge funding to support additional arts activity.

The Arts Council has made awards to organisations that are committed to making a step-change in their approach to fundraising by finding innovative ways to identify and make themselves more attractive to donors; and to make sure that donors want to keep on giving.

These awards will help the arts sector to attract new money now and in the longer term, which will be invested in additional artistic work.

Catalyst Arts is just one of the measures we are putting in place to help create a more sustainable, resilient and innovative arts sector, which is Goal 3 in Achieving great art for everyone.

Innovative fundraising

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: 'It's marvellous to see the many innovative ways in which arts organisations have responded to this opportunity to maximise their fundraising potential.

'It is vital that the arts continue to be publically funded but, with the tough economic climate prevailing, it's also essential to strengthen all the various sources of income that help keep the arts in this country ambitious and excellent.'

Examples of the innovative ways in which Catalyst funding will be used to boost fundraising capacity include:

  • Buxton Arts Festival which will receive £120,000 helping it to research, reorganise and invest in a new fundraising campaign to generate additional income
  • The Rural Media Company which will receive £153,705 which will enable it to diversify its core income stream and will provide seed funding to kick-start new creative digital arts projects
  • Canterbury Festival which will receive £187,000 to raise money which will help it to provide an exciting new festival venue as well as developing its programme and events
  • in London a collaborative application from Rich Mix and the Albany in Deptford which is being funded £240,000 to enhance artistic activity with diverse audiences and demonstrate how fundraising partnerships can work in practice
  • Writers Centre Norwich which will receive £240,000 to raise funds for a new literary commissioning fund

It is expected that organisations will use funds in the first year to gear up resources and build capacity - for example by recruiting a fundraiser. In the second and third years, funding will increasingly be used as match funding to incentivise gifts.

Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt said: 'There's huge, unlocked potential for fundraising across the cultural sector. While some claim that there's no money to be raised outside big London organisations, I've seen for myself what professional, dedicated fundraising expertise can deliver in every corner of the country.

'We recognise there's a challenge in making sure the right skills are available, particularly in smaller organisations, which is why these grants are a huge leap towards a future of greater financial independence for hundreds of smaller arts groups from Cornwall to Cumbria.'    

Catalyst endowments and capacity building

Successful applicants to the £55 million Catalyst: endowments scheme will be announced jointly by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) on 20 June 2012.

The Catalyst: endowments scheme offers match funding to arts organisations with a successful track record of fundraising to help them build endowments that provide an annual income.

There is also a £7 million Catalyst programme to support arts organisations with little or no fundraising experience who would like to build their capacity and capability to attract new donors.

The Arts Council will open this final part of the scheme in autumn 2012 enabling it to use what has been learned from the first two strands so that the investment has the greatest possible impact. More information about this part of the Catalyst scheme will follow in the coming months.

For more information visit the Catalyst website

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