Arts funding: Quiet, powerful role of trusts and foundations
Trusts and foundations have been key to the survival of many arts organisations during the pandemic, despite overall modest grant-giving.
A survey commissioned by the Arts Funders Group shows that in 2019-20 they provided an average of 10% to UK arts organisations, and though grants are generally for sums less than £400,000, the combined investment was £88m in the period.
The Arts Funders Group, part of the ACF Funders’ Collaborative Hub, is a group of independent trusts and foundations who meet regularly to share intelligence and shape collective action.
The data they have gathered together shows the overall contribution of trusts and foundations to the UK’s arts funding ecology, analysing grants made by the 19 most significant in the arts and culture sector in the financial year 2019/20.
“Independent grant-makers coming together and sharing their data in this way was an important exercise to commit to – even if it did feel experimental at times” said the director of the John Ellerman Foundation, Sufina Ahmad (pictured). “The research reveals the contribution we are making to the UK’s arts and cultural sectors, which will become even more important as organisations look to recover from the impacts of Covid-19 against a backdrop of stretched public funding.”
And the Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s director of strategic learning, Holly Donagh, added: “By coming together to analyse our funding data, we can better understand our shared role in supporting the UK’s arts and cultural organisations. Each of us individually is a small component in the complex arts fundraising landscape in the UK, but we are all committed to supporting the creative industries to recover and thrive, and are pleased to be working together to assess opportunities for greater collective impact.”