If you are thinking about applying for funding, you can speak to your MDO about developing your application. Your MDO should be able to supply up to date funding information and provide advice on which schemes might be suitable. You can also expect to receive support when writing and developing your application, including receiving feedback on drafts.
- Writing a Grant Application in 10 Steps
- AIM Success Guide: Successful fundraising at museums
- Museums Association: Planning a successful fundraising campaign
- Museums Association: Cultivating private donors
- Museum Fundraising – 10 Powerful Insights and Tips for the Modern Museum
- SHARED Enterprise: Developing a fundraising strategy
- Charity Commission: Charity Fundraising: a guide to trustee duties
Some sources which are particular relevant to museums at the moment:
- Art Fund Small Project Grants are open for applications to support museums to realise adventurous projects of up to £10,000.
- The Foyle Foundation has reopened for applications to support charities with an arts or learning remit. Grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 are available and applications can be submitted at any time. More on the Foyle Foundation website.
- The Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund is adapting its offer for museums needing support with Covid related implications to continue enabling access to collections. More information on the Museums Association website.
- Museums Essex has just launched their Small Grants Round 8 scheme – if you are a member of Museums Essex, find out more and apply here. Six grants of up to £500 are available to support museums with Covid-19 recovery.
- Garfield Weston Foundation have an ongoing grant scheme to support UK charities. You can take their quick online eligibility quiz to find out if you are eligible. Their guidance for their schemes can be found here along with their FAQs. They can cover core running costs.
Other local funding opportunities might be available from the following:
- Essex Heritage Trust
- Essex Community Foundation
- Your local authority – many museums have had success in applying for a small business grant from the government, so this is worth exploring if you haven’t already.
The below table includes some other possible sources of funding that could be available to you. It is intended as a guide only – for up to date information on the schemes, amounts available, eligibility and deadlines, please look at individual websites.
|AIM: Biffa Award: History Makers||Exhibitions||Exhibitions that bring stories of famous historical people to life|
|AIM: Collections Care and Conservation Grants||Collections care||Collections Care Audits, Remedial Conservation Scheme||Membership of AIM, under 50,000 visitors a year and turnover of less than £300,000||Collections Care Audits (£1100) Collections Care Scheme, Remedial Conservation Scheme (both up t £10,000)|
|AIM: Hallmarks of Prospering Museums||Development and financial sustainability||(1) enable museums to implement key ideas of the AIM Hallmarks (2) support museums to improve their financial sustainability||Membership of AIM, Accredited museum. For strand 2 must be ‘small’ museum i.e. under 20,000 visitors a year||(1) £4-12,000 (2) £3-16,000|
|AIM: Training Grants||Training||Developing the skills and expertise of workforce (paid or voluntary) – e.g. fees, training, accommodation, travel for conferences||Membership of AIM and priority given to organisations receiving fewer than 20,000 visitors annually||Up to £300 for individuals|
|Art Fund: Acquisition||Acquisition||Support museums to acquire objects||Provisionally accredited and above, open at least half the week six months a year||main grants: grant requests of above £7,500 small grants: grant requests of £7,500 or less|
|Art Fund: Jonathan Ruffer curatorial grants||Professional development||Support UK museum professionals to undertake travel or other activities that will extend and develop their curatorial expertise||Museum professional employed by or working in partnership with museums that hold at least provisional accreditation||£200-£2,000|
|Art Fund: Professional Network grant||SSN and network support||These grants help professional networks to develop and share knowledge, skills and resources||The programme is open to SSNs and other curatorial and professional networks, both formal and informal – either independently or in partnership||Any amount up to £5,000|
|Art Fund: Small projects||Projects||Help museums, realise adventurous projects, up to £10,000, across a range of activities to benefit their audiences||Anyone with spaces the public can visit and collections for people to enjoy – must be working to best practice sector standards||Up to £10,000|
|Arts Council / V&A Purchase Grant Fund||Acquisition||Contribute towards the acquisition of objects relating to the arts, literature and history||Can’t be nationally funded by government and must be Accredited||£500 – 500,000|
|Arts Council National Lottery Project Grants||Projects||Open access programme for arts, museums and libraries projects||[Awaiting new guidance]||£1000 – £100,000|
|Arts Council: Arts Impact Fund||Financial sustainability, resilience||Repayable loan finance for social investment in arts organisations||Regulated charitable arts organisations based in England, working in a specified area of social need.||£150,000 – 600,000|
|Arts Council: Developing your Creative Practice||Research and development opportunities||Support independent creative practitioners to ensure excellence in the arts and culture sector||Must be an individual artist or creative practitioner, not an organisation||£2000 – 10,000|
|Arts Council: Subject Specialist Network Fund||SSNs projects||Support (SSNs) to develop knowledge and expertise and enable more museums to contribute to public engagement||SSN|
|Essex Community Foundation||Projects||Funding for Essex projects and activities benefiting the community||Individuals and for profit business cannot apply|
|Essex Heritage Trust||Buildings, heritage, conservation, works of art, restoration, museums, landscapes||Boost campaigns or provide part funds to leverage other financial support||Projects must be within Essex and for the benefit of the public||£100-10,000|
|Museums Assocation: Beecroft Bequest||Acquisition||Acquisition of pre-19thc works||Must be MA insitutional member||Up to £10,000|
|Museums Association: Benevolent Fund||Financial hardship and training for individuals||Alleviate financial distress and provide education and training including free places at MA events||Must be an MA member facing financial hardship|
|Museums Association: Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund||Collections, exhibitions, projects, community engagement||Supports a range of projects that bring collections closer to people, that demonstrate the significance, distinctiveness and power of collections to people||Projects must be focused on making their collections more empowering, relevant and dynamic to people||Up to £90,000 for one strand, up to £250,000 for another|
|Museums Essex||Projects||Support museums, galleries and historical organisations whose collections are open to the public||Membership of Museums Essex|
|National Lottery Heritage Fund||Projects, exhibitions, storytelling, acquisitions, oral history, new interpretation, new buildings, conservation, staff||We fund a broad range of projects that connect people and communities to the national, regional and local heritage of the UK.||Project can’t start before applying and must have a beginning, middle and end phase||Up to and over £5m depending on size and duration of project|
|Royal Opera House Bridge – funded by ACE||Learning/young people/ Audiences||Connect children and young people with great art and culture through research, advocacy|
|SHARE Museums East||Audiences, collections, resilience||Museum in the East of England in the Accreditation scheme|
|Swire Charitable Trust||Projects, core costs||Supports the work of charitable organisations|
|Wolfson Foundation||Exhibitions, display, education and learning spaces||Support museums and galleries to improve the display and interpretation of nationally significant collections for the public||Accredited, registered charity or local authority, permanent collection of national significance (pref Designated)|