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Whether it’s income for your organisation or your own living expenses, chances are you’ll be looking around for funding, financial advice and fundraising support.

Some Great British Pounds

Send your news to editors@artsprofessional.co.uk or @ArtsPro #CovidCulture

Tuesday 17th May

b-side arts has set up the Dorset Artists’ Emergency Fund, for freelance creatives living and working in Dorset who are experiencing severe financial hardship due to Covid-19 and who aren’t able to receive support from other resources and are ‘falling through the gaps’. It’s quick and easy to apply.

Prosper North, a free business support programme funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, is aiming to improve the capabilities of around 80 cultural heritage organisations in the North of England. Relevant across art form, from music venues to community art groups, and independent museums to literature festivals, the programme is designed to help participants increase their income and impact and become more resilient businesses. The programme is aligned with the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund, managed by the Key Fund, which is offering a mix of grant and loans to creative and cultural organisations in the north of England who deliver positive social impacts.

Monday 18th May

The Funding Regulator has produced a plain English guide ‘10 steps to setting up a fundraising appeal’, detailing important points to consider to ensure your fundraising is legal, ethical and has the best chance of success.

Monday 20th April

Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy has published a new issue of its free series of publications Now New Next, which shares trends and statistics for cultural fundraisers. The new issue, entitled Fundraising at Times of Crisis, offers help with current fundraising problems.

Fundraising specialists Our Community Enterprise are offering a free guide to fundraising from Trusts and Foundations, and two hours of virtual advice and feedback, free of charge and with no obligation. They also list other sources of help and advice. 

Monday 13th April

Self-employed ?  Unwell ?  ‘Furloughed’ ?  Employed but self-isolated ?  If you’ve been affected by coronavirus, you might be able to claim benefits or get more money on your current benefits. The  ever-reliable and independent Citizen’s Advice has set up an online Coronavirus Benefits Checker. 

The BFI has set out its support for those impacted by COVID-19 crisis. It has repurposed over £4.6m of its lottery funding to target specific areas of the sector including exhibitors, freelancers and producers. In response to cash flow and other problems, it has adjusted eligibility criteria to some existing schemes, including its annual £2.5m Development Fund and the BFI Locked Box. Existing funds for shorts, features and talent development funds – which total £21.9m in 20/21 – remain open.

Thursday 9th April

The Fundraising Regulator has published advice to provide clarity and reassurance given the huge burden the COVID-19 is having on the fundraising sector. It is advising on fundraising for charities and on safer giving for the public, in partnership with the Charity Commission for England and Wales, Trading Standards, Action Fraud and the Institute of Fundraising.

Acting for Others has announced the formation of a separate COVID-19 Fund which will be available to its 14 member charities. In addition, there are several fundraising events taking place in aid of the charity and its support to theatre workers, including All the Web’s a Stage, Fleabag for Charity and A Song for Our Time. Donations to Acting for Others can be made on Just Giving. @ActingForOthers

Wednesday 8th April

Arts Council England (ACE) has donated £400k to the Authors’ Emergency Fund, set up by the Society of Authors to support writers financially affected by COVID-19. The fund is open to all professional authors resident in the UK, or British subjects for whom author-related activity makes up a substantial amount of their annual income. They aim to turn applications around within weeks, with grants of up to £2,000 aiming to meet urgent need with the possibility of review as the situation continues.

Axisweb has received over 400 applications for its Hardship Fund, demonstrating the scale of need among their membership. This is more than Axisweb is able to support so they’re asking for donations from those able to give, which will be added to their fund to help more artists:

John’s Smith Square (SJSS) has launched a crowdfunded ‘Pay it forward’ scheme. Supporters are invited to give to the campaign to fund free concert tickets for NHS staff when the venue reopens.  The ‘pay it forward’ model, invites customers to purchase goods or services in advance to redeem when the lockdown has ended.

Tuesday 7th April

The Creative Industries Federation is partnering with Crowdfunder’s ‘Pay It Forward’ scheme, an online platform that provides the tech and tools for creative businesses to pre-sell tickets, products, bookings and services now, to be redeemed later. The aim is to help creative businesses and individuals raise the money they need and ease the immediate operating pressure.  To date, the scheme has raised over £1m for over 550 small businesses.

Museums Galleries Scotland has established an Urgent Response Fund using £700k of Scottish Government funding to support museums and galleries affected by Covid-19. Independent museums are being hit hardest by the pandemic and the new fund aims to support accredited, independent museums that care for recognised collections and non-recognised collections. A further £55,000 of capital funding is available to all museums, to purchase the necessary equipment to work from home and to enable them to provide digital access to museum collections and activity.

Monday 6th April

As part of Arts Council England’s emergency funding measures, Outdoor Arts UK is distributing funding to support freelance and self-employed individuals working in the outdoor arts sector who don’t qualify for other funds. 

The Money Advice Service is offering help by explaining in plain English what the Coronavirus means for you financially whether you are employed, furloughed, self-employed etc.  Their guide explains the support available and changes to the benefit system.  

Friday 3rd April

The Welsh government, the Arts Council of Wales and Sport Wales have announced £18m support for the culture, creative and sport sectors in Wales: £7m for the Arts Resilience Fund led by Arts Council Wales; £8m Sport Resilience Fund, £1m Creative Wales; £1m Cultural Resilience Fund; £750k Emergency Relief Fund and £250k Digital Library Resources.   

New Diorama Theatre’s North Star Project is collating insights and knowledge from their partners and contacts at Arts Council England, the London Assembly and other funding bodies, to offer advice, guidance and support to help artists  apply for all the financial support they're entitled, ensuring that the ‘ask’ is shaped to make the most impact. Sign up to the newsletter.

Cambridge Arts Network (CAN) is offering local freelancers and organisations not in the Arts Council England’s National Portfolio advice on applications to ACE’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.  45 minute slots are available on Tuesday 7, Thursday 9 and Tuesday 14 April for those seeking support and feedback.  Email Akua Obeng-Frimpong, Arts Development Officer to book a session.

Wednesday 1st April

a-n, which supports artists’ professional development activities, is promoting three funding streams for members impacted by Coronavirus Covid-19: a new £300,000 Arts Council England funded scheme to support the production of exhibitions and artwork in England; their own UK-wide Bursaries; and ACE’s regular programme of small grants for creative practitioners. Full details of all the schemes will be available shortly on the a-n website.

Arts Council England has launched an Emergency Response Package and announced details of the funding for individuals and organisations outside its National Portfolio. Details for NPOs will be available shortly. 

There are several Go Fund Me initiatives for artists and donors depending on location. These include: Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, West Midlands, South West, Manchester, East Midlands, Gloucestershire, Yorkshire,  London and Wales.

Tuesday 31st March

MyCake Finance has collated an open-source document collating some thoughts, ideas and links for freelancers & the self-employed.

Monday 30th March

The BBC has joined Netflix to support The Film and TV Charity by donating a total of £700,000 to two separate causes. £500,000 is going towards its COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, in partnership with the British Film Institute (BFI), and the remaining £200,000 will go into its Whole Picture Programme, the charity’s two-year mental health action plan.

Friday 27th March

Wales Art Review has set up a crowdfunder to provide an emergency hardship fund for artists and freelancers in the creative industries in Wales who have lost work due to Covid-19.

Charity Finance Group have created a list of resources to mitigate the financial impact of coronavirus on the charitable sector.

The Royal Society of Musicians (RSM) has contributed £500,000 to be distributed through the Help Musicians Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund. As a direct result of RSM’s donation, an additional 1,000 musicians will receive financial hardship support. The Fund is available to UK professional working musicians. The eligibility criteria and application process are on the Help Musicians website.

Stagedoor has announced that 20% of the subscription funds raised through its new ‘Patrons Club’, a new section of the organisation’s app, will go towards supporting non-profit theatres facing financial peril. 

A hardship fund for Manchester artists has hit its target after someone donated £600. Organiser Laurence Young, a freelance theatre director, has extended the goal to £3000 following the act of generosity. He aims to provide 10 grants of £200 to artists and other creative freelancers who cannot work or have been affected by cancellations. 

Farnham Maltings has launched a grants programme for theatre projects shaped by quarantine conditions. Grants of £500 to £5000 will be available for South East theatre makers to "create new work right now which responds to and supports our communities".

Thursday 26th March

GMCA has established COVID-19 Creative Commissions Programme granting 60 micro commissions, worth £500 each, for local artists and creators. Applicants must be based in Greater Manchester, have a UK bank account, and make some of their living from creation. Application deadline 5pm on 1st April.

The Coronavirus Resilience Fund from Coventry 2021 is available to organisations and individuals across Coventry and Warwickshire who have had their work impacted on by Covid-19. The maximum grant is £1000 for organisations and £500 for individuals.

Manchester International Festival (MIF) has announced details of a new funding scheme for artists and creative practitioners based in Greater Manchester. The funding will support three main strands of activity – ‘Festival in My House’, ‘Remote Residencies’ and ‘Get Creative’ – with budgets up to £1000 available.

The BFI and The Film and TV Charity have partnered to create an industry-backed Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund, established with a £1m donation from Netflix. The Charity will be administering the funds and is developing eligibility criteria and guidance on levels of funding. Those in immediate and urgent need should apply for support now via The Film and TV Charity’s existing hardship fund, offering grants of up to £500 to provide stop-gap support.

Wednesday 25th March

A Ticketsolve podcast, ‘The Arts and Everything in Between’ discusses COVID-19; its effect on the arts sector; and what help and guidance is out there for organisations, freelancers and anyone working in the arts. Featuring Michelle Wright, Chief Executive of Cause4 and Programme Director of The Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy.  

Tuesday 24th March

The government has launched a new website to help businesses and self-employed people find out how to access all the different support packages announced recently; with guidance on who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply. It includes information on financial support packages for businesses, advice on business operations, support for employees’ wage costs and information on changes to planning and regulations.

On Friday 27th March Creative Scotland will launch a simple and non-competitive Bridging Bursary Programme for individuals in immediate need due to the coronavirus crisis, and will announce a repurposed Open Project Fund. The two schemes aim to help individuals and organisations to sustain their creative work and practice.

A JustGiving crowdfunder launched by The Turbine Theatre last week, which aimed to raise £10k to provide Funds For Freelancers, has raised over £45k so far. The theatre board will draw and allocate funds every ten days. Freelancers urgently needing financial support should email submissions@paultaylormills.com in confidence, explaining their situation.

The Arts Council of Wales’ current Investment Review, which would have determined which organisations will receive revenue funding for the next five years, has been halted. The application period was due to close on 24th April and decisions were scheduled for October, with new funding arrangements in place from April 2021. The whole process has been postponed for a year. 

Axisweb has introduced a Hardship Fund for its members. The application doesn’t require an explanation of why funds are needed but it is only available to its members who are ‘facing significant financial hardship’.

Monday 23rd March

Arts Council England will be refocusing some grant programmes to help compensate artists an freelancers for lost earnings. It will also be relaxing its funding conditions for NPOs and Creative People and Places scheme. Grant conditions on National Lottery Project Grants will be relaxed too. More details yet to come. Send questions to Coronavirus-Queries@artscouncil.org.uk.

Fundraising Online, a free online conference from the Resource Alliance, will take place on 29 and 30 April 2020. The line-up includes content about fundraising, changemaking and innovating, with a strong focus on digital fundraising and engagement, how to harness emerging and disruptive tech trends, and what’s coming next over the horizon.

Among many others, Belgrade Theatre is explaining clearly how their friends, audiences and supporters can help them with financial support to see them through the crisis, highlighting donations, their membership scheme and gift vouchers. 

Facebook for Business is setting up a cash grants scheme for small businesses to help them survive the coronavirus crisis. This will be launched in the coming weeks, and organisations can sign up to receive details when the scheme opens for applications.

The Government has published advice on welfare benefits for people who are not entitled to Statutory Sick pay, including those who are self-employed, saying they will be eligible to claim Universal Credit or contributory ‘New Style’ Employment Support Allowance (ESA).

Programme Director of Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy, Michelle Wright, is offering a free hour of consultancy from 9-10am each morning - on a first-come-first-served basis - to arts organisations needing help in the coming weeks. The areas of advice include income generation, fundraising strategy and donor cultivation.

Artist Matthew Burrows has set up the #artistsupportpledge: artists post images of their work on Instagram, which they are willing to sell for no more than £200 each. Every time they reach £1,000 of sales they pledge to buy another artist's work for £200.

Josh Akapo, a London-based creative, has set up a London Artists & Creatives Coronavirus Fund to provide 25 £200 hardship funds for artists, cultural workers, practitioners and creative freelancers who cannot work due to coronavirus restrictions or have been affected by cancellations or other impacts. Birmingham-based Amahra Spence, who has worked as an artist in the creative industries for over 12 years, has launched a similar impact fund for West Midlands Artists.

Ticketsolve and Spektrix have joined forces to launch a Ticket Exchange tool that helps customers donate the value of their unused tickets to the venue or claim a refund.

HMRC has opened a dedicated tax helpline to support businesses and self-employed people concerned about not being able to pay their tax due to coronavirus.

PRS members and their families who are struggling and in need of help to deal with Covid-19 can apply for assistance from the PRS Members' Fund if they have held PRS membership for at least seven years, or have earned £500 in royalties.

The government has announced a one-year delay to 6 April 2021 for the roll-out of off-payroll working rules known as IR35. The introduction of these rules would have meant larger organisations in the cultural sector having to assess whether their freelance workers should be classed as employed for tax purposes.

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