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Festivals Toolkit: Fundraising: Trusts

There are reputed to be over 8000 grant-making trusts in the UK giving in total about £2.1bn to charitable causes each year, 10% of which is allocated to arts projects. 

Many are listed in the Charities Aid Foundation Directory of Grant Making Trusts, co-published with the Directory of Social Change.  Grant-making trusts have similarities to the public sector in that their funding is usually linked to specific objectives set by the trustees or by the original benefactor.  All applications will have to be in writing to the trustees.  In some cases the trust will have an application form that you will have to complete.

Key features

  • You will probably need to have charitable status
  • You will need to be able to meet the trust’s objectives precisely
  • Communication is sometimes limited

Selecting a trust
Use the directories/on-line sources to locate trusts that might help.  Your list should include:

  • Those in your geographical area
  • Those interested in your work/your target group
  • Those that make awards of the size you need

Some popular funding sources include:

Awards for All -
Awards for All makes lottery grants of between £300 and £10,000 to fund a specific project or activity. You can apply if you are a not-for-profit group or if you are a parish or town council, school or health body. You must have a bank account that requires at least two people to sign each cheque or withdrawal. You must use the grant within one year. Organisations can receive up to a maximum of £10,000 from Awards for All in any two year period. Groups can only make one application at a time.

Foundation for Sports and the
The FSA looks to support a wide range of activities where there is clear beneficial impact across the community. Their particular goal at this time is to encourage active participation by young people. They look for evidence of active fund raising, and the involvement and commitment of local people in trying to help themselves, where an award of up to £40,000 can make the difference between success and failure.

PRS Foundation for New Music - Awards to Festivals -  
The Awards to Festivals programme is open to festivals that are run by organisations that:

  • Have been in existence for at least one year.
  • Are not-for-profit, although not necessarily a charity.
  • Able to demonstrate a strong commitment to new UK music.

The Foundation defines a festival as being a concentrated programme of live music events taking place over an extended duration. Organisations planning one or two day festivals, or promoting a series of regular live musical events throughout the year are advised to contact the Foundation as they may be more suited to one of their other funding programmes.

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation -
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK.  They  aim to improve the quality of life throughout the UK by funding the charitable activities of organisations that have the ideas and ability to achieve change for the better. Their primary interests are in the UK's cultural life, education, the natural environment and enabling people who are disadvantaged to participate more fully in society.

Google Grants UK Beta Programme -
Designed for registered charities, Google Grants provides free advertising on Google AdWords to charities seeking to inform and engage their constituents online. Applications can be made at any time.

Derbyshire Community Foundation -
The Derbyshire Community Foundation is a non-profit organisation that provides independent funding for voluntary community action throughout the county of Derbyshire. Set up in 1996, the Derbyshire Community Foundation distributes grants to voluntary groups whose aims are to tackle disadvantage and enhance community life in Derbyshire.

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