In partnership with the Association of Charitable Foundations and Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Trusts & Foundations are an increasingly important source of finance and support for local charitable arts organisations. The Association of Charitable Foundations suggest that the top 300 charitable trusts and foundations in the UK distribute £2.7bn in grants each year - about 15% of all annual income into voluntary organisations. The majority of these charitable foundations are based outside of NI; a small distance that can present a big challenge to local arts organisations wanting to develop new funding relationships. Our Annual Trusts & Foundations Symposium provides intimate face-to-face opportunities for individuals on either side of the funding table to share their vision and ambition. As Niall Corry, Grants Officer at Halifax Foundation for Northern Ireland said, it is a valuable opportunity to “promote the foundation’s programme, identify potential applicants and provide them with support from the outset”.
Making a Difference
Last year’s Annual Symposium, again in partnership with ACF and ACNI, provided 87 one-to-one funding surgeries. A follow up survey reported that so far, four arts organisations alone have secured £220,000 from funders such as BBC Children In Need, The Ireland Funds, and the Halifax Foundation of NI. This Symposium has real impact on the NI Arts Sector’s bottom line, and continues to highlight that Trusts and Foundations are committed to partnering the arts here.
Practical and Personal
This year we were delighted to hear from Lou Errington, Grants Manager at Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Simon Daniels, Head of Development at Historic Royal Palaces. Both talked passionately about their organisations aims, and shared their frank insights into making compelling funding applications. After the always lively panel discussion, representatives from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Charitable Jerwood Foundation, BBC Children in Need, and the Halifax Foundation for NI gave one-to one funding surgeries where attendees explored the possibility of funding in the future. Also, attending arts organisations waiting for their surgeries had the valuable (and often underrated) opportunity to meet other professional arts managers to bounce ideas and strengthen bonds within the sector.
Stronger, Broader, Deeper…
Speaking at the Symposium, Nick Livingston, Director of Strategic Development & Head of Policy and Research at Arts Council NI said “I’m really heartened to see so many trusts and foundations represented here today – they are evidently keen to engage with our sector – and we now have the opportunity to hear from them, to develop our appreciation of their areas of interest and their funding priorities.”
Thank you to the Trusts & Foundations who gave their time to attend this event, and good luck to all our Arts Members for their future applications!
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Arts & Business is generously supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.