Frequently Asked Questions

National Art Pass

My account

Gift Aid

Art Happens

About us

National Art Pass

What is the National Art Pass?

The National Art Pass is the membership card issued to Art Fund members. It is your passport to art, giving free or discounted entry to over 700 museums, galleries, historic houses and castles across the UK, and up to 50% off major exhibitions.

The really good bit? Funds raised through the pass allows the Art Fund to help museums and galleries buy important works of art for our public collections for everyone to enjoy.


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Where can I use my National Art Pass?

You can use your National Art Pass in over 700 museums and galleries across the UK. Find out which museums, castles, country houses and art galleries are near you with our interactive  Art map.

When you buy a National Art Pass you will be sent a Guide which includes full listings and maps showing you where to use your card. You can aslo download our free Art Guide app to discover hundreds of museums and galleries and check for National Art Pass benefits wherever you are.

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Can I make use of my membership straight away?

Your National Art Pass is your Art Fund membership card, so you will need to wait until you receive it.

If would like to know your membership number in advance, please contact Supporter Services. We cannot guarantee you free and discounted entry during this time.

Museums and galleries may allow you to book tickets if you quote your membership number before you receive your card, however they will require you to show a valid card on collection of your tickets/entry to the venue. 

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Which type of National Art Pass is best for me?

There are four types of annual National Art Pass, which can be bought for yourself or given as a gift.

A Single gives an annual card, Double is ideal for two art lovers living at the same address: it includes named cards for two adults. Family also includes two cards, each admitting the named cardholder and children or grandchildren under 16 in the family. One card is included for Under 26 and the member must be 26 or younger at time of purchase.

Single and Double are also available as Life memberships.

Buy yours online or contact our Supporter Services Team.

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When will I receive my National Art Pass?

Standard delivery is by Royal Mail second class service. Please allow ten working days for your welcome pack and National Art Pass(es) to arrive. 

We do offer an Express delivery service for new memberships  and gifts which costs £6.95 and means that you will receive your card(s) within 2 working days (e.g. if you buy a National Art Pass on a Monday, the card will be with you on Wednesday by 1pm).

Please note that all orders placed from 23 December 2015 until 3 January 2016 will not be dispatched until week commencing 4 January 2016.

Need help? Drop us a line at or contact our Supporter Services team if you prefer to speak with us over the phone.

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I am thinking of setting up a Direct Debit, what does it commits me to?

It doesn't commit you to anything but the payment for your membership subscription each year that you decide to stay with us. You can cancel your Direct Debit instruction at any time.

Direct Debit is a secure and convenient way of paying for your National Art Pass. We will always get in touch well in advance to let you know when a new payment will be debited from your account so that you can make any changes if needs be, plus you will be protected by the Direct Debit guarantee, which means that if an error is made by your bank or the Art Fund, you are guaranteed an immediate and full refund by your bank.


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When will I receive 'Art Quarterly'?

Our magazine, Art Quarterly, is mailed to members four times a year: March, June, September and December. 


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I have lost my National Art Pass, what shall I do?

If you have an online account with us, simply log in and click in 'Request new card' in the 'National Art Pass' tab and confirm your details. 

Alternatively, please contact our Supporter Services Team who will be happy to send a replacement card free of charge. Please note that any subsequent replacement cards will incur a small administration fee.

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Can I lend my National Art Pass to a friend or relative?

No, your National Art Pass is your Art Fund membership card and is non transferable.

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I set up a Direct Debit last year, why has my subscription fee changed?

Choosing to set up a Direct Debit for your National Art Pass is a way making your subscription go further, as it helps us reduce our administration costs so that more of your subscription is spent where it really matters. 

When you set up a Direct Debit for the first time, you will enjoy a 25% discount on your first year as a thank you for supporting us in this way. On subsequent years the full rate will apply, hence why the amount is different.  

The Art Fund strongly believes that all its supporters must be treated in a fair, open and transparent manner, and we will always write you several weeks in advance before your membership is due for renewal to let you know the amount and date on which your next annual payment will be debited, so that you have plenty of time to make any changes if needs be. 

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Are there any terms and conditions of membership?

Yes, you can find these in our Terms and Conditions page.

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I would like to cancel my membership

We are always sad to see a member go, but if your circumstances have changed and have decided not to renew your National Art Pass, simply contact our Supporter Services team. 

If you have set up a Direct Debit instruction for your membership, we will always write to you several weeks in advance before your membership is due for renewal. To ensure that we can cancel your membership on time, please do get in touch with us as soon as you receive your advance notice of renewal and new cards for the year, and no later than at least 3 working days before the date your payment is due to be taken.  


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My account

I don't know if I have an Art Fund online account. How can I find out?

Simply click in this link and enter your email address when prompted. You will receive an email within a couple of minutes:

  • if you have an account with us, the email will contain a secure link to add a new password for your account.
  • if you don't have an account, simply click in the 'Register with us' link included in the email to create an account.

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I am a member, how do I log in?

When you become a member of the Art Fund, we don't automatically create an online account as we respect that this should be your personal choice.  

Register now to take advantage of this new way of making the most of your membership. 

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I can't log in

Our password functionality is sensitive to letter case, so make sure that your caps lock key isn't turned on (unless your password is all in caps). If you're still unable to log in, please click this link to reset your password. You'll receive an email from us with a secure link to enter a new password for your account within a few minutes. 

Alternatively, please do not hesitate to contact us at

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I've forgotten my password - what should I do?

Simply click this link to reset your password. You'll receive an email from us within a few minutes with a secure link to enter a new password for your account. 

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I cannot see my membership details

Please allow 48 hours for your online account and your membership to be synced. In the event that after that time you are still unable to see your membership details, drop us a line at and we will sort this out for you straight away.

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I've just registered, but haven't received the confirmation email yet.

Please check your spam/junk mail folder. If you still can't find the email or are having trouble verifying your account, drop us a line at

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Why do I need to validate my email address?

To keep your account secure, we need to verify your email address and confirm that it belongs to you. When you create an account, you'll receive an email from us within a few minutes. All you have to do is click the link provided to complete the registration.

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I want to close my online account

Please send an email to indicating your full name and address, and once we have verified your identity, we will get in touch with you to confirm that your request has been processed and your online account has been closed.

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Gift Aid

What is Gift Aid?

Gift Aid is a Government scheme where charities like the Art Fund can reclaim from the HMRC the tax paid on your subscriptions and donations.

This means that if you are a UK tax payer and you tick Gift Aid box, we will obtain from HMRC an additional 25p for each £1 you give us, without costing you a penny more.

To give us an extra 25% at no extra cost to you, follow the Gift Aid it link in the National Art Pass tab of your online account, or simply email us your name and telephone number and a member of our team will get in touch with you to take your Gift Aid declaration over the phone and answer any queries you may have. 


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I am not sure if I can opt in to Gift Aid?

In order to Gift Aid your subscriptions and/or donations to the Art Fund:

  1. You must be a UK tax payer
  2. What you pay in income or capital gains tax in each tax year (6 April -5 April) must at least equal the total amount that all the charities and community amateur sport clubs that you support with Gift Aid will claim for your donations. The charities will claim 25 p for each £1 given.

You pay UK income or capital gains tax if:

  • income tax is taken from your wages or salary before you receive your pay
  • you pay tax after filling in a self-assessment form each year
  • you have taxable savings, or a pension plan, or investment income
  • you have paid any capital gains tax, e.g., on the sale of a property or some shares. 

Please note that other taxes such as Council Tax and VAT do not qualify.

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Can I gift aid my membership subscriptions?

Yes, if you are buying or renewing a National Art Pass for yourself, you can Gift Aid your annual subscription and  allow us to obtain an additional 25p for each £1 you give us without costing you a penny more.  

To give us an extra 25% at no extra cost to you, tick the Gift Aid box  when buying/renewing your National Art Pass.  If you have an online account with us, simply follow the Gift Aid it link in the National Art Pass tab. Alternatively, email us your name and telephone number and a member of our team will get in touch with you to take your Gift Aid declaration over the phone and answer any queries you may have. 

Please note that Life memberships and memberships bought/renewed as a gift are not eligible for Gift Aid.

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Art Happens

What is Art Happens?

Art Happens is a curated crowdfunding platform housed within the Art Fund’s website; it has been designed to harness the reach of the web to bring together potential donors with UK museums, offering the donors the opportunity to receive rewards in return for their support. The development and launch costs of Art Happens have been generously supported by a small number of individuals and charitable trusts, and a grant from Arts Council England.

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How does Art Happens work?

UK museums feature projects that need financial support at In return for their support, funders can receive rewards for contributions at different levels. If a project receives enough funding through the site, the project ‘happens’ thanks to the backing of that donor group. The Art Happens website also offers the museum the chance to communicate with funders, by offering updates as the project progresses.

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How are projects selected?

The Art Happens website is not an open platform; projects featured have been selected by the Art Fund in collaboration with participating UK museums. Any accredited museum or gallery is eligible to crowdfund through Art Happens, as well as not-for-profit visual arts organisations with a public focus. Interested in getting involved? Find out more.

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When will I receive my reward?

Rewards will not be dispatched until a project opens to the public, as some rewards are reliant on the project being fully completed before they can be realised. They will be dispatched to donors as soon as they are available. Any delays will be notified in advance by email. 

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Can I buy a reward as a gift?

Yes, all the rewards on Art Happens are available to buy as gifts. Simply select the reward you would like to purchase and choose the 'yes this is a gift' option when you checkout. You can also select that the reward be sent to your recipient and email them to let them know about their gift.

Please note: if you have bought a reward as a gift, it will be dispatched as soon as it is available – this might not be until the project is realised, as it could depend on images or assets related to the completed project. We'll be in touch to let your recipient know when it's on its way!

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How do the Art Happens gift certificates work?

You can purchase £25, £45, £60 and £100 gift certificates. Simply select the level of certificate you would like to purchase and continue to checkout. You can choose to email your gift recipient with their certificate and a personalised message or you can print out the certificate and give it to them yourself. A PDF of the certificate you have purchased will be saved in your account

Any problems please don't hesitate to contact us at Please note that Art Happens gift certificate or card can be used to support any project, up to the value that has been place on the certificate. It can not be exchanged for cash or to purchase membership. 

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How much of the donation goes directly to the project?

100% of your donation and any gift aid reclaimed will go directly towards funding the Art Happens project you have chosen to support. The Art Fund will collect all monies (donations and gift aid) and transfer the total amount to the named museum to ensure they deliver the project as described. The Art Fund does not keep any part of the donation. The development and launch costs of Art Happens have been generously supported by a small number of individuals and charitable trusts, and a grant from Arts Council England.

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I don’t want my name to appear on your website – is it possible to remain anonymous?

Yes, when you’re making your donation there is a tick-box that gives you the option to remain anonymous on our website – no image or name will appear in the list of funders. 

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What happens if the target amount isn’t met or the project doesn't go ahead?

If a project does not go ahead, for whatever reason, you will be offered the opportunity to support another project for a different reward or have your donation returned. 

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About us

What is the Art Fund's purpose?

The Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. We help museums and galleries buy works of art and help the public make the most of the UK's fascinating collections. Find out more about the different ways we do this.

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What are your main policies and strategy?

The Art Fund exists to help museums and galleries acquire great works of art, and to help the public make the most of them.

We raise money to do this in many ways: by giving grants to museums to buy works of art and develop new collections; supporting the showing of art through tours and exhibitions; seeking to influence government policy and stimulating debate. We also campaign to make it easier for museums to add to their collections, from pressing for new tax incentives to encourage giving, to campaigning for reforms to the export control system for art.

We are pursuing a strategy that sees us doing more to help museums in a number of ways:

  • Giving money to help museums buy works of art and develop collections, and placing gifts and bequests of art.
  • Fundraising to save important works from being lost from public view.
  • Helping the public to discover and make the most of the UK's museums through the National Art Pass and the Art Guide.
  • Supporting the development of curators – the lifeblood of museums.
  • Enabling the sharing of collections around the UK by supporting tours and exhibitions.
  • Campaigning on behalf of museums and their visitors, eg for the introduction of tax incentives to make giving easier.

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How is the Art Fund funded?

The Art Fund is an independent charity and we receive no public funding whatsoever.  

Our work is only made possible thanks to the generosity of art lovers throughout the UK, whose contributions, large or small, provide our income and make our work possible. Today, our 117,000 members, who all own a National Art Pass, 600 volunteerscorporate supporters, trusts and foundations, continue the philanthropic spirit of our founders, who believed that by coming together, individuals can achieve great things.  

We often work in partnership with the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to raise money for important works of art. For example we ran the appeal to save Van Dyck’s final self-portrait in 2013-4 and the HLF stepped in at the last minute with a major grant of £6.3m to bring the appeal to a successful close.​


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How is the Art Fund organised?

The Art Fund is a registered charity that is governed by a Royal Charter which was granted in 1928 and incorporates bye-laws which state that “the business of the Fund shall be managed by the Executive Committee” – today, the Board of Trustees.

As the Trustee body of the Art Fund, the Board has the primary task of considering applications from museums and galleries for grants towards the purchase of works of art, and offers of gifts as well as bequests. Trustees on the board, which meets several times a year, are expert in a range of fields including art history, business and other relevant artistic areas.

The Board of Trustees delegates the day to day running of the Art Fund to the senior management team.

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Does the Art Fund campaign to safeguard local museum services?

The Art Fund is very concerned that museums across the UK are facing serious financial and structural difficulties – and in some cases, total closure – because of local authority funding cuts. Despite the Chancellor’s recent recognition of the economic as well as wider benefits of the arts, and despite museums’ important role in creating a vibrant cultural life for local communities, museums and galleries are not a protected statutory service, and are therefore often first in the firing line when councils need to make savings.

Collections held in trust by national and local governments belong to the public, and museums play a vital role in maintaining these collections and making them available to us all. We nonetheless acknowledge that in the face of continued funding cuts it is unrealistic to expect all museums to survive unscathed and unchanged. We are sympathetic to the difficult decisions many local authorities will need to make in the coming months, and open to a range of solutions, from museums moving to independent trust status, to merged museum services and shared back-office resources.

Although the Art Fund cannot campaign to save every museum faced with damaging cuts or closure, we will step in where possible if we believe the care of a collection is under threat, or opportunities for the public to enjoy access to a collection will be severely restricted. When we act, this will be following consultation with our museum sector colleagues, and in a manner most appropriate to the situation – our response may be as part of a public consultation, through local or national press, and/or campaigning privately and behind-the-scenes.

Please read our policy on museum closures and cuts and find out more about our campaigning activities.

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Are museums allowed to sell works of art from their collections?

Museums may undertake responsible disposal as part of their long-term collections policy. The Museums Association has published a Code of Ethics for museums, which states that wherever possible, museums should retain objects in the public domain, and should give priority to transferring objects to another museum.

Museums should not dispose principally for financial reasons, and sales are only allowed in exceptional circumstances, where it will significantly improve the long-term public benefit derived from the remaining collection, after extensive consultation with the sector and as a last resort after all other sources of funding have been explored. Any money raised from a sale must be ring-fenced solely and directly for the benefit of the museum's collection.

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I am concerned about funding cuts to my local museum. What can I do?

We would encourage anyone concerned about local museum cuts and closures to consider the following actions:

  • Get in touch with our policy manager, Aalia Kamal at We may be able to offer more information, advice or assistance.
  • If your museum has a friends or volunteers group, you can get in touch with them to learn more about their plans and see how you might be able to help. There may already be a local campaign you could get involved with.
  • If there is a public consultation taking place, you can have your say by taking part. Find out more.
  • If the museum is owned and run by a local authority, you could write to the leader of the council to voice your concerns.
  • Contact your local MP by letter or email - or you could also go along to one of their regular local constituency surgeries. Find out more.

Please read our full policy on museum closures and cuts.

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How do the museums acknowledge your support?

Museums and galleries who have received our support offer Art Fund members free or reduced-price admission to their collections and/or exhibitions on presentation of their National Art Pass.

Most museums display a discreet Art Fund logo or credit next to the work of art we helped them buy, and some also promote the scheme to visitors through displays or special events.

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What is your charity number?

Our registered charity number for England and Wales is 209174 and for Scotland SC038331.

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How can I voice my opinion?

Contact our dedicated Supporter Services team: we welcome all feedback from our supporters and we are here to answers any questions you may have about our work.

Each summer we hold an Annual General Meeting in London, where we share highlights from the previous year and announce plans for the future. Members are welcome to attend and there is a Q&A session when we welcome questions and comments which are recorded. 

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