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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 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 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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What happens if the target amount for a project isn’t met or the museum or gallery cannot deliver the project?

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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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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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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I want to help fund a project, but 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 project funders list.

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Corporate Membership

What does your corporate membership include?

Investing in our special National Art Pass offer for companies will inspire creativity in your workplace and provide a unique staff benefit that makes it easier and more affordable to see great art nationwide. You will also be helping the Art Fund to support galleries and museums across the UK.

Our offer for companies includes:

  • National Art Passes for your staff. Pick from personalised individual, double or family passes, offering a year’s worth of inspiration from the wealth of art on display in our public collections.
  • Art in your inbox. Our fortnightly e-newsletter delivers an inspiring round-up of the latest must-see exhibitions, tips for great days out, special offers, competitions and updates from the art world.
  • Art Quarterly, our exclusive members’ magazine, and your own personalised webpage tailored to provide inspiration on where to use your National Art Pass.
  • Invitations to exclusive private views of the season’s must-see blockbuster exhibitions.
  • Discretionary benefits and special offers from our partners, including discounts and free passes to the major art fairs in and around London.
  • Our heartfelt thanks for helping us to continue to do more. We’ll acknowledge your company as a supporter of the Art Fund’s charitable work in our annual review, as well as the Art Fund’s website, the go-to site for art-lovers.

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We are interested in your corporate membership, how can we discuss this further?

To find out more about our special National Art Pass offer for companies and how it can work for your organisation, please contact

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Donating or selling a work of art

I would like to donate a work of art to a museum. What do I need to do?

If you have a work of museum quality which you would like to donate during your lifetime or after your death, the Art Fund can help you identity the most appropriate home for the work, and handle the negotiations on your behalf. By acting as a conduit, we will also safeguard your gift in perpetuity through our terms and conditions, which ensure that your gift remains well cared for and accessible to public, and that your contribution is acknowledged.

There may also be ways to offset a tax bill with your donation:

  • The Cultural Gifts Scheme, introduced in 2013 and administered by Arts Council England, allows the donor of an eminent work of art, archive or other cultural item in their lifetime to claim a tax reduction equal to 30 per cent of its value against their income or capital gains tax bill or a combination of the two.
  • The Acceptance in Lieu Scheme, also administered by Arts Council England, allows you to offer a pre-eminent work of art to a public collection in lieu of part or all of the estate's inheritance tax.

To find out more about donating an artwork or a collection to a museum, including tax-efficient ways to give, do not hesitate to contact us in confidence:

Hannah Bishop, development executive
020 7225 4839

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I want to sell a work of art to a museum, can the Art Fund help?

Aside from the benefit of the work being seen by the public, there may be some tax advantages available to both you and the purchasing museum (Private Treaty Sale Scheme), should a willing museum buyer be found. The Art Fund is unable to recommend which institution to approach or act as a conduit on this instance, but we may be able to direct you to appropriate advice.

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Remembering us on your will

I'd like to leave a gift to the Art Fund in my will. How can I do this?

Including the Art Fund in your will is one of the most important ways to donate: every year legacies help our work to have an even greater impact on public collections. A gift in your will is also a means to ensure that you can continue to support a cause that you care about beyond your lifetime.

Download our brochure for practical advice to consider when making your will.

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Can I restrict my legacy to a particular area of the Art Fund's work?

Absolutely. An unrestricted gift in your will is always the most helpful, as it allows us to use your gift where there is greatest need at that time, but you can of course restrict its use to a particular area of our work.

For more information please contact:

Sarah Tuppen
Development assistant
020 7225 4851

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Are there any tax implications for my estate?

As a registered charity, a gift to the Art Fund in your will is tax free.

If you think your estate might be liable to inheritance tax, we strongly recommend that you ask your solicitor for further information about making a tax-effective will. In general terms, if you leave a charitable legacy in your will, it reduces the inheritance tax that has to be paid on your estate. There’s also an additional incentive for people to leave at least 10% of their net estate to charity, as they will pay a reduced rate of inheritance tax on the remainder of the estate.

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Student National Art Pass

What is the Student National Art Pass scheme?

Designed to encourage students to make the most of our national collections and to grow new audiences for museums and galleries, the Student National Art Pass brings all the benefits of National Art Pass membership for free to university students studying arts subjects.

At the start of the 2015/16 academic year, a free Student National Art Pass was available to over 8,000 students at 22 universities nationwide – from Glasgow to Goldsmiths, Oxford to Aberystwyth, Manchester to East Anglia.

The scheme is only possible thanks to private supporters whose generous contributions enable us to offer the free passes to students.

Find out more.

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I am interested in sponsoring the scheme. How can I do this?

If you are interested in sponsoring the scheme, please contact Alice Regent in our development team:

Find out more about the scheme.

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I work for a university. How can we join the scheme?

If you are interested in introducing the Student National Art Pass at your university, please contact Alice Regent in our development team:

Find out more about the scheme.

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