Eligibility criteria and guidance for applicants

This page provides detailed information on our grants eligibility criteria and guidance on accessible and inclusive practice.

We accept applications from the following:

1) Formally constituted, not-for-profit, organisations. This could include charities, CICs and CIOs. All these organisations will hold collections, which may include fine and applied art and design, archaeology and/or social history, and be committed to delivering activity that increases public access to these collections, which have public benefit and align with Art Fund’s charitable objectives.

2) Organisations without collections need to be committed to delivering activity that increases public access to the visual arts more generally, which has public benefit and aligns with Art Fund’s charitable objectives.

3) Organisations may include but are not restricted to museums, galleries, historic houses, archives and libraries, agencies and festivals.

Unfortunately, we are unable to support the following:

  • Organisations that exist to make profit, including: Private Limited Companies, Public Limited Companies, Unlimited Companies, or Sole Traders
  • General Partnerships, Limited Partnerships, or Limited Liability Partnerships
  • Commercial organisations
  • Organisations with a focus on music, drama, dance and art forms outside the visual arts
  • Individuals or unincorporated bodies directly (unless an application is submitted by or with the formal written agreement of an eligible organisation (as described above)).
  • Hospitals and places of worship

Some funding programmes will be more suitable for certain kinds of organisations than others. Please refer to the specific criteria and aims of the programme you are interested in.

Guidance on accessible and inclusive practice

If you are applying to us for project funding, when it comes to thinking about how you will utilise your grant, please consider the following:

  • When recruiting new staff, trainees or interns: Ensure that you consider inclusive recruitment practices, salary guidelines and transparency around roles. Salary guidance for the sector has been published by the Museums Association and Icon. Fair Museum Jobs’ manifesto advocates for best practice in museum recruitment. Jerwood Arts has a toolkit on socio-economic diversity and inclusion.
  • Working with volunteers: Consider inclusive recruitment practices to ensure volunteering opportunities are widely accessible. We expect you to cover reasonable expenses. The Group for Education in Museums (GEM) directs to resources on working with volunteers.
  • Engaging with community groups: When undertaking collaborative and co-curated projects and working with groups whose expertise and experience you value, do not expect them to donate their time; consider what reasonable reimbursement you can offer and how this will affect your budget. Community engagement can provide an opportunity for you to broaden your audiences and widen representation in your organisation; ensure that this is approached in a sensitive and inclusive way. Consider additional costs associated with access adjustments and interpretation. You should have safeguarding policies for the audiences you work with.
  • Engaging with freelancers: Consider best practice and acceptable rates when working with freelancers. Museum Freelancers have resources on engaging with sector freelancers, including guidance on recruiting, briefing and working with freelancers and information on day rates across different specialisms.
  • Working with artists: Inclusive recruitment practices should be adopted when working with artists for commissioning, community projects, workshops and other projects, and we advise you to refer to sector-specific guidance when calculating artist fees. The Artists Information Company has guidance on day rates for artists.
  • Working with partners, agencies and providers: When procuring external services, we expect you to source partners and providers that share your values, and with diversity and inclusion in mind.
  • Accessible programming: In developing public programming, events and content, you should consider accessibility and how to overcome possible barriers to engagement, whether physical, sensory, economic, digital or social. The Disability Collaborative Network provides numerous resources on accessibility and inclusivity.
  • Marketing: Establish who the local and wider audiences are for your project, determine how they want to be communicated to, and plan your marketing accordingly, ensuring it is adequately resourced in your budget. Consider bringing in external consultancy if you don’t have the necessary expertise in-house.
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