Arts and heritage sector explores potential of matched crowdfunding
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London, 1 September 2016Individuals and organisations with ideas for new projects in the arts and heritage sectors are encouraged to register their interest in an innovative new crowdfunding programme set to launch on 14 September 2016.

The initiative will see a series of specially selected crowdfunded projects be given up to £10,000 - or 25% of their total target amount received in donations - in matched funding.

According to Nesta research, crowdfunding has grown exponentially in the UK in recent years, with the market now worth nearly £400 million a year. Matched crowdfunding is  increasingly popular: a proportion of money pledged by the crowd is then matched by an organisation, but until now there has been little research into the relative advantages and disadvantages of this method of fundraising.

This pilot scheme, outlined in the government’s Culture White Paper, is the result of a partnership between UK innovation foundation Nesta, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Arts Council England (ACE) and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Crowdfunder, the UK crowdfunding platform, will be launching dedicated arts and heritage campaigns as a part of the programme. The platform will also manage the distribution of the partner funds into eligible projects

The campaigns break down into two key sectors: 

●One will be backed by £125,000 from ACE and will award match funding to eligible  individuals looking to launch arts projects in England who are able to raise the other 75% of their target funding amount.

●The other will be backed by £125,000 from HLF and will provide funding to selected organisations planning projects in the heritage sector in Scotland, North-West and South West England who are able to raise the other 75% of their target funding amount.

Not only will the initiative benefit a variety of projects, but it will also test the effectiveness of matched crowdfunding as an innovative way of funding arts and heritage projects.

Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock said: “UK arts and heritage are admired around the world. Continued public funding and private investment has a vital role to play in ensuring these sectors continue to thrive.

“I’m delighted that this innovative crowdfunding pilot will explore exciting new ways to support private investment and develop sustainable fundraising models across the country.”

Organisations or individuals with proposals for projects to be submitted to one of the funding streams should submit their ideas at





Helen Goulden, executive director of Nesta’s innovation lab said: “Nesta has been working with the crowdfunding sector since 2010, tracking the size and growth of the market. One trend we’ve identified is that established grant funders within sectors like arts and heritage are starting to experiment with matched crowdfunding to make the most of their money.

“We’re pleased to be able to work with the other partners on this project, because not only will it help support some really exciting arts and heritage projects but it will also aid wider understanding of how the power of the crowd can be used to leverage increased funding and donor engagement.”

Francis Runacres, Director of Investment at Arts Council England, said: “Arts and culture in this country thrives on a mixed funding model of public investment, earned income and donations. Our investment in this crowdfunding pilot will enable arts and cultural organisations to explore new revenue sources, helping them to become more resilient & sustainable businesses.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of HLF said: “We’re looking forward to seeing how this pilot crowdfunding programme can be used to increase grassroots support, with a range of heritage projects, large and small, using National Lottery money to boost the funds raised.  We’re hoping to see increased community involvement in local heritage, leading to greater volunteer commitment as well as more money raised, through the use of a wider range of fundraising tools.”

Phil Geraghty, MD of Crowdfunder said, "We are delighted to be partnering with Nesta, Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England on distributing a total of £250,000 to arts and heritage crowdfunding projects across the UK.

“We are seeing huge growth in crowdfunding for arts and heritage projects having already raised in excess of £5m on Crowdfunder. This is a great opportunity for cultural projects to unlock extra funding with the support and validation of the crowd."

Notes to Editors

For further information please contact Matthew Hull at the Nesta press office on 020 7438 2514 / 2543 or [email protected]


About Nesta

Nesta is the UK's innovation foundation. We help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. We do this by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills. We are an independent charity and our work is enabled by an endowment from the National Lottery. Nesta is a registered charity in England and Wales 1144091 and Scotland SC042833. | @nesta_uk


About Arts Council England

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2015 and 2018, we plan to invest £1.1 billion of public money from government and an estimated £700 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. | @ace_national


About the Heritage Lottery Fund

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. | @heritagelottery.


About Crowdfunder

Crowdfunder is the UK’s leading rewards-based crowdfunding platform having raised over 25m for thousands of charities, social enterprises, businesses, communities and individual crowdfunding projects across the UK. | @CrowdfunderUK