Why did we do this?
The arts play an essential role in our everyday lives, our cultural identity and our economy. They create opportunity, jobs and valuable income for our communities. They can also have a hugely positive impact on people’s lives and address some of our most pressing social issues.
We want to support more arts organisations with social aims to achieve sustainable growth and increase their social impact.
By focusing on both artistic and social outcomes, we want to promote the wider positive impact art has on society and support more organisations to benefit individuals and communities through their work.
This demonstrator fund also aimed to attract more social investors to the arts to benefit the wider sector.
What did we do?
Working alongside Bank of America and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and with support from Arts Council England and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, we launched the £7 million Arts Impact Fund.
The fund was the first of its kind to focus on the social, artistic and financial return created by arts-based organisations. It provided repayable finance between £150,000 and £600,000 to arts organisations in England with ambitions to grow, achieve great artistic quality and have a positive impact on society.
Arts organisations needed to demonstrate how they would repay the loan and that they can achieve social impact in one of the areas (youth and educational attainment; community and citizen; health and wellbeing).
Between 2015 and 2019, we announced a total of £8.8 million of investment across 27 enterprising arts organisations. Browse the portfolio.
The fund was created and funded by Bank of America, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Nesta, supported by Arts Council England and with additional funding from Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. It was convened with the help of the Cabinet Office, to demonstrate the significant social value created by arts organisations and support their work through loan finance.
To find out more about the Arts Impact Fund, which organisations are eligible to apply, windows for funding and what types of funding are available visit www.artsculturefinance.org/our-funds/arts-impact-fund