Arts Council Recovery Fund – Reflecting on the impact
In January 2022 we received £30,500 from Arts Council’s Recovery Fund that was set up to support cultural organisations that were financially stable before Covid-19, but were at imminent risk of failure. As an organisation that is only funded through individual projects it was an interesting time to reflect on what we needed as an organisation to thrive and sustain ourselves over the coming years.
This funding supported us to become a registered charity, to revamp our website, to change our logo and branding and to cover our core costs for 3 months whilst we did all this work. 12 months on and we have a new website and a new brand which feel much more representative of the work we do but by far the biggest impact for us was becoming a CIO (charitably incorporated organisation).
Becoming a registered charity can seem daunting but we paid £1750 to a solicitor to support us with the paperwork and that made the whole process so much simpler. It took around 2 months to close the CIC and open the CIO but from June 2022 we have benefited from the huge range of trusts and foundations, the discounts and the free services only available to registered charities. This has an a transformational effect on our fundraising and our ability to raise funds for longer term projects and core costs. We are viewed by funders as a more rigorous and less risky entity and we feel stronger and more able to plan for the future.
The impact of this relatively modest funding has been immense. Thanks to Arts Council we are more sustainable, our public interface is much better and we have the confidence that we can overcome whatever hurdles the next few years will present. It is a shame that it took a pandemic to make this kind of support available for an arts organisation like this and we would love to see more opportunities for organisations to reflect and articulate their own needs to key funders.
If you like advice about becoming a CIC or a CIO or about funding your project get in touch and we can arrange a session either face-to-face or during a wash at Harriett’s Press.