Funding Opportunities

 

 

There are many means by which a project can be funded and projects are often funded from a multiple of sources. In many respects it is often easier to attract funding when others have already committed to the project. Funding sources for collaborative projects like this generally divide into three categories:

 

Arts Sector Funding

Organisations such as the Arts Council (including that managed by Create), Creative Ireland and many Local Authorities offer funding for socially engaged collaborative projects on a competitive basis as part of their annual programmes. Application criteria and forms are published and advertised each year, and those applicants that best meet the criteria of the scheme are selected for funding. Criteria that concern artistic quality and the artistic process will feature heavily. Some organisations such as Age & Opportunity, Arts & Disability Ireland etc. would generally be categorised as arts organisations but deliver programmes where arts criteria and community criteria are generally put forward with equal emphasis.

 

Community Sector Funding

Organisations that work in sectors such as youth, health etc. can often access funding for projects that further their objectives. Such opportunities may or may not be specific to the arts and so it is likely that the criteria will concentrate on how the community or participants will benefit from the perspective of wellbeing, social cohesion etc. More often than not these opportunities do not form part of annual programmes and arise instead as one-off projects and programmes. Nonetheless, because they involve public funding, some type of competitive or other procurement process will apply. While in the case of Local Authority Arts Offices, this will normally involve some form of open competition, in the case of community sector funding, many organisations will seek either verbal or written quotes or tenders from three potential artists, or engage an artist directly if the value of the contract is less than €1,000.00. Because open competition for these opportunities is less frequent, finding out about them can be difficult. As such o it is worthwhile making direct contact with organisations in fields you are interested in.

 

Private Sector Funding

Private sector funding for the arts is not as prevalent in Ireland as it is in other countries such as the United States where federal, state and local public funding combined accounts for only 7% of income of the non-for-profit arts sector. While some of this variance arises from societal values and relative wealth, US tax codes incentivise private giving as opposed to collecting that tax and funding the arts through public programmes.

As such there are few advertised fellowships, trusts, and other privately funded programmes in Ireland that artists can apply to. Nonetheless, many companies provide funding for the arts as part of their Corporate and Social Responsibility Programme (CSP) or may sponsor the arts as part of their marketing strategy. On a smaller scale local businesses may also provide funding for local projects and events, or provide materials, products or other benefits-in-kind. 

In general, to successfully generate private arts funding, you need to research different sources, find out what they fund and why and only seek to develop relationships there your project is a match. Do not consider private giving as charity; but instead consider how your project meets a need that the company has identified.