Founded in 1903, Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. We exist to help protect and enrich the UK’s museum and gallery collections and to ensure as many people as possible can access and enjoy them.
Together with our supporters, donors, and 130,000 National Art Pass and Student Art Pass members, we help save important works of art and artefacts, fund professional development and widely promote the benefits of visiting museums to new audiences.
From the smallest local history collection to the largest world-leading art institution, museums play a vital role in the health and happiness of our society. Providing inspiration, education and opportunities for collaboration, they help communities thrive, and can provide a lifeline in times of trouble, as the pandemic has shown.
We believe that supporting this rich resource is an essential, ongoing and collective endeavour.
Giving grants for acquisitions is central to our work, helping museums to bring important works of art before the public and keep them there. In the last year these grants totalled £2.8 million, and more than 240 objects and works of art joined public collections with our support.
Our resources help museums realise their goals. Since 2015, museums have raised over £1 million using our free crowdfunding platform, Art Happens, and more than 200 museums use our free ticketing tool, Art Tickets. We also run the annual Art Fund Museum of the Year prize, and lobby the goverment on important issues.
Our grants allow curators to deepen their knowledge and build their careers, while paid opportunities for our student members help to support the next generation of museum professionals.
As an independent charity, we receive no funding from government. We are supported by our National Art Pass and Student Art Pass members, as well as donations, legacies and gifts from individuals, grants from trusts and foundations, and the public’s response to campaigns and special appeals.
Being independent gives us the ability to be flexible, act quickly and make bold decisions in support of the sector. Our core costs are covered by returns from investments which means we can direct the vast majority of our income straight to museums.
Our board of trustees, made up of art and museum experts, oversees the direction of Art Fund and considers all gifts and bequests of art and grant applications for acquisitions. The day-to-day running of the charity is in the hands of our senior management team, supported by a hard-working group of nearly 70 members of staff.
Everything we do is built towards supporting the sector in improving access to art for all. You can read our statement on equality, diversity and inclusion here.