UK heritage more resilient following National Lottery investment

Wilton's Music Hall benefited from funding under a Catalyst grant

UK heritage will be more resilient and less reliant on public funding after almost 20,000 people across 4,100 organisations received specialist fundraising training, mentoring, and business support, according to a new report published today by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

In 2012, HLF launched Catalyst: capacity building programmes. Set against a challenging financial landscape, the programmes aimed to make heritage organisations more financially resilient by helping to build skills to attract private money.

Catalyst: Umbrella offered grants of between £100,000 and £500,000 for ‘umbrella’ heritage bodies to work with other organisations to increase fundraising capacity and diversify income. Catalyst: Small grants were developed to support heritage organisations, particularly those less well equipped to carry out private fundraising, to increase their capacity and resources, test new ideas, and ultimately increase their financial sustainability.

Key report findings:

  • HLF invested £4.88million in total across both programmes
  • 19,314 people were trained across 4,100 UK heritage organisations
  • For every £ invested by HLF, on average £3.82 has been raised by beneficiaries –an additional £9m of private money
  • Organisations report increased confidence in approaching funders and securing deals
  • 98 per cent of participants reported successful diversification of income

A £750,000 Catalyst: Umbrella grant enabled the Heritage Alliance, in partnership with the Institute of Fundraising, to deliver ‘Giving to Heritage’. A fundraising training programme, it helped more than 1,700 staff, volunteers, committee members and trustees of more than 800 heritage organisations and groups access fundraising training and capacity building opportunities.  This included workshops, executive coaching, one-to-one support and webinars. As a result, £3.15m has been raised.

Loyd Grossman, Chairman of the Heritage Alliance, said: “We’re delighted that this evaluation has so clearly demonstrated the impact of funding training for small organisations. The GTH programme has successfully helped the heritage sector become more self-sufficient. We’re grateful for the transformative role HLF has played in supporting our sector’s future. We would welcome new investment to continue to allow GTH to spread best practice in the heritage sector.”

HLF Chief Executive, Ros Kerslake, said: “Today, thanks to National Lottery investment, we have world-class museums and cultural institutions, award-winning parks and landscapes and thriving habitats. But these are challenging financial times and building resilience is vital to ensuring long-term sustainability. Catalyst has empowered heritage organisations to take control of their financial destiny.”

The grant streams were part of a wider Catalyst programme, launched in 2012 by HLF, Arts Council England and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which focussed on endowment fundraising.

HLF launches its new Strategic Funding Framework early in the New Year. It will outline the organisation’s funding priorities for the next five years and capacity building and financial resilience is expected to be a strong theme.

Notes to Editors

The Research

DC Research Ltd carried out the evaluation of the HLF Catalyst: capacity building programmes. Full report can be found on HLF’s website 

Catalyst programme 

Part of a wider Catalyst programme, it was designed to enable arts and heritage organisations to diversify their income streams, attract significantly more funding by increasing their fundraising potential and help them to develop and explore innovative new approaches to securing private giving.

The £100m Catalyst fund was invested through:

  • Catalyst: Endowments: a £55m scheme jointly funded by DCMS, ACE and the HLF.
  • Catalyst Arts: a £30m ACE capacity building and match funding scheme
  • Catalyst Arts and Catalyst Heritage fundraising capacity building programme:  a £7m ACE fundraising capacity building small grant scheme; and a £5m HLF investment in capacity building, including a small grant scheme
  • ACE also invested £3m in a programme of learning and knowledge sharing.
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