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£55 million to help cultural organisations build endowments

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Michael Portillo to chair Endowment Fund panel.

A new £55 million scheme to help arts and heritage organisations secure their future financial stability by building endowment funds has been announced today by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

An independent advisory panel chaired by Michael Portillo will review bids from organisations for grants up to £5 million from the Endowment Fund, which will be available to match funds raised from private donors.

“It took the Met in New York over 100 years to build up their £2bn endowment, said Mr Hunt. “I want our endowments century to start today.  World class cultural organisations should have world class financial resilience.”

Boosting philanthropy

In December 2010 Jeremy Hunt announced an £80 million fund to help increase philanthropy, made up of £50 million from Arts Council England and £30 million from DCMS. Today this was boosted by an additional £20 million Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) contribution, taking the total to £100 million. Five million of the HLF money will go towards helping smaller cultural and heritage organisations build their financial resilience and improve their fundraising abilities, with the remainder forming part of the £55 million available for endowments.

To apply for these new grants, organisations will also have to raise money from private philanthropic sources. Different leverage ratios will be required for grants of different sizes, but these should on average raise £2 from private sources for every £1 of public funding. So £55 million in public funding will unlock £110 million from private support, possibly more.

Arts Council England this week announced the detail of how their funding for philanthropy will be allocated through the £40 million Catalyst Arts, programme. An additional £10 million from the Arts Council will form part of the £55 million available for endowments.

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