Nurturing ideas and people

More on our work nurturing ideas and people, including the latest insights, an overview of our funding and more about the team. 
Four young people are standing and posing for a photo. One person is laughing and being playfully pushed by another Photo credit: Benoit Grogan Avignon
Fat Macys. Photo credit: Benoit Grogan Avignon

Social change often comes about because of the application of good ideas by passionate people.

Why we fund individuals

Social change often comes about because of the application of good ideas by passionate people. Our founder was an innovator: in his business life and philanthropy, he backed people with good ideas. We want to do this, too.

Individuals in the UK have limited opportunities to access the financial support that is needed to scope and develop ideas to achieve social change. We are interested in backing ideas at the earliest stages of development, particularly from people who may not have much experience of applying for or receiving funding, but merit backing through our Ideas and Pioneers Fund.

Believing that a healthy civic society is one where artists thrive, we also support composers and visual artists to have the freedom to develop creatively and to grow personally and professionally. Our Awards for Artists programme makes ten annual awards of £60,000 with no strings attached – artists are free to use the money in whichever way they decide.

  • Ideas and Pioneers Fund

    Amount: £20,000
    Duration: Up to 18 months
    Deadline: 16 September 2024

    We support individuals, groups and small organisations who want to explore a new idea for social change.

Awards for Artists

This year, we’ll celebrate the 30th Awards for Artists. Since 1994, the Awards have made no-strings-attached awards to artists, to help them develop their practice.

The Awards are given to 10 artists – 5 composers and 5 visual artists. The awards aim to give artists the freedom to develop their creative ideas and to grow both personally and professionally, reflecting our strong belief in the value of artists to society. This unique scheme has benefited 347 artists with awards totalling £10.54 million.

Meet some of our award recipients from 2023.

Meet our Ideas and Pioneers team

Head of Programme – Individuals
Grants Manager

Meet our Awards for Artists team

Grants Manager
Volunteers working at Little Village baby bank
Volunteers working at Little Village baby bank. Photo credit: Monika Chilicka 

Our Ideas and Pioneers fund is re-opening 

In July, we’ll re-launch our Ideas and Pioneers Fund. To stay up-to-date with when the fund opens, sign up to our newsletter.