Ray Young, image credit: Rosie Powell

Since 2019 we have been evolving our funding practices and support to the individuals we fund in the following ways:

  • Produced new, clearer guidance to help potential applicants decide whether to apply and invested in our application portal to make it easier to use
  • Provided time frames for decision-making processes and published these up front
  • Removed application fees to all our opportunities
  • Not asked for CVs as part of funding application processes
  • Worked with Artist Advisers to broaden our taste, national reach and art form expertise
  • Provided unconscious bias guidance and support to all readers and selection panellists assessing applications
  • Introduced balancing and positive action into decision making at critical moments (for example around art form, location and monitoring information), to note any % variances between the total pool of applicants and the longlist/shortlist. Where two or more equally strong applications are in play, we choose to recommend the applications that will result in a balanced, representative and inclusive long/shortlist for consideration at the next stage
  • Assessed all applications without names or other monitoring information attached
  • Consistently collected monitoring information across our opportunities to deepen our understanding of who our funding opportunities are reaching and who we were selecting, and using this to inform our approach and strategy
  • Increased our access support for enabling people to apply to us, including providing application materials in Easy Read and audio formats, enabling audio/video applications and paying for access support workers
  • Asked for an access support document when we commission artists
  • Offered feedback on request to unsuccessful applicants
  • Surveyed applicants to gain feedback on their experience and signed up to Grant Advisor and 360Giving
  • Invested in our team through diversity and disability training, coaching and mentoring including unconscious bias training
  • Started a staff reading group on anti-racism
  • Stopped using the acronym BAME prompted by online discussion and open letters about its failures
  • Ensured our selection panels are diverse and representative

We recognise that we are on a journey and are learning all the time.

Since the beginning of 2019 we have collected data on applicants and those selected for our opportunities in a more consistent way. This helps provide insights on who are opportunities are reaching and who we are funding to evidence our progress in making our work more inclusive.

Data Report: January 2019 to May 2020

In this period, we directly received 2,090 applications across seven of our projects, and from this selected 107 individuals to work with.

Read a report summarising the information here.

Download the data file of anonymised information here.

Data Report: July 2020 to December 2021

In this period, we received 4,405 applications across seven opportunities, and from this selected 131 individuals to work with.

Read a report summarising our activity over 18 months and our progress in implementing fairer and more inclusive practices in our opportunities here.

Download the data file of anonymised information here.