Persistence pays off: Artichoke raises £3 million for London’s Burning

Persistence pays off: Artichoke raises £3 million for London’s Burning

By Sarah Coop


Artichoke recently won The Richmond Associates Award for Best Campaign Over £100,000 in the Emcees Fundraising Awards. Development Director Sarah Coop shares how they reached their £3 million target.

Artichoke produces extraordinary and ambitious events that live in the memory forever, transforming people’s lives by changing the way they see the world.

You will find us working in the street, public squares, along the coast or in the countryside. From London to Liverpool, Durham to Derry~Londonderry, we have transformed people and places across the UK. Bringing communities together through our learning and participation work, we leave a legacy of skills and newfound potential behind.

Moving from city to city poses a significant fundraising challenge. Our events are free to attend so we don’t have access to a vast corporate pool. We have to build relationships with new communities for each event and generate cross-sector support.

For London’s Burning we had twelve months to raise £3 million from the City of London.

About London’s Burning
London’s Burning was a festival of arts and ideas, inspired by the Great Fire of London.

Artichoke invited artists and academics to respond to the Great Fire and consider the modern threats faced by world cities today: from climate change to conflict.

London’s Burning was commissioned by the founding sponsor, City of London Corporation, who gave us a significant starting chunk of £300,000. Our challenge was to find the remainder of the £3 million budget.

How we began
Our fundraising campaigns always begin with a thorough period of research. That’s particularly important when you’re working in different cities because you’re basically starting from scratch each time.

From that research, we try to identify an overall major sponsor or supporter. Once you have that in place it’s far easier to bring others on board.

For London’s Burning we applied to Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence fund. They awarded us an extraordinary grant of £750,000.

We also applied to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation for funding towards our education work, which raised a further £150,000.

With those major funders in place, we were then in a stronger position to approach other potential supporters.

Download the full case study to read on:

>Persistence pays off: Artichoke raises £3 million for London's Burning (PDF)

Image courtesy of Artichoke. London 1666. Photo by Oliver Rudkin.

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Corporate Fundraising
Resource type: Case studies | Published: 2017