Funding and fundraising

Breaking even – the finances of running a music group (online event)

Often we think of income ‘only’ in terms of funding, subscriptions or ticket sales. There definitely is a lot to delve into on those three topics, but is there more we could be exploring? Are we thinking about the whole financial picture?

70% of Making Music performing groups and 58% of volunteer promoters break even every year; but 15% and 23% respectively regularly make a loss. So finances are always a topic groups are thinking about, to maintain that balancing act of breaking even, yet remaining accessible to participants and audiences in their community.


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Online member meetup (Wales)

Running your group is a rewarding but challenging role. Our regular meetups are a chance for you to meet and share learning and ideas with other Wales groups facing similar challenges, explore specific issues affecting leisure-time music making in Wales and consider how we can work collaboratively to find solutions and advocate for the sector. 

Stephen McNally, Wales manager, will be leading this session.

N.B. this event was originally scheduled to take place on 24th January but will now be taking place on 31 January.

In this meetup we'll:


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Find a Funding Opportunity

Use our simple search to check our library of funding opportunities to find the right one for your group.

Promoters Subsidy

The cost of engaging and arranging a performance of professional artists can add up. To help smaller promoter members of Making Music (with a gross income of below £14.5K) to cover some of these costs, Making Music is offering a Promoters Subsidy.

*Due to the high volume of requests received, the Promoters Subsidy is now closed. Once more funds become available we will reopen the subsidies and application form*

How to claim Gift Aid for your group

This guidance describes the current situation with regard to Gift Aid and the voluntary music sector. Please note that Gift Aid is available to UK recognised charities, regardless of whether or not they are also registered charities.

Webinar recording: Applying for funding

In this recording of our guest speaker webinar (original event 23 April 2021), we explore the ins and outs of writing a funding application.

We welcome John Rostron (Making Music's Manager in Wales and fundraising consultant), Kim Macari (Arts Council England) and Abby Charles (Tŷ Cerdd).

Topics covered include: 

Applying for grant funding

Covid-19 has caused financial difficulties across the board, but the good news is that different types of financial support are now becoming available.

For leisure-time music groups, new or repurposed pots of grant funding are the most viable. There are a whole range of funds to apply for and different amounts available, and a little money can go a long way to making a difference.

Online donation platforms

When fundraising for your group, there are many websites that you can use to take and manage your donations.

With most online donation platforms you can create a page for your group, where you can tell your story about who you are and what you are fundraising for, as well as add images and branding. You can then point people to this page where they make their online donation.

Increasing your income: Overview

We know one of the biggest worries music groups have is the long-term financial health of their group. Even groups who make a surplus each year can have that nagging thought: ‘what happens if something goes wrong next year?’ More money would mean less worry and more stability, and perhaps more importantly it would mean more opportunities to try new things and ways of enjoying making music.

Orchestra Tax Relief overview: What it is, who can benefit and how we can help

Orchestra Tax Relief (OTR) is a government initiative for instrumental groups (not only orchestras!) where you could receive a payment from HMRC equal to a percentage of your production costs.

Despite being called 'Orchestra Tax Relief':

  • the initiative can apply to many types of instrumental group – so don’t be put off if your group is not a traditional orchestra 
  • you don’t have to be paying tax to claim it.   

Groups who put on eligible performances can submit a claim to HMRC each year for the payment.