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Home > Funding > Funding For Organisations > The Open Fund for Organisations

The Open Fund for Organisations

The Open Fund For Organisations

The Open Fund for Organisations supports new music projects led by promoters, talent development organisations, venues, festivals, curators and large performance groups*.

Projects must involve the creation, performance and promotion of new music and enable songwriters, composers, or solo artists, bands, producers and performers of all backgrounds to develop creatively and professionally

Support is available to any organisation whose project fits with all three funding priorities:

  1. To support the creation, performance and promotion of outstanding new music in any genre
    We are particularly interested in the quality of the music
  2. To enable the UK’s most talented music creators to realise their potential
    We are interested in how your project will develop the songwriters and composers involved. We are committed to supporting UK based songwriters and composers of all backgrounds
  3. To inspire audiences
    You will be asked to outline who you are reaching and how. This includes audiences at a local, regional, national or international level

Through The Open Fund, we support high quality new music projects which have tangible musical outcomes and a clearly defined start and end date.

What counts as an Organisation?

The Open Fund is available to any not-for-profit organisation^ based in the UK with an eligible project.

This includes:

  • Promoters
    • Festivals
    • Orchestras and large ensembles*
    • Talent development or composer development organisations
    • Venues
    • Curators

Please note: bands and small musical groups are no longer considered by The Open Fund as Organisations and should now apply as Music Creators

* Large performance groups would include orchestras, choirs, jazz bands or folk groups with 12 or more performers

^ we prioritise not-for-profit organisations and tend not to support organisations limited by shares. If you are an organisation limited by shares but there’s a clear funding need for a project that is not profitable, you may be able to apply and should speak with our Grants Team ahead of an application. Click here to email the Grants Team.

PRS Foundation Talent Development Partner organisations cannot apply to The Open Fund for Organisations.

In our role as a specialist new music funder, our priority is to support an exciting range of projects which have clear musical outcomes and tangible benefits for music creators of all genres and backgrounds and at different stages of their career.  Decisions may be based on achieving a fair balance of supported projects.

Your work with songwriters and composers is particularly important to us so we will be asking you to tell us about the number of individual music creators you are working with and how your project will boost their creative and professional development, both short-term and long-term. If you are successful with your application, we will also be asking you, when your project is complete, to tell us about the composers and songwriters you are reaching and what they have been able to achieve thanks to your project.

Click here to see the full list of other PRS Foundation’s opportunities for organisations and music creators.

How much can Organisations apply for?

The Open Fund for Organisations offers grants of up to £10,000.

Our funding includes support of:

  • touring
    • recording
    • promotion and marketing
    • commissions of new music by UK-based creators*
    • exciting community projects involving high-quality music creators
    • music creator residencies
    • live programmes featuring new UK music

We will prioritise expenditure which will have a direct and obvious impact on music creator development

For projects involving creation (e.g. writing or recording) alone and no performances, we recommend outlining any confirmed or potential performance opportunities within answers relating to future plans.

For projects involving performance, we will only fund one-off performances in exceptional circumstances and prioritise projects which either involved repeat/multiple performances or clearly show potential for more performances by outlining future performance plans.

If you are an organisation commissioning new work or debut performances of works, we recommend outlining existing or future partnership plans which allow for repeat performances.

We cannot fund marketing/promotion of new music without also funding an element of creation or performance.

*We define ‘commission’ as a music creator or group engaged by a third party to create a new piece of music.

What is a music creator?

The following are considered by PRS Foundation to be Music Creators:

  • songwriters,
  • composers, or
  • artists, bands, producers and performers who are writing their own music or commissioning other songwriters or composers

How many music creators do we need to support?

Eligible organisations can support one or more music creator(s). We are interested in the ways in which projects benefit and develop the music creator so the number of music creators will depend on various factors.

For example, you may wish to commission one music creator to create new work and would therefore put them forward in your application form as the main music creator.

Others may wish to work with a small number of music creators and will be encouraged to submit a short list of music creators, with questions relating to an example or examples of music creator(s) involved in your project.

Festivals or organisations submitting a project-based events programme will therefore be asked to submit a list of up to 6 music creators involved.

This is designed to allow organisations to outline a representative spread of the types of music creators supported in your project.

When selecting music creators for your project, please be aware that if your selected music creator has received support in the last 12 months -whether directly as a music creator or indirectly via an organisation – we may prioritise other projects. We always recommend discussing applications with music creators so both parties are aware a limit may be set on the number of grants received.

What can’t be covered by an Open Fund grant for Organisations?

Through The Open Fund, we support high quality new music projects and not programmes. PRS Foundation’s definition of a project is activity which has a clearly defined start and end date and clear and tangible musical outcomes or objectives that, when attained, signify completion. A programme is defined as a group of related projects managed in a coordinated way.

We cannot support core organisational costs, salary costs or living costs. We can fund administration costs relating to the project at a maximum of 15% of total budget (10% standard, 15% for venues and festivals as per our FAQ pages)

See PRS Foundation’s Open Fund Criteria for full details.

When are The Open Fund deadlines?

Deadlines occur three times per calendar year.

The 2020 deadlines are:

12th February 2020
8th June 2020
5th October 2020

All applications must be submitted by 6pm on the day of the deadline.

When applying, keep in mind that we can only support activity which begins after the decision date for your deadline – this means your activity must begin at least 12 weeks after the deadline.

We expect your project to take place within 1 year of receiving our grant.

At the end of each deadline, PRS Foundation will close the online application forms for up to 12 weeks while funding decisions are made and any necessary changes are made to the forms. Applicants will be given sufficient time ahead of deadlines to complete forms.

Applications open soon

How do we apply?

Before applying, you must read our Application Stages and Deadlines page, plus PRS Foundation’s Open Fund Criteria. You should also read our FAQ & Tips Section.

The Open Fund for Organisations is now a 1-stage process, therefore you will be asked to provide details about the project, how it will benefit the creators involved, the activity timeline and a balanced budget in one application form.

While the application form may seem longer, we’ve broken down the decisive questions into individual questions so that you have more space to adequately answer the questions.

How often can we apply?

Organisations can only apply once per calendar year to The Open Fund for Organisations.

We received a grant already through The Open Fund. When can we apply again?

No organisation can receive 2 grants in one calendar year through The Open Fund.

In most cases, we expect organisation grantees to apply on 12 month cycles unless otherwise agreed by the Grants Team. For example, if you applied successfully to our June 2019 deadline, we would expect you to wait until at least June 2020 before applying again. This allows organisations to complete or achieve near completion of existing projects before reapplying, and enables PRS Foundation to assess the impact of previous grants. If your project is completed sooner or you want to apply for a project with a different timeframe, please seek permission by contacting

Please note we may prioritise new applicants and new grantees due to high demand and strategic priorities. Those applying annually for the same project or similar activity must make a strong case for repeated support. As such, new questions were launched in May 2019 for previous grantees to respond to.