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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.

We understand that needs are different given the current creative and career impact the Covid-19 pandemic is having across the music sector. As such we have adapted the Open Fund to be more flexible in supporting music creator development needs.

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?
How much can Organisations apply for?
What is a music creator?
How many music creators do we need to support?
What can’t be covered by an Open Fund grant for Organisations?
When are The Open Fund deadlines?
COVID-19 related guidance changes for Organisations
How often can we apply?
We received a grant already through The Open Fund. When can we apply again?

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:

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

Please note: bands and small musical groups are not considered to be Organisations and should 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 email before making an application.

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:

  • Creation of new music
  • Music Creator fee (to cover your time and work)
  • Touring and live performances/programming featuring new UK music
  • Commissions of new music by UK-based creators
  • Music creator residencies
  • Recording and release
  • Exciting community projects involving high-quality music creators
  • Promotion and marketing (when there is also an element of creation and/or performance)

For deadlines in 2021, please note the following adaptations to our guidance:

  • Funded projects must comply with the latest UK Government advice, lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures. Please be aware that we are still accepting applications which involved live performance or other elements which at time of writing are not allowed but will in the future go ahead. We reserve the right to decline applications on the basis that they do not or will not comply with restrictions and as such encourage applicants to apply caution. Our decision-making and offer process will be more flexible than usual when it comes to proposed activity confirmation-status and you should read our Covid-19 related guidance for applicants for further steer (see below).

We will always focus on creative and professional development and will now consider support and increased prioritisation of the following areas on a case-by case basis:

  • Funding for high quality and innovative live broadcast or pre-recorded online contentwhich adheres to social distancing rules, licensing best practice and complies with Government guidance at the time
  • We want to stress that we offer flexibility during unprecedented times so that music creators can sustain creativity and careers. We welcome any innovative ideas organisations have in undertaking high quality performances in new ways to reaching audiences, again all considered on a case by case basis.
  • 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 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.
  • Music Creator Time / Music Creator Fees – we always encourage applications to include music creator fees for creation and expect during the pandemic that more applicants will include fees for their own time and work. This might help you to cover or contribute to the time you put into the creation of new music, to cover professional losses or costs relating to working from home.
  • Because there is no music sector-wide standard, we are unable to offer guidance on a suitable daily or hourly rate for music creator fees. However, we encourage you to ensure a fair proportion of your costs are allocated to music creator fees where possible. PRS Foundation staff will ensure that our external advisors approach decisions in a consistent way across all genres, challenging the ‘norm’ that Contemporary Classical applicants receive music creator fees and those working in other genres do not.

^ Please ensure that you comply with licensing regulations relating to live streams and pre-recorded content.

As per PRS for Music’s Music Streaming Licence page:

  • Those wishing to live-stream via platforms such as Facebook and YouTube should be covered by the existing licensing agreements in place with those platforms. There are currently no licensing arrangements in place with Twitter or Twitch, negotiations are currently taking place with both of these companies. Please ensure you follow the terms of use and copyright requirements of each respective platform.
  • Those wishing to host a live-stream via their own website can apply for a limited online music licence (LOML).
  • If you’d like to discuss live streaming or the possibility of a Music Streaming Licence, please email PRS for Music at or call the PRS for Music licensing team on +44 (0)20 3741 3888, 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Signed music creators should consult contracts and liaise with record companies and music publishers if needed to ensure that content is cleared for use and for exploitation.

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. Under our usual guidance we can fund administration costs relating to the project at a maximum of 15% of total budget, however we recognise that flexible support is needed to maintain the sustainability of organisations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is an additional section in The Open Fund for Organisations application form should you wish to apply for the additional support, where we will consider an application where 20% of the total budget is allocated to administrative costs, and up to 25% for Festivals and Venues. This is under the condition that all organisations are paying music creators appropriately and that music creator development is not compromised.

See PRS Foundation’s Open Fund Criteria for full details

When are The Open Fund deadlines?

Deadlines occur twice per calendar year. See the latest deadlines here.

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

When applying, keep in mind that we can only support activity happening after the decision date for your deadline – this will mean your activity must be at least 10 weeks after the deadline.

We expect your project to take place within 1 year of receiving our grant unless COVID-19 means we need to mutually agree to extend timeframes.

At the end of each deadline, PRS Foundation will close the online application forms for up to 10 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.

COVID-19 related guidance changes for Organisations

PRS Foundation will apply the following guidance changes to support Organisations applicants:

  • For deadlines in 2021 we are allowing organisations working in the live sector to apply for higher levels of ‘admin or organisational costs’. Previously restricted to 10-15%, those in the live sector can now ask for up to 25% of the grant request amount to contribute to staff, admin and organisational costs for running the project. We hope this allowance of up to £2,500 helps a little at this difficult time.
  • We encourage and support fair pay to artists and music creators involved in your projects. Our grant may allow live event organisers to maintain fair fees and good standards despite likely ticket income pressures. We hope this helps organisations to feel more secure and to continue to support exciting, diverse and/or emerging talent which may otherwise be seen as a ‘risk’.

We will apply a flexible approach to the decision-making process which allows organisations to apply for live activities which may or may not need to be rescheduled as a result of the pandemic. We employ external industry advisors to score applications and to make funding recommendations. We will be asking those advisors to score based on our main funding priorities. If recommended for support, organisations will be sent a conditional offer which allows them to submit any necessary activity changes, including rescheduled dates or alternative activities for approval. We hope this gives the live sector confidence that PRS Foundation is committed to sustaining funding for performances.

Apply now

Before applying, you must read our 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 2020 deadline, we would expect you to wait until at least June 2021 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 always 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.


Apply now