Young Arts Fundraisers & RAISE Evolve Programme 2022-23

Standard Content

Guidance for applicants

Application deadline: Sunday 26 June 2022, so we are not taking any more applications

Young Arts Fundraisers (YAF) and RAISE are pleased to open the call for applications for Evolve, our annual year-long professional development programme that aims to equip early-career arts fundraisers with the advice, networks and peer support that they need to succeed.

Having grown rapidly since its inception as a pilot mentoring scheme in 2016, Evolve is run in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Fundraising Cultural Sector Network (CSN) and is funded by Arts Council England as part of CIOF’s RAISE: Arts, Culture and Heritage programme. Thanks to the funding from Arts Council England, and to the volunteers at YAF and CSN, we are pleased to offer free places to participants on this programme.

The long term aim of the Evolve Programme is to build capacity within the arts fundraising sector and to encourage early career talent, focusing on expanding the skillset of early career arts fundraisers and growing confidence.

There are 20 spaces on the Evolve Programme, which enables us to tailor the programme to specific professional development needs of the participants.

The Evolve Programme:

Evolve might be a good fit for you, if you:

Still unsure? Take a listen to podcast interviews with past participants of our mentoring programme (now incorporated into Evolve) to understand more about how you could benefit from being part of Evolve:

Who are Young Arts Fundraisers?

We’re a volunteer and peer-led professional network for early career fundraisers in the cultural sector, seeking to connect, engage and mentor our members. We believe that long term financial resilience and sustainability in the sector can be achieved by equipping early-career fundraisers with appropriate skills and support networks. We hold monthly events, including panel discussions with sector leaders, skills workshops, networking opportunities and speed mentoring.

Who are the mentors?

All of the mentors on the scheme are senior fundraisers, with significant management experience. Most of them have participated in the scheme for at least one year previously. They work for a range of cultural organisations across England, representing a broad range of artforms. Recent mentors include fundraising leaders from Lichfield Cathedral, National Trust, English National Opera, National Theatre and the Science Museum Group.

Who can apply? Eligibility criteria

Evolve is for anyone who is raising money in the arts. Your work doesn’t need to be exclusively focussed on fundraising to apply, and your job title doesn’t necessarily have to reflect your fundraising work either. You might not have even considered yourself a fundraiser until reading this call out, and that’s okay too.

Participants have come from a range of roles in the arts, including independent artists and freelance producers, as well as those working directly within fundraising and development teams. Fundraising should be an important part of your work, but it doesn’t have to be all that you do. You could be working full or part time, on a paid or volunteer basis, as long as you can demonstrate experience of and a commitment to fundraising for arts and culture.

Whilst we’re called ‘Young’ Arts Fundraisers, your age isn’t important to us. We’re all about supporting arts fundraisers in the early stages of their career, whenever that might be. You may have recently graduated and be starting out in arts fundraising, or you could have had a previous career in another industry or area of the sector and have just made the jump into fundraising.

You must meet the following key eligibility criteria to apply:

Young Arts Fundraisers is committed to tackling barriers to progression in arts fundraising and supporting a diverse cohort. As such, we prioritise applicants to whom the following criteria is applicable:

Participant commitments

As a participant on Evolve, you will be expected to:

Evolve programme dates

How to apply

The deadline for applications was Sunday 26 June 2022.

Applications must be submitted via this form (now closed). Answers to the application questions may be submitted in a written, video or audio format. A Word document of the application questions can be downloaded from the website.

Word limits are a suggestion and we haven’t included limits in the form to save applicants the time spent cutting their answers to fit the box. It’s fine if yours are a under or a little over, but please don’t exceed this excessively.

Successful applicants typically demonstrate a strong understanding of the purpose of all elements of the programme and identify specific outcomes that they hope to achieve.

If you’d like to discuss submitting your application in an alternative format, or have other questions about the programme, then please get in touch with Hannah Tookey, Head of Mentoring at

How is my application assessed?

After removing applicant names, all applications are read by at least two members of the YAF/RAISE/CIoF CSN team and scored on a sliding scale. Additional weighting is added to each application that matches our priority criteria outlined above.

It’s important that we find the right match between mentees and mentors, so availability of mentors will also play a role in deciding who is selected for the programme. We also take the balance between applicant’s art forms and fundraising specialisms into account.

Feedback will be available to all unsuccessful applicants if requested. YAF is a volunteer-led organisation so it might take a little time to provide this, but we’ll endeavour to do so as quickly as possible.

Members Only Content