23 April 2019, John Denton
We are putting together a bid to Arts Council England (ACE) under the Small Capital Grants fund with a consortium of arts and cultural organisations to fund their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and related data systems.
The project would use and extend KIWI, the open source CRM system that we developed collaboratively with our partner Artsadmin and developer Octophin under a previous Arts Council England Small Capital grant. It is designed to meet the particular needs of the arts and cultural sector, which normal CRMs do not.
ACE has supported capital developments with £1.5 billion of Lottery funding since 1994. Their 2019 small capital programme is now open for applications. When Artsadmin won their Small Capital funding for KIWI with us as their partner, it was extremely rare for it to fund digital and data projects.
Excitingly, this year for the first time for the fund, digital technologies and their “vital role in future-proofing arts and culture” have been recognised. CRM systems have been explicitly referenced as being eligible.
The fund guidance states the need for the resulting “assets [to] benefit the widest possible range of partner organisations”. Fortunately, it was always our and Artsadmin’s vision to make KIWI available to the wider sector. This bid is our chance to make that happen.
As you may know, the team at Golant Media Ventures (GMV) supports and delivers innovation and change in arts, culture and heritage organisations – often involving digital technologies. For many, this involves improving the way they work with data.
ACE’s strategic capital investment is intended to help organisations “increase their resilience in the longer term…. to become more sustainable and innovative businesses.”. GMV with its parent organisation, The Audience Agency, conducted the largest ever study of resilience in the cultural sector for ACE last year. This policy thinking complements our work to transform organisations and their business models – to ensure that any CRM project enhances the resilience of your organisation.
If you are interested in being part of this bid then contact firstname.lastname@example.org by 30 April. We have to submit our expression of interest by 3 May.
It’s only an in principal commitment at this stage. Assuming we are successful, we will have between 31 May and 5 July to develop a full proposal with our consortium partners.
We plan to work with between 4 and 7 organisations initially but with the intention of rolling out the resulting enhanced version of KIWI to others in the sector. Those involved early on will have a working CRM solution in place from late 2019, with new features and developments coming online in 2020.