11 Best Charities That Help Artists Thrive (Complete 2024 List)

11 Best Charities That Help Artists Thrive (Complete 2024 List)

By
Diana Stancu

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Stay impactful,

Artists have an immense impact and influence on the societies they live in and enrich the human experience through a multitude of art forms. There’s estimated to be over 2.6 million artists in the US alone, and yet, in recent years, the rate of unemployment for artists has risen, at times, to as much as 10%. Struggles for artists range from financial hardships to health issues impeding their work. Fortunately, charities are fighting to properly serve artists in times of need while amplifying their voices in society. So we had to ask: What are the best charities that help artists thrive?

The best charities that help artists thrive are The Field, the Craft Emergency Relief Fund, and Americans for the Arts. Other charities, like United States Artists and Springboard for the Arts, enrich the connection between artists and society. 

Whether you want to support struggling artists to overcome personal crises, help creators improve and secure their careers, or assist art workers in increasing their social influence and visibility, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities helping artists thrive are all about, how they work, and what would be your best way to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Help Artists Thrive Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their achievements, transparency ratings, and the number of ways they support artists. They mainly operate in North America and the UK, but expand their reach to artists and audiences worldwide. 

Most of the charities below work to support artists to advance their careers and the level of skill in their craft. They also share valuable resources on how artists can manage the business and financial side of their work, as well as organize their home studios and work-life balance. 

Furthermore, these charities distribute grants to serve art practitioners who deal with chronic or unexpected personal crises, from health to finances. 

In addition, the charities below organize events and awards to promote artists while helping them connect with their community and audiences. 

Yet, all the charities share the same goal; to make the world of arts and the ones who create it thrive.

These Are the 11 Best Charities That Help Artists Thrive in 2024

Below are our favorite charities helping artists thrive (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

1

The Field: Get the Tools, Services, and Resources You Need to Thrive

Logo for The Field
An Introduction to Performance Art | TateShots

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Field has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and holds the Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We want a world where artists are abundantly and holistically prosperous. We believe that artists have a right to lead resilient lives, and we are working to disrupt the scarcity mindset that has been prevalent for too long.”

The Field

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What they do:

The Field serves artists across disciplines by offering annual memberships that support them with materials for their craft-making and crowdfunding opportunities. In addition, the membership aids artists with financial sponsorship in times of need or to advance their careers, among other benefits. Furthermore, the charity connects artists with grants to help them advance their craft and public visibility. In addition, they provide creatives with an extensive library of resources to improve their art business, get confidence in their creative process, and prepare for career-related emergencies.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, The Field has raised over $45 million to support art practitioners with the tools to prosper in their craft. Moreover, they have directly helped 38,500 independent artists to share over 40,000 artworks and artistic performances worldwide. For example, in 2020, they aided 1,700 creatives who produced over 800 new works that they performed 5,000 times for 260,000 people. In the same year, those artists, with the charity’s help, raised $2.8 million to improve their work and skills. Also, in 2021, the charity distributed over $7 million to help new artists advance their careers.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to The Field on their website. You can also donate directly to their partner artists. In addition, you can attend their artists’ events or follow them on Twitter

2

Craft Emergency Relief Fund: Every Artist Needs a Safety Net

Logo for Craft Emergency Relief Fund
CERF+ Adventures Big and Small

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Craft Emergency Relief Fund has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We work towards a future where working artists thrive and have a safety net of resources and support to protect and sustain their livelihood, studio and art.”

Craft Emergency Relief Fund

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What they do:

The Craft Emergency Relief Fund supports artists with a library of career resources, from business practices to self-marketing. Moreover, their Studio Protector toolkit includes a Studio Safety Guide and Artist Insurance directory to help craftsmen make their businesses resilient and health-focused. In addition, they serve struggling artmakers with emergency relief grants to better overcome career-threatening situations. They also provide Get Ready grants of up to $500 to help artisans safeguard their studios and protect their careers against emergencies. Additionally, their trainings and research programs work to support artists’ unique safety challenges. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the Craft Emergency Relief Fund has served 500 artists across 45 states through emergency relief grants worth $1.7 million in total. They have also aided 387 artists with Get Ready grants worth nearly $200,000. Furthermore, they have provided 300 grants worth $330,000 to folk and traditional artists from 41 States and 3 US territories. For example, in 2022, they offered $730,000 in financial assistance to 542 creative practitioners nationwide and invested nearly $500,000 to improve educational programs and supportive research for craftsmen.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Craft Emergency Relief Fund on their website. You can also contribute by offering employer-matching gifts or supporting their Folk & Traditional Arts Fund

3

Americans for the Arts: We Believe the Arts Can Transform Our Nation

Designing Our Destiny

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Their transparency & ratings:

Americans for the Arts has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and holds the Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“Our mission is to build recognition and support for the extraordinary and dynamic value of the arts and to lead, serve, and advance the networks of organizations and individuals who cultivate the arts in America.”

Americans for the Arts

⚒️

What they do:

Americans for the Arts supports artists nationwide by building strong communities and networks both online or in-person, to help them learn strategies and share skills to advance their craft. The charity also runs advocacy projects with legislators and citizens to promote artists’ needs and highlight the importance of arts in society. Moreover, they offer services and training sessions to help artmakers develop professionally while granting awards and other promotions to increase artists’ influence. In addition, they invest in research to better understand the impact of art and its creators on the general public. 

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Americans for the Arts has continued to support US creatives to grow professionally. For example, they expanded to run 20 art-related topics to support artists’ influence on society, such as Arts & Healing, Creative Economy, and Social Change. For example, in 2019, they invested nearly $15 million across their 11 programs for art workers, such as Research & Policy and the Arts Action Fund. In the same year, they granted 32 awards to tens of artists and related organizations. Furthermore, their advocacy efforts helped increase funding to $81 million for the National Endowment for the Arts

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Americans for the Arts on their website. You can also support them by starting an internship or buying from their online arts bookstore

4

Foundation for Contemporary Arts: Artists Helping Artists

Logo for Foundation for Contemporary Arts
Designing Our Destiny

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Foundation for Contemporary Arts has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator.

“We remain the only institution of its kind: created and sustained by artists to benefit artists.”

Foundation for Contemporary Arts

⚒️

What they do:

The Foundation for Contemporary Arts works to promote innovative work and the artists who create it. They do this by awarding grants to creatives and arts organizations across disciplines, from contemporary dance and music to theater, poetry-making, and visual arts. For this, they run multiple grant programs, such as Grants to Artists and The John Cage Award, to support struggling artists or those who want to advance their careers. Furthermore, they offer Emergency Grants each month for immediate, project-based assistance to artists who lack the necessary time and resources to complete current projects. 

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What they’ve achieved:

To date, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts has awarded over 7,000 grants to artists and arts organizations, worth $25 million in total, to advance creative exploration and development. In addition, they have collaborated with over 1,000 artists who donated thousands of artworks to fund grant programs and directly support artmakers in need. Furthermore, the charity makes around 20 Emergency Grants each month, ranging from $500 to $3,000 each. Also, in 2022, they offered $1.48 million in grants to individual artists across 5 grant programs, including Grants for Artists, which distributed 20 awards worth $45,000 each.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Foundation for Contemporary Arts on their website. You can also contribute by following their Instagram profile or starting an internship

5

Musicians Foundation: Aid for Musicians. Made for Musicians.

Logo for Musicians Foundation
Robert Sheff / Blue Gene Tyranny - Musicians Foundation Story

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Their transparency & ratings:

The Musicians Foundation holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We provide thoughtful, direct financial assistance for any professional musician in need.”

Musicians Foundation

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What they do:

The Musicians Foundation provides financial grants to struggling musicians to help pay essential bills, like mortgages, medical treatments, and other basic needs. In addition, their one-time assistance grants range between $500-$3,000 and offer critical support to music workers facing unexpected hardships and crises, or for those who want to develop their careers. To raise necessary funds and connect musicians in need across genres, the charity organizes bequests and benefits, as well as musical or artistic events across the country. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the Musicians Foundation has awarded over 25,000 individual financial grants worth over $15 million in total to underserved musicians across all 50 states. Furthermore, they have granted nearly $650,000 in music scholarships to more than 400 music makers. For example, between 2015 and 2021, they assigned over 330,000 scholarships to 132 promising music students, each worth between $75,000 and $100,000 each.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Musicians Foundation on their website. You can also contribute by shopping on Tribe Socks, where a portion of your purchase will be directed to the charity.

6

United States Artists: We Believe In Artists and Their Essential Role in Our Society

Logo for United States Artists
HerStories - Deana Haggag, President & CEO, United States Artists

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Their transparency & ratings:

United States Artists has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and holds the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“Experienced in providing resources to artists across disciplines and geographies, we work closely with our partners to meet the needs of artists in need.”

United States Artists

⚒️

What they do:

United States Artists offer annual awards and grants to celebrate artmakers who contribute to the country’s creative landscape. For instance, their USA Fellows award supports artists in all career stages and across multiple art disciplines, from theater to traditional arts. Also, their Berresford Prize serves cultural organizers who advance the well-being and care of artists in society. Moreover, they conduct research to develop support systems and expand resources for artists. In addition, their projects assist creatives who seek to advance their career or encounter emergencies or disability

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, United States Artists has awarded over $38 million to more than 800 artists nationwide to help advance their careers. For example, their Artist Relief program has distributed 5,000 grants totaling $20 million to artmakers who encountered career-threatening emergencies. Furthermore, in 2022, they have awarded 76 fellowships worth $50,000 each to art practitioners from 10 artistic disciplines living across 23 states and Puerto Rico. In addition, their Disability Futures programs granted 60 disabled artists funding of $50,000 each to increase their cultural visibility and help them advance the country’s arts. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to United States Artists on their website. You can also support them by following their social media profiles

7

Springboard for the Arts: Connecting Artists and Communities

Logo for Springboard for the Art
Springboard for the Arts Introduction 2022

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Their transparency & ratings:

Springboard for the Arts has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and holds the Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“We make it easier for artists to make a living and for communities to benefit from the vitality and connectedness that is rooted in culture, and work for more vibrant and just local economies.”

Springboard for the Arts

⚒️

What they do:

Springboard for the Arts connects artists with job opportunities and fellowships while advancing the works of creatives from rural areas. They also support aspiring art workers with career consultations and training sessions, as well as Growth Funds and other development opportunities. Furthermore, they aid artists in creating their home studios while giving resources on health-related needs. In addition, they help art workers understand their role as not only an artist but an arts-focused business leader as well. They also organize community-wide artistic events to connect artists and society. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Springboard for the Arts has continued to support the careers and well-being of artists. For example, in 2023, they supported 75 creative workers with $500 monthly payments for 18 months, as part of their Guaranteed Minimum Income Pilot, distributing almost $1 million in total. In the same year, they offered 16 micro-grants of $2,500 each to arts entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Moreover, they hosted 20 Art-Train gatherings while their 30 consultants ran 533 Artist Career Consultations. They also organized 110 professional workshops and 32 career toolkits that served 17,500 artists

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Springboard for the Arts on their website. You can also donate to their Emergency Relief Fund, attend their public events, or subscribe to their newsletter

8

Artly World: Creating Meaningful Experiences Through the Arts

Artly World Nonprofit Culture & Music Programs

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Their transparency & ratings:

Artly World holds the Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“Our aim is to provide meaningful arts and cultural experiences that inspire community members and artists to reconnect with their own innate creative spirit.”

Artly World

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What they do:

Artly World aids working artists across all disciplines with the necessary tools to pursue and develop a successful career in the arts. For example, they provide free professional development workshops and career mentorship opportunities while developing artistic networks and collaborations. They also run the Artist Relief Project to offer financial support to artists dealing with economic or personal crises through one-time, emergency cash relief grants. In addition, they give long-term assistance with free programs to increase artists’ skills and knowledge to continue pursuing the arts as a career.

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, Artly World has supported over 5,000 artists nationwide to create a thriving artistic career. For example, in 2019, they created the Austin Arts Fair to celebrate and support local artmakers. Furthermore, from 2020 to 2022, their Artist Relief Project served 5,200 creators with access to almost 500 sessions of career coaching and personal mentoring. In addition, the project offered 230 personal development classes and more than 100 hours of professional networking meetings. Also, in 2022, they helped 950 artists with working opportunities that connected them to employers and gigs.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to Artly World on their website. You can also volunteer or join their community meetings. In addition, you can become an advisor for the charity.

9

Art Fund: Access to Art Is Vital for a Healthy Society

Logo for Art Fund
Energise Young Minds

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Their transparency & ratings:

According to their financial report, the Art Fund spent 94.5% of their total income on charitable activities and 5.5% on fundraising events. 

“Our work helps museums and galleries across the UK to develop their collections, support their staff, and bring awareness to the artists that create it all.”

Art Fund

⚒️

What they do:

The Art Fund supports UK artists by acquiring their works of art and exhibiting them in museums nationwide. In addition, they give artists an online marketing platform and collaborative network to share their personal artwork exhibitions and attract audiences. They also run crowdfunding projects to help creatives restore important paintings and sculptures. Moreover, they advocate for better policies surrounding museums and galleries to further connect them to artists and help buy quality art from art practitioners nationwide.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their inception, the Art Fund has collaborated with 850 museums and galleries across the UK to better connect them to artists and amplify their voices. For example, they have raised $1 million through crowdfunding efforts to help museums buy valuable works of art from local artists. Moreover, in 2022, they have directed over $5 million to their acquisition program to help museums display 900 artworks and support the careers of 100 British artists. In the same year, they offered artistic grants worth nearly $10 million to diversify the artistry in museums and highlight art pieces from underserved communities.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Art Fund on their website. You can also support them by purchasing a National Art Pass or subscribing to their newsletter.

10

The Supporting Act: Helping Emerging Artists Thrive

Logo for The Supporting Act
WeTransfer | Corporate Social Responsibility 2022 Recap

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Their transparency & ratings:

According to their financial report, The Supporting Act spent 70% of their total income on charitable activities and 30% on administrative expenses.

“We believe in a better internet, and a better world, for all artists.”

The Supporting Act

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What they do:

The Supporting Act Foundation aids artists at the beginning of their careers, focusing on marginalized groups and community-centered initiatives. For instance, they offer Impact Grants and Creative Bursaries to artists suffering financial hardships to help them advance their work and influence in the world of arts. Furthermore, they support grassroots organizations that use artistic means to promote social and environmental justice. They also serve artist-led initiatives that connect creatives to their communities and increase their social visibility

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, The Supporting Act has continued to support artists and organizations that enrich the world of arts. For example, in 2022, they granted 10 Creative Bursaries totaling $100,000 to emerging artists from marginalized communities. In the same year, they awarded 7 Impact Grants worth $50,000 each to grassroots organizations advancing social change through the arts. Moreover, they offered 10 Community Grants worth $200,000 in total to artist-led initiatives that extend local help to underserved art workers across Europe. 

Ways to contribute:

You can contribute to The Supporting Act by subscribing to their newsletter or following their Twitter and Instagram profiles. 

Artists’ General Benevolent Institution: Helping Professional Artists for More Than 200 Years

Logo for Artists’ General Benevolent Institution
British Contemporary Artist: Jessica Zoob

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Their transparency & ratings:

According to their financial report, the Artists’ General Benevolent Institution spent 84% of their total income on charitable activities and 16% on fundraising costs. 

“Visual artists are at the center of all that we do. We are artist-led and develop programs specifically for visual artists, believing that the power to make positive change exists within our community.”

Artists’ General Benevolent Institution

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What they do:

The Artists’ General Benevolent Institution works to support artists struggling with finances or health while also helping surviving partners and orphaned children of artmakers. They mainly offer support through one-year-long financial grants. Furthermore, if the artist’s situation requires long-term assistance, the charity’s annual Artists Councils continue financial help for the applicant in the coming year. Also, their main financial support program works as a safety net for artists across all visual mediums and identities, from sculpture to ceramics and dance.

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What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the Artists’ General Benevolent Institution has continued to aid underserved visual artists across the UK. For example, in 2022, they supported 79 creative practitioners, with 17 new recipients, and continued financial help for 62 other applicants. In the same year, they served 18 children of visual artists through their Children’s Fund, from meeting basic needs to paying for college tuitions, so they can have an artistic education too. Moreover, the charity awarded over $300,000 in total grants across all their programs. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate to the Artists’ General Benevolent Institution on their website. You can also get involved by fundraising or following their Instagram profile. 

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities helping artists thrive. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarize yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. The charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities that help artists thrive – based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

Illustration of a signature for Diana

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

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