Funding your trip

We strive to make Sail Britain’s programme as accessible as possible. The ocean is an unfamiliar world to most people and to tackle some of it’s conservation challenges for example, we need to change this. Whether it’s an artists’ residency or a scientific research project with Sail Britain, why not think creatively about how to fund it?

Can Sail Britain offer any funding?

Occasionally we can for specific projects, usually those with a strong social, or community focus. However, being an interdisciplinary organisation, funding has been a big challenge. The vast majority of funding streams are for very specific, focused and narrow-scope projects. Sail Britain is championing the value of collaborative and interdisciplinary projects across both the arts and sciences and everything in between. We firmly believe in the value of this approach but it means we often have to tick a box which makes us, as an organisation, ineligible for funding.

Successful approaches to funding

Crowdfunding – As individuals however, our participants can be much more specific about funding, and we have had considerable success with this approach. One photographer on the Muir Is Tir residency, raised considerably more than his target on Crowdfunder, after a very well thought out campaign. There is nothing to lose with crowdfunding and we encourage everyone to give it a go!

Institutions – If you are affiliated with a university or other institution, there are often travel and project grants available to students and researchers. Some of these get fairly few applicants so why not give it a go? Again, many of our participants have been fully funded this way.

Arts bodies – for artists, there are numerous bodies which give funding for projects, Arts Council England and Creative Scotland being among the biggest, but there are many others. You probably know more than we do! The Arts Council also has a useful page with other sources of funding.

National bodies and Societies – There are many organisations which offer grants for projects which would fit very well with Sail Britain’s programme. For research and fieldwork projects, the Royal Geographical Society has a very good resource for grant funding, both offered by the RGS  itself and other bodies.

Trusts and Foundations – Additionally there are many grant giving Trusts and Foundations who can be approached to fund projects. A quick online search will show up many. There are often requirements however in terms of subject matter or focus.

Sponsorship – this is another option for funding projects, however you will need to develop a win-win relationship with your sponsor and have a project in mind which they might be happy to be associated with. Sponsors vary enormously and can either be great to work with or a compete nightmare. Hopefully it’ll mostly be the former!

Develop a project and ask all your friends! – Everyone loves a worthy project, so if you would like to develop something specific to come out of your voyage, a community art workshop or beach clean perhaps, then why not make the proposal and just get lots of people to chip in? Sometimes the simplest ways can be the most rewarding.

Whatever you choose to do, be imaginative, think outside the box and have fun to make it a rewarding part of the expedition!