Funding & sponsorship researchers

Widening our income streams

How we manage

  • About 77% of the income we need to meet our costs comes from ticket, programme & merchandise sales. In fact that is pretty good for a company specialising in new work. However, the other 23% still has to be found. It is a fact of life that only a tiny percentage of the population will be adventurous enough to try new work, especially from a company that works outside the mainstream mainly in small rural communities – which is our mission, so the possibilities for earned income are always going to be limited. But you can help us as a volunteer researcher!


  • We can improve our marketing by using supporters as ambassadors to spread the word – Click here for more details ‘Ambassadors’– & try and build our audiences that way, but it’s always going to be difficult with new work – and we will not cheapen or water down what we do for the sake of popularity, nor will we ‘punish’ a community & not go just because it is small & cannot generate big crowds. Our mission is to support communities through our work.

Decreasing risk

  • We have done well to last twenty-one years and for much of that time we have been funded by the Arts Council, which amounts to about 11% to 12% and we have found the rest through other grants (local authorities, trusts and donations). But none of these sources are obliged to fund us & we only have to fail once & the impact on us is enormous. So we live with risk of failure constantly. In 2020 our supporters saved us but we can’t keep going back to them.

Researching possible sponsors

Finding possible sponsors

  • Finding sponsors in villages is difficult. It’s in the nature of things that the sponsor wants to get something back – exposure on the night in the form of advertising their business such as with a table & fliers, or banner, or something in the programme or on a poster or flier or on our website. A little village (the typical venue for us) may not give enough exposure to a company unless they have a particular interest in it & a market locally for themselves. But there may be some that do & we have packages that may interest businesses. We just have to find them – and you can help us!

A researcher

  • Ideally we could do with someone who can research for sponsors on our behalf, find possible businesses & if possible contact details & follow them up. It is time-consuming so we have neglected this source of income just because of lack of time. Is it something you might like to do?


  • Contact Pete by phone – 01323-501260 or email –

Researching grant sources

The usual candidates

  • After over twenty years we have come to know the most likely funders & there aren’t in fact that many that fit exactly what we do – apparently, but can we be sure? And for most of them they will not fund year after year, so our strategy is always to leave it three or four years & then they might fund again, which of course further narrows the field each year. But there may be others we have missed & the field is changing all the time.

Never enough time 

  • With only one full time administrator in the company there is never time to properly research further afield & we do occasionally find trusts and charities that we haven’t heard of, so it is worth a proper search.


  • Ideally we could do with one or two people who are interested in this sort of thing who will research the field for us in a depth we don’t have the time to do ourselves. This kind of thing may well interest someone. If so contact Pete by phone – 01323-501260 or email –

Become a Friend 

  • Becoming a volunteer means becoming a Friend – If you become a volunteer then we automatically include you as a Friend & you will receive newsletters from time to time about our work, inspirations, commedia dell’arte & other interesting things – unless of course you don’t want all that, which is fine. In which case just say & we won’t send you all that stuff. Just helping us maybe enough for you. Click on ‘Becoming a Friend’