We promote the sustainability of social impact projects in the field of arts and culture through new forms of innovative finance


The initiative ‘Fu/iNDING CULTURE – Impact Finance for Arts and Culture’ aims to support social impact projects promoted by Italian arts and cultural organisations with unsecured loans repayable over a term of up to five years. In order to access the funding, the organisations need to present a solid project and demonstrate it can produce artistic, social and financial returns.

The project is inspired by the Arts Impact Fund promoted by Nesta in UK, a fund of over £7 millions co-invested by the Arts Council England, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Nesta and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, with additional funding from Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. This 3-year successful experiment, provided finance between £150,000 and £600,000 to 22 arts and culture organisations with ambitious social projects.

Given the impact of the artistic, cultural and creative sector on the Italian GDP and employment, and its potential to produce positive externalities, we see an opportunity to replicate a similar project in Italy, which takes into account the peculiarities and diversity of this territory compared to UK.

In this phase of the project, we are collecting useful information from cultural experts and organisations to refine our concept, and are discussing with investors and potential partners how to design the most appropriate financial instrument for supporting the growth and social impact of artistic and cultural projects.


Although new co-financing models (es. matching grants), as well as hybrid types of support – offering investments, financing and services – are emerging in Italy, arts and culture organisations are still seeking for grants and donations as their first source of income. Most of grants are offered by bank Foundations. On one hand these interventions support the most innovative and risky initiatives that otherwise would struggle to access other funding, but on the other, they risk to distort a system which has lost its capacity to think in terms of financial sustainability.

Nesta Italia wants to preserve and promote the inestimable social value of arts and culture, by educating organisations to be more enterprising and resilient. With the project ‘Fu/iNDING CULTURE – Impact Finance for Arts and Culture’ we want to help arts and culture organisations to:

  • Strengthen their entrepreneurial spirit thanks to the experimentation of new models of sustainability
  • Design innovative ways to positively impact communities and individuals
  • Promote the important value of arts and culture on economic and social development

What’s next?

  1. Today we launch a survey with the objective to analyse the arts and culture sector in Italy. The data collected will help us design the financial instrument ‘Fu/iNDING CULTURE – Finanza ad Impatto per l’Arte e la Cultura’. If you are an Italian organisation operating in the arts and culture field (es. theatre, association, startup), by filling the survey you will help us understand the gaps of the ecosystem and intervene in the most appropriate way to support the sector in Italy.
  2. We are in conversation with partners and investors. Thanks to the market research and these conversations, we will build together the most appropriate financial instrument of ‘Fu/iNDING CULTURE – Finanza ad Impatto per l’Arte e la Cultura’. The launch of the initiative is planned in Q4 2019.


The project is promoted by Nesta Italia. In this phase it is not possible to communicate the partners and investors who have already joined the initiative, their names will be announced in the next months.