United Arts Funds (UAFs) are local arts agencies whose main function is to raise money from local individuals, businesses, and foundations to regrant to local arts institutions and provide support to the cultural community. UAFs seek to raise money to provide ongoing support to arts groups by consolidating cultural fundraising efforts in one organization, and use their knowledge of the cultural community to disperse the funds accordingly.
Traditionally, UAFs have funded operations or programmatic grants to the core institutions that define their city’s cultural identity–the symphony, ballet, opera, theater, and museum. Now, allocations are increasingly more open to the diversity of the community, requiring receiving organizations to reflect the differences and needs of the whole community through project grants, capital grants, capacity building grants, and neighborhood and community grants. Today, UAFs around the country are shifting toward the role of local arts agencies–involving themselves in cultural planning, implementing programs that engage the community through the arts, and providing capacity-building programs and other services to arts organizations in the region.
The UAF movement began in 1949, when civic leaders in Cincinnati, OH, and Louisville, KY, determined that a collaborative fundraising effort would be more effective than individual campaigns. Over the past 65 years, more than 100 communities across the country–both large and small–have established UAFs. There are currently 40 UAFs operating in the United States as of March 2019.
If you are a current UAF member, log in to access special tools and reports that have tracked the success of campaigns around the country since 2002. This page also contains other tools and resources useful to UAF administrators. If you are not operating a UAF but would like to view stats from our most recent report, learn more from our United Arts Funds Fiscal Year 2020 Fact Sheet. Browse through the map of the extensive network of UAFs below to find and contact one in your state or region. If you are interested in learning more about starting a UAF in your community, contact the Private Sector Initiatives team.