Pop Up Projects is a non-profit children's literature agency with a mission to transform lives through literature, especially through working with people in deprived places and challenging circumstances. Pop Up Projects delivers on this mission through three distinct strands of activities: working with primary, secondary, SEN schools to produce an annual nationwide children's literature festival; developing emerging talent to ensure that the next generation of children's writers and illustrators is more diverse; and providing advisory services for peer organisations with complementary missions.
Like many mission-driven organisations, Pop Up Projects has historically relied on grant funding from trusts and foundations. This reliance on grants served Pop Up Projects well during the organisation's start-up phase and as it established its core programme offering. However, increased competition for this funding has catalysed the need to adapt its business model to include more unrestricted revenue such as earned income and individual giving. Having spent many years seeking funding from trusts and foundations, Pop Up Projects is acutely aware of the organisational costs of applying for grants and the risks of relying on a funding stream where the odds of success are increasingly uncertain.
Pop Up Projects approached the Cultural Impact Development Fund (CDIF) with a request for an unsecured loan of £150, 000 to create a new role of Education and Development Director and to produce high-quality promotional materials. This investment will help the organisation to diversity its income its income portfolio by adding capacity and assets to increase commissioning income with schools and to launch a strategic fundraising campaign propelled by a 10th-anniversary celebrations event.
Pop Up Projects generates revenue from trust and foundation grants, individual giving and earned income from its literature festival programme delivered schools.
Increased senior leadership capacity and investment in promotional assets will support Pop Up Projects' ambition to bring its Pop Up Festival to more schools, as well as expand it to young refugees, asylum-seekers, and migrants. The addition of a Director of Education and Development will also allow the Executive Director to allocate time away from day-today management of the Festival to focus on individual giving and major gifts, which will help grow the organisation's unrestricted income. This reallocation of capacity and investment in promotional assets will support Pop Up Projects to build a financially resilient and sustainable business model for the future.