Unlock the talent inside

Since 1962 the Koestler Awards have played a unique, national role in motivating prisoners, secure hospital patients and immigration detainees to take part in the arts. The awards are simple and powerful – we reward achievement, build self-confidence and broaden horizons for some of society’s most disadvantaged and marginalised people.

Our work harnesses the uniquely transformative power of the arts to help individuals learn the skills and gain the confidence to live creative, positive and productive lives. Each year we receive more than 7,000 entries from over 3,500 entrants across the UK in 52 categories. More than 2,000 Awards are granted by over 100 esteemed judges, and each year culminates in a curated exhibition at Southbank Centre which showcases the incredible power of the arts to transform lives.

  • Other ways to give

Smooth Operator, HM Prison & Young Offender Institution Parc , Under 25s Special Award for Painting, 2019

Other Ways to Give

Other Ways to Give

From volunteering on feedback days to donating via payroll, there are many ways that you can contribute to our work.

However you choose to give, your support enables us to continue our work motivating those in secure settings to take part in the arts and live more positive and productive lives.

Payroll giving

Sometimes known as workplace giving, this is a fantastic way to make your support go further.

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The donation is made before tax, so it costs you less – a donation of £10 to Koestler Arts could cost you as little as £5.50 and, because it’s already tax-efficient, it saves us time as we don’t have to claim gift aid on the donation. Employers are also able to match your donation, which is a great way to double your donation at no extra cost to you.

Find out more about payroll giving and its benefits here.

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Donate while you shop

Did you know that whenever you buy anything online – from your weekly shop to your annual holiday – you could be raising free donations for Koestler Arts with easyfundraising?

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There are over 4,000 shops and sites on board ready to donate – including eBay, Argos, John Lewis, ASOS, Booking.com and M&S – and it won’t cost you a penny extra to help us raise funds.

All you need to do is:

1. Go to https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/koestlertrust/?utm_campaign=raise-more and join for free.

2. Every time you shop online, go to easyfundraising first to find the site you want and start shopping.

3. After you’ve checked out, the retailer will donate to Koestler Arts at no extra cost to you.

Find out more here.

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Organise a fundraising event

Taking part in a sponsored challenge, or organising your own fundraising event, is simple with a JustGiving page or via Virgin Money Giving.

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We always love to hear about events being held in aid of Koestler Arts. If you are thinking of organising a fundraising event, please get in touch with the team at support-us@koestlerarts.org.uk or call us on 020 8740 0333.

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Gifts in your will

Donations in wills are as easy as any other donation, and a gift of 1% can make a real difference.

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After providing for your family and friends, you can choose to give any percentage of your estate to charity, adding a simple line in your will or asking a solicitor for advice. By remembering us in your will, you can ensure that your support of Koestler Arts and the thousands of men, women and young people using art in the criminal justice system will continue.

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Give the gift of shares

If you have shares which are uneconomic to sell, you may wish to consider donating them to ShareGift, the share donation charity. 

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ShareGift specialises in releasing the money locked up in small shareholdings but can accept donations of any size. ShareGift works by collecting small lots of shares until there are enough to sell and then donating the resulting proceeds to a wide range of charities. ShareGift make their grants based upon suggestions from donors. You can help support Koestler Arts by donating any small shareholdings you may have to ShareGift and mentioning that you support us.

If you are a UK taxpayer, you can claim income tax relief on the value of most stocks and securities when you donate them to a charity. Find out more about ShareGift.

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Visit our online shop

Every purchase you make in our online shop is a vote of confidence for individuals making art in secure settings.

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Buying a unique piece of original art or a Koestler Arts publication helps us continue to run the Koestler Awards and to raise public awareness of the value of prisoners’ creativity as part of their rehabilitative journey.

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Volunteer with us

Not all vital donations to our work are financial. We have an enormous appreciation for our team of volunteers who use their spare time to support our work, whether it’s providing feedback for artworks entered to the Koestler Awards, or training to become a Koestler Arts Mentor.

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Find out more about our current volunteering opportunities

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A Moment in Space and Time, HM Prison The Verne, Painting, 2019

When I discovered Koestler, I began to understand better the pure power of creating, not only for those artists backed into dark places by circumstance, but also their audience, who viewing the work gain insights that tell us all that we have much in common and much to share. Koestler Arts is a wonderfully effective organisation in helping to enable this.

Nick Bowlby, Koestler Arts Trustee and Supporter