Audience Profiling for Project Grants

A structured overview that provides you an accessible introduction to audience identification and planning to be used as supporting documentation for project grants of up to £100,000.

Designed to be user-friendly, the document is easily understood and is the ideal first step in ensuring an application demonstrates a project’s public value and its meeting of ACE public engagement objectives whilst comprehensively outlining the engagement approach you’ll take to reach your intended audience.

An excellent tool for those without audience engagement experience, the document encourages funders by demonstrating a commitment to audience engagement.

Profiling looks to meet ACE engagement objectives by exploring the characteristics and psychological make-up of an audience group to ensure the personal, situational, cultural, institutional, and historical factors of that group are addressed. It is particularly useful in showcasing your work as accessible to traditionally unengaged, underrepresented, and discriminated audiences that may have a reluctance towards arts participation.

profiling as supporting documents

Having a separate document to support audience participation sections can demonstrate that you have – 

  • Clearly identified audiences and sub-segments.
  • Presented a strong case for public engagement.
  • Planned on working to reach the under or unengaged.
  • Considered the growth and development of existing audiences.
  • Planned marketing activities to development cultural experiences for your audiences and demonstrated its achievable.
  • Acknowledged access and diversity.

“Relying on fixed audience segmentation – the round hole that you’re trying to fit your square peg – doesn’t make sense. Rather, determine your own audience sets that are relevant to your work and from which organisation-specific approaches can be determined.

After all, how can 67 million people fit into a handful of pre-defined categories?”.

Our Audience Profiling Tools

Sandbox is our set of industry-leading frameworks and models designed to provide a complete understanding of arts audience psychology and engagement.

Sandbox’s value lies in the ability to simplify the complex dynamics of arts engagement, allowing cultural organisations to better influence engagement behaviour through the use of the most comprehensive audience profiling available and a fresh approach to an audience’s participation journey. 

Developed from collaborations with psychologists, sociologists, arts professionals and over three thousand audience interactions, Sandbox is genuinely becoming a game changer for the wider cultural sector, and is only available via Disconnected Bodies.

We Dive Deeper

Here’s 25% of the contents of our Sandbox – with 112 frameworks, models and engagement flowcharts available in total. (We’ve kept the best to ourselves. Naughty people in the past have tried passing our approach off as theirs… tut!)

For the full list and how the Sandbox can be customised for your audience work, please arrange a free call where we’ll be happy to talk you through what the Sandbox has to offer.

  • Baseline Psychology
    • Thinking Preference and Process
    • Motivations
    • Motivation Direction
  • Cultural Baseline
    • Visible Culture
    • Invisible Culture
    • Ethnocentricity
    • Intercultural Competence
    • Psychological Foundations of a Culture
    • Stigma and Group Inequality
  • Barriers
    • Practical, technical, cultural, situational, personal, attitudinal and perceptual.
  • Decision Making
    • Speed
    • Planning Style
    • Influence Preference
    • Stimuli
  • Artistic Exchange
    • Engagement Pathway
    • Engagement Direction
    • Entry Point
    • Gamification
    • Importance of Modelling
    • Psychology of Meaning
    • Small Group Psychology
  • Post-Engagement
    • Selective Remembering
    • Misremembering

Where Others Fall Short

  • Oversimplifies the process audiences go through when deciding to participate.
  • Is limited to a set number of segments with very fixed profiling – how can 67 million people fit into a handful of predefined segments?
  • Fails to consider the engagement process involves more than one decision and that different factors determine the outcomes of each decision. 
  • Arts organisations are not provided with enough correct information to determine what strategies may be appropriate and when to use them.
  • Doesn’t consider the complete audience journey including artistic exchange or post-engagement impact.
  • Over reliance on an audience’s socio-demographics rather than their personal, situational, cultural, institutional and historical factors;  not providing the practical guidance needed to influence engagement behaviour.

Moving beyond dead-end data.

It’s a dangerous, ineffective and impersonal approach to be developing cultural experiences based upon census-style data and not recognising audiences as individuals. We cannot, after all, influence an individual’s socio-demographic characteristics. 

Grouping audiences solely through demographic data is not only extremely presumptuous of their psychographics but also boarders on prejudice and discrimination.

Allowing the future of the arts to be shaped through such a cold, analytical approach fills us with dread.

Read more

Data-only based research leads to limited pictures of stereotypes and habitual behaviours that don’t reveal the narratives, hopes and dreams, and challenges that form the human experience and are so important to the appreciation of arts.

Currently available guidance over simplifies the process an individual goes through in deciding to participate in the arts. Failing to take into account that the process involves more than one decision and that different factors determine the outcomes of each decision. 

“There should be a disdain for reducing audiences’ emotional response to relatively meaningless graphics. [It’s] the age-old adage that anything can be proven with statistics.”

Our Work and Arts Council England

Disconnected Bodies are Nominated Support Workers and have been previous Suppliers with ACE.

Working to ACE strategies and objectives, we align the work of those who come to us to ensure the public value of that work is being demonstrated clearly.

We have worked to understand ACE Project Grants, the requirements and how we can contribute our expertise to strengthen applications. 

We offer our knowledge of audiences to make suggestions of where a project’s public engagement planning is falling short and how best to move forward.

Our goal is to enable more people to participate in exciting and brilliant culture experiences, in many cases the first step to achieving this is through funding being secured.


If you’ve been successful in your Expression of Interest to ACE, congratulations. You’ll be aware that amongst other areas of focus your application should include –

  • Building new and diverse audiences.
  • Widening access through increased opportunities for participation.
  • Active removal of barriers to engagement.
  • Reaching people with limited access.
  • Innovative digital engagement and distribution which attracts new audiences.
  • Stronger relationships with those involved in audience development.
  • Involvement of research partners to develop ways of engaging audiences.
  • The development of activity directly informed by audience engagement.

You’ll also be aware that an audience development and marketing plan is a requirement of this level of funding.In which case, our Audience Engagement Road Map service has been designed around fulfilling the criteria set by ACE for this document and will be more beneficial to you than our Audience Participation Planning Service.

More information can be found here -> Audience Engagement Road Map

What we can do for you.

Identify the audience that fits

Using our Sandbox framework for a complete understanding of your audience psychology and engagement.


Giving more people the chance to take part in the arts, no matter where they live or their social, educational or financial circumstances.

Developing a programme that meets your audience’s self, social and societal needs.


Ensuring all audiences participating in your offering leave having been inspired, moved or challenged.


Giving current audiences the opportunities to become frequent attendees; advocates for your offering, and who share the value of your programme with others.


Conducting thorough investigations to break down participation barriers, reach those less confident, re-engage those who have yet to return after COVID-19, identify those who are skeptical and work to excite newcomers.

Achieve ACE objectives

Supporting your current and future partnerships with ACE and delivering NPO objectives; displaying your contribution as an arts organisation and demonstrating the tangible value the public receive from their investment in you.

attract commercial sponsorship & financial contributors

Profiles, behaviours and psychographics of your audience to attract commercial sponsorship and potential financial/commercial contributors.

Build your legacy

Ensuring the public experience a long-lasting ‘impact echo’ from your work.

Many audiences remain hidden or unengaged, work with us to breakdown participation barriers, reach those less confident, re-engage those who have yet to return after COVID-19, identify those who are skeptical and work to excite newcomers.

We thrive in recognising when changing is needed; diagnosing engagement sticking points and responding to audience opportunities to provide multiple routes to participation.

Book a Free 30-Minute Video Consultation.

A complimentary consultation to discuss your requirements or any current engagement sticking points you may be facing. 

We’re happy to provide free guidance that may resolve your questions within the half hour, or happy to discuss how we can work together longer term.