Tips for Securing Grants for the Arts
In addition to government programs, corporations as well as Independent, Community, Operating, and Family Foundations have funds allocated to projects in the visual, literary, and performing arts. The way to make the connection to these available funds is through a grant proposal. Writing the grant proposal is neither a creative nor academic exercise. It is rather a document of persuasion often best handled by a professional with proven expertise.
Writing a grant proposal for the arts can be a tedious and frustrating endeavor. Art for art’s sake is not a compelling enough argument. Funders require that the money they award will have a specific, positive impact on the communities they serve. The process begins with locating an available grant with goals closely aligned to those of your project. This is no time trying to fit your square peg into the funders round hole. Only 10% of grant proposals are successful. One of the biggest reasons for failure is misalignment of objectives.
Once you have located a potential funding source you need to define your project by assembling::
- Recent, strong data to support the need for your project
- Your response that clearly addresses the need you uncovered
- The process you will use the measure the success of your project
- Your initial budget and funding needed
When you are ready to fill out the grant proposal it is IMPERATIVE that you follow the instructions exactly including deadlines, space limitations, and required attachments. Do not assume an abundance of additional information is better. No matter how worthy your project failure to follow the rules usually results in immediate rejection.
Finding financial support for your project in the arts requires time, patience, and perseverance. However, success breeds success and once you crack the code you will find the process is easier with each subsequent proposal.