YOUR WISH MAY BE GRANTED – Applying for Arts Funding

I have always stumbled around in the dark when it came to completing grant applications. I thought it was just about answering the questions and sticking to the rules.

But as I discovered at today’s ASA funding seminar in Melbourne, applying for funding is so much more than that.

And if you do it right, your wish may be granted.

Here’s what I found out:

  • It’s okay…in fact, probably essential to ring the funding body and ask the co-ordinator if you are on the right track.
  • Think about what gives your project its urgency and appeal – this is what will make it stand out from other applications.
  • Read the instructions carefully – and ask the funding co-ordinator if there is something you’re unsure of.
  • Double check the criteria to make sure you are eligible.
  • Make sure you have included details of what stage of development you are seeking funding for – where are you at with this project at the moment? Where to from here?
  • Relate your ‘Aims’ to the selection criteria.
  • If there’s an interesting story behind why you have undertaken this project, include this on your application.
  • Discuss how you intend to go about your project. Will it require research? Are you going to seek feedback eg a manuscript assessment? Are you intending to submit to a publisher?
  • It’s good to have a recurring statement or goal throughout your application – eg This project will compare behavioural differences between termites and cockroaches and how they co-exist.
  • Play your natural game and be sincere – avoid jargon and allow your enthusiasm for your project to shine through.

Finally, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Why should you be given funding for this project?
  2. Why you?
  3. Why now?

Yes, there are lots of people applying for funding – but someone has to get the grant – why not you?

If you’re not successful the first time, ring the funding body and ask for feedback about your application. Revise it and try again next year.

Good luck with your applications. I’ll keep you posted on how I go with mine.

Dee

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8 thoughts on “YOUR WISH MAY BE GRANTED – Applying for Arts Funding

  1. Very useful informatin, Dee. I write grant applications as part of my day job, but have yet to have the courage to write one for myself – must do so, though, soon.

  2. Thanks so much for this breakdown Dee, must admit I have been somewhat disheartened by my previous experiences.

    I suspect it probably helps to write an excerpt in the voice and style of your proposed project if you don’t have any existing related work (if you are for example changing genres). But that is mere speculation.

  3. Very informative, Dee. Thanks so much. One day in the future I might be ready to put my hat into the funding ring, but for now it stays firmly on my head. Actually, it probably hangs slightly crookedly on the heads of one of my boys 🙂

  4. You’re right, Penni. It is definitely necessary to show a sample of your writing in that genre, voice and style, and some funding applications require you to provide a sample of writing for the project you are working on – of course this depends on what stage of development your work is at.

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