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10 tips for applying for funding

Need some tips about applying for funding? Arts Queensland has published a list of 10 tips to help with that next application….

1. CUSTOMISE your application to the selected funding program. Understand its focus and address all criteria. If you are applying for government funding programs be mindful taxpayer funds are contributing to your initiative and you need to articulate the social, community or cultural return on the public investment.
2. BE SUCCINCT. Tell the reader exactly what you plan to do, why and how. Keep to word limits. Write in clear and simple language. Avoid jargon and acronyms. Use headings and dot points to make it easier for the reader to quickly understand the structure of your work. Keep on topic – don’t answer questions with ‘not applicable’ or ‘see above’.
3. SELL. Excite your reader! Have a compelling project description linked to your organisation’s purpose and vision. Present your unique selling point and value proposition in an engaging way.
4. EVIDENCE. Demonstrate your experience and capacity to make this project a success. Letters of support should substantiate your claims. General testimonials or references not related to the project will not add value to your application. Good quality video of previous work, easily accessed via weblinks (eg Youtube, Vimeo) is an effective way to demonstrate the nature and quality of your work.
5. DEMAND. Why does this project need to happen? How do you know this? How will you demonstrate this? Show your project is well researched. Evidence of demand is critical. For suggestions as to what kind of evidence you should provide to illustrate demand…check out the Funding Program Criteria Checklists on the Arts Acumen page.
6. BUDGETS must balance! Income must equal expenditure. Revenue estimates need to be realistic and evidence based. If you are applying to a number of funding bodies, indicate if funding has been confirmed and if not, when you are expecting to hear from them. The budget speaks volumes about the viability of your project. Ask a financially literate colleague to check your budget. There are budget samples and advice on budget preparation that might be useful  available on the Arts Acumen page.
7. MARKETING. Have you allocated adequate resources to market your project to your audience? Are you using social media to its best advantage? Include marketing strategies in your proposal.
8. PARTNERSHIPS. If your project is supported by others (collaborators or financial supporters) describe their contribution, and provide confirmation of their commitment.
9. SUCCESS. Be clear about the intended outcomes and impact of your project. Describing ways you will measure success demonstrates to assessors your project is well planned and likely to achieve the outcomes as stated in the application.
10. CHECK. Proof read your document then ask a colleague to check it over. It should make sense; have no typos or budget errors. If a person reading your proposal had never heard of your organisation or your project, would they have a clear understanding of what you intend to do and why?


10 Tips – Applying for funding is a component of the Grant writing tool kit available on the Arts Acumen page. Whether you are new to applying for arts funding or you have submitted applications before, the toolkit has been created to guide you through the key components of funding applications and to help you understand how to build a clear and compelling case for funding.




Feature image: Freeimages/fcl1971