Grant Writing Basics

It is likely that you (or your collaborative partner) will need to write a grant application.

Before you start writing the grant, you need to be clear on:

  • The project idea
  • The community you are working with
  • The artist(s) you are working with
  •  How much money you need to run the project (this can range from a bootstrap operation to a fully funded project)

Grant Writing Tips

When you know which grant you are interested in applying for, give the program consultant a call. This call is about reaching out for information, confirming your project’s eligibility, ensuring you are applying to the appropriate program and ensuring you have the most current program guidelines. In addition, it also lets the funder know you are serious about applying and it creates a connection. This step is often skipped because people don’t want to bother consultants, but it is not a bother. Providing information about grants is their job. Sometimes the program consultant can give you information that can help your application, such as what kind of projects they are looking for or new programs that you may be eligible for.

Notes from the Field

When I was working for a community arts organization I saw a grant for programming in specific Winnipeg neighbourhoods. I had no connection to any of the listed neighbourhoods. I called the grant program officer. stated my interest in working with one of the communities and briefly explained my project idea. I asked him, “Based on what I have told you, which neighbourhood would be interested in a program like this? He knew which community and gave me the number of the person to call. He was right. They were interested and our 17-week pilot program was approved. It can pay to reach out!

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