If you’re looking to commission a new work but don’t have the funding, consider applying for a grant. But before you do so, make sure you know some grant writing tips.
That way, you. can increase the chances of getting the money you need. Read on to learn more.
Apply to the Right Grants
One of the best things you can do is think carefully about which grants you apply for. It can be tempting to apply for any and all funding available.
But there may be some grants that you’re not eligible for. Applying to those programs will just be a waste of your time and the committee members’ time.
Make sure you review the grant requirements before sending an application. That way, you can focus your time on applying for funding that you have a better chance of getting.
Tell a Story
When it comes to writing your grant proposal, do your best to tell a story. Maybe you’re looking for funding to commission a composer who’s from a minority.
Share how your commission will bring awareness to that composer and their community. Make the grant committee feel like they’re in the middle of the story.
That can make your application feel more real and relatable. It can also make it more enjoyable for the committee to read your proposal.
Focus on One Project
Another one of the best grant writing tips is to keep each grant application specific to one thing. You may want to commission multiple composers.
But try to make each grant application for one commission. Then, you can really share why you need money to commission a specific composer and what you plan to do with the final product.
You can always apply to different grants for different commissions you want to do. For example, one project may better meet the requirements for one grant than another.
Showcase the Financial Need
When writing a grant application, you can’t just say you need money. That’s pretty obvious. You need to share what the money will allow you to do, such as support a living composer and bring music to your community.
Try to be unique when writing your grant proposal. Think about why you want to commission a specific composer and how or where you’ll perform the music.
Make it interesting and compelling. Then, you can increase your chances of getting the grant money that you need.
Highlight Your UVP
Your unique value proposition (UVP) can make a huge difference in how your grant application goes. Figure out what makes you different from others who may be applying for the same funding.
Maybe you focus on playing music by living composers. Or perhaps you run a group for students and amateur flute players.
Incorporate that UVP into your grant application. Make it as clear as possible what sets you apart from the other proposals.
Keep It Concise
You may have a lot that you want to say about why you deserve the funding you’re asking for. But you don’t want to make your grant application too long.
If it’s too long, the committee members won’t want to read it. Of course, you don’t want it to be too short to the point where you don’t showcase your need for the money.
Work on finding a balance. Consider having someone outside of your group read the application to see if it’s the right length or not.
Double Check Your Budget
One of the best grant writing tips to follow is to include your budget for the project. Share how you’ll use the funding the grant would provide.
Make it detailed, such as how much you’ll spend commissioning a composer. If there’s leftover funding, maybe you can use the rest to book a venue for the premiere or to fly the composer out to work with your group.
Go over the numbers to make sure everything is accurate. That will give you a better chance of getting the grant than if your numbers are all over the place.
Review the Requirements
Before you submit your grant proposal, make sure everything is correct and fits the requirements. The last thing you want is to spend hours on your proposal only for it to get thrown out on a technicality.
Have someone else go over the application to make sure you don’t forget anything. You can also save all of your materials and come back to the application a day later with fresh eyes.
As soon as you know you want to apply for a grant, start your application. This isn’t something you want to procrastinate on.
The earlier you start, the more time you’ll have to formulate your story and budget. You’ll also have time to proofread your documents and have others give their feedback.
Be sure you set reminders in your calendar as well. That way, you won’t forget to submit the application before the deadline.
Get an Outside Opinion
I’ve mentioned this already, but it bears repeating. Get the opinion of someone outside of your musical group and outside of the committee.
If possible, get feedback from someone who has been on the committee for the grant you’re applying for. Or at least find someone who has successfully applied for the grant you want or a similar one.
Have them review your application. If they give any critiques, take their feedback seriously, and do your best to implement any changes.
Grant Writing Tips: In Review
Some of the best grant writing tips are obvious, but others aren’t so clear. Be sure to consider some of the above strategies when applying for funding.
That way, you can commission a composer to write your next performance piece. And if you’re ready to commission a flute composer, learn more about my process.