Grants & Writing Tips

Tips from Jim and Maureen:

  • Be able to answer the question, “How does the project/program you’re asking money for fit into your strategic plan?”
  • Be clear about anticipated outcomes: How do you quantify success? How many people will benefit from the project/program? What long-term changes will be made by your project/program?
  • Identify other agencies you will be working with. Who are your partners and/or collaborators?
  • Specify the project/program timeline.
  • Identify all resources the program/project will be using, including the items being requested in this grant application. Contextualize “the ask.”
  • Name all potential funders.
  • Make sure the budget is complete.
  • Be clear how the money from this grant will effect the program/project’s success.
  • Remember, funders usually want to fund projects/programs, and they respond to clear and precise proposals.
  • Funders need to feel confident their money will be used appropriately, and they need to know why you or your organization can be trusted to fulfill your part of the relationship.
  • Have at least one or two other people read through your application and budget to make sure there are no mistakes.
  • Follow up with funders with any questions. Call them if your have doubts or are uncertain about any part of the application.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, call the funder and ask for feedback about your application and how you can improve your request next time.

There are grants available to artists and arts organizations. A following is a list of local and national grants:

1. Arts of Clark County Grants

2. Battle Ground Arts Alliance Grants

3. My Macy’s District Grants

4. Nordstrom

Jim Martin reviewed grants for education programs in the Portland Metro area during his career. Here are some tips he has for successful grant writing:

1. Answer the question: Specifically what do you need funding for?

2. Use specific items from your strategic plan budget for “the ask.”

3. Does your grant request match up with your budget item?f4d014fcd437d91736e97a2c905e9fb6

4. Are there any conflicts of interest between you and the grantor?

5. Do you understand the intricacies of the project you want funded for?

6. Do you understand the donor you are asking for money from? (What is the scope of their giving?)

7. How is your writing? Use your best written communication skills on the application.

8. Include descriptions of what staff and volunteers will be doing on the project you’re requesting funding for.

Any other suggestions- please leave them in the comments section. Thanks!

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