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A Guide to Grant Writing in the Arts. Presented by the MSU Writing Center Grace Bernhardt and Brit Austin. Our Objectives for Today. To give you a brief overview of the grant writing process; To provide you with resources to start your grant-seeking process.

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a guide to grant writing in the arts

A Guide toGrant Writing in the Arts

Presented by the

MSU Writing Center

Grace Bernhardt and Brit Austin

our objectives for today
Our Objectives for Today
  • To give you a brief overview of the grant writing process;
  • To provide you with resources to start your grant-seeking process.
overview of the grant writing process
Overview of The Grant Writing Process
  • Define your project
  • Locate appropriate funding sources
  • Read through proposal guidelines
  • Contact the funding agency
  • Develop a plan
  • Write the proposal
  • Submit the proposal
  • Follow up
define your project
Define Your Project
  • You must start the process by defining what it is you want to do and why.
  • Identify a need for the work you want to do.
locate funding sources
Locate Funding Sources
  • With a project in mind, begin researching grant agencies.
  • Michigan sources:
    • Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
    • General Motors Grants (for organizations)
  • Other states:
    • Kentucky Foundation for Women
    • Arts Midwest
locate funding sources6
Locate Funding Sources
  • Determine grantmakers’ goals, objectives, and priorities.
      • If your project does not match their goals, you are less likely to be funded.
read through guidelines
Read through Guidelines
  • Thoroughly read and understand the guidelines!
  • Make sure you are eligible!
  • Note things like the submission deadline, page limit, required attachments!
  • Note the format that your proposal should be in!
contact the funding agency
Contact the Funding Agency
  • Making personal contact is a good way to make yourself stand out.
  • Ask for clarification or further explanation of the guidelines.
the pieces of a proposal
The Pieces of a Proposal
  • Determine what pieces you will need to include in your proposal.
    • Cover sheet,
    • Narratives:
      • Needs assessment,
      • Project goals and objectives,
      • Methodology,
      • Evaluation,
    • Budget/Funding Requirements,
    • Qualifications,
    • Conclusion,
    • Appendices.
cover sheet
Cover sheet
  • One page
  • Typed on letterhead
  • Overview of the organization
  • Purpose and reason for funding request
  • Amount of the funding request
  • Show how you meet the grant makers goals and mission
  • Narratives answer:
    • What do we want?
    • What concern will be addressed and why it is important?
    • Who will benefit and how?
    • What specific objectives can be accomplished and how?
    • How will results be measured?
    • How does this funding request relate to the funder’s purpose, objectives, and priorities?
    • Who are we (organization, independent producer) and how do we qualify to meet this need?
needs assessment
Needs assessment
  • Problem Statement
  • 3-4 Pages
  • Purpose, goals, measurable objectives, and a compelling, logical reason why the proposal should be supported.
  • Background provides perspective and is often a welcome component.
project goals and objectives
Project goals and objectives
  • 1–2 pages
  • Describe the proposed project outcome and accomplishments.
  • Include:
    • your overall goal(s)
    • specific objectives or ways in which you will meet the goal(s).
  • 4+ pages
  • Restatement of problems and objectives.
  • Clear description and explanation of program/project scope and activities.
  • If relevant to the project state the sequence of activities, staffing, clients, and client selection.
  • Time line of activities.
  • In general:
    • 1-2 pages
    • Determine the plan for meeting performance and producing the program/project.
    • Justify how you will measure the effectiveness of your activities.
    • State the expected outcome/achievement at the end of funding period.
evaluation cont d
Evaluation (cont’d)
  • Evaluations should include
    • Plan for evaluating accomplishment of objectives.
    • Plan for modifying process and methodology.
    • Provide methods - criteria, data, instruments, analysis.
  • In some cases:
    • Some grantmakers require very technical measurements of results. Inquire about expectations.
budget funding requirements
Budget/Funding Requirements
  • Most grants will require you to submit a budget which lays out how you will allocate the money if awarded the grant.
  • Be sure to only include items that the funder will cover--some funders will not cover administrative or overhead costs.
  • Present a reasonable and well-thought out budget.
  • Some funders will supply a form to fill out.
  • Your qualifications will show your past projects and work that make you qualified to carry out the proposed project.
  • Typically you will include a copy of your resume or CV.
  • Summarize the important points of your project proposal and highlight why you should be funded.
  • Be convincing!
  • The attachments to your proposal will vary but often include:
    • letters of support,
    • proof of tax exempt status if you are part of a non-profit organization, or
    • other financial documents.
how to describe your project
How to Describe your Project
  • Make clear …
    • What project you wish to undertake,
    • Why this proposed work is meaningful and valuable to others in the field or the public,
    • Who you are and why you are qualified to undertake the proposed project,
how to describe your project cont
How to Describe your Project (cont’)
  • What you have previously worked on,
  • How you plan to accomplish your objectives,
  • How your funding request fits with the grantmaker’s purpose and objectives.
writing style
Writing Style
  • Use clear language in describing your proposed project.
  • Limit jargon that your reader might not be familiar with and explain terms as needed.
  • Be persuasive!
    • Convince them your work is valuable
    • Include pieces of your previous work when possible
submit your proposal
Submit your Proposal
  • Plan to submit your proposal before

the submission deadline.

  • Follow all guidelines for submission
      • make sure your proposal is in the correct

format and submitted the correct way (by

mail, electronically etc.)

follow up with the grant agency
Follow Up with the Grant Agency
  • Confirm they received your proposal.
  • Inquire as to any next steps.
mistakes to avoid
Mistakes to Avoid
  • Starting too late
  • Not following instructions
  • Applying for the wrong grant or not meeting eligibility requirements
  • Missing deadlines
  • An underdeveloped project
  • Bad grammar, punctuation, spelling
  • Not learning from past grant applications
proposal writing online courses for a fee
Proposal Writing Online Courses (for a fee)
  • Foundation Center
    • http://fdncenter.org/getstarted/learnabout/proposalwriting.html
  • Money for Art.com
    • http://www.moneyforart.com
  • WRA 451: Grant and Proposal Writing at MSU
grant agencies in michigan
Grant Agencies in Michigan
  • Charles Stewart Mott Foundation
    • http://mott.org/programs/programs.asp
  • General Motors Grants
    • provide “support to organizations that promote appreciation of the arts, recognition of diverse cultures and awareness of arts in education programs.”
    • http://www.gm.com/company/gmability/community/guidelines/index.html
  • Top 50 Michigan Foundations that Give Grants
    • http://www.tgci.com/grants/Michigan/foundations.asp
grant agencies in michigan cont d
Grant Agencies in Michigan, cont’d
  • Michigan Community Foundations
    • www.forgoodforever.org/Community Grants.htm
grant agencies in other states
Grant Agencies in Other States
  • Idaho Commission on the Arts
    • www.arts.idaho.gov/grants
  • Kentucky Foundation for Women
    • www.kfw.org
grant funding databases
Grant Funding Databases
  • National Endowment for the Arts
    • Database: http://www.arts.gov/grants/apply/index.html
  • Foundation Center
    • Database: http://fdncenter.org/findfunders/
    • E-newsletter:http://fdncenter.org/afw/
  • Creative Capital
    • www.creative-capital.org
grant funding databases cont d
Grant Funding Databases (cont’d)
  • MSU Database
    • http://www.lib.msu.edu/harris23/grants/3arts.htm
  • NYFA Interactive
    • http://www.nyfa.org/nyfa_source.asp?id=47&fid=1
  • Arts Midwest
    • http://www.artsmidwest.org/funders/funders.asp
    • http://www.artsmidwest.org/links/links.asp
proposal writing tips
Proposal Writing Tips
  • Arts Resource Network
    • http://www.artsresourcenetwork.org/professional_growth/business_of_art/grant_proposal_writing.asp
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting
    • http://www.cpb.org/grants/grantwriting.html
  • Arts and Humanities Proposal Writing
    • http://www.research.umich.edu/humanities/write.html
fellowships and internships
Fellowships and Internships
  • MSU Graduate School
    • http://www.grad.msu.edu/funding.htm
  • MSU Arts & Letters:
    • http://www.cal.msu.edu/portals/GraduateFunding.htm
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art in N.Y.C.
    • http://www.metmuseum.org/education/fellowship.html
  • National Gallery of Art in D.C.
    • http://www.nga.gov/education/interned.shtm
  • The Getty in L.A.
    • http://www.getty.edu/research/scholarly_activities/
further questions
Further Questions?

MSU Writing Center



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