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Grant Writing

We know that writing a grant application or proposal can seem overwhelming at first, so we’ve compiled some information and other "quick tips" that we hope you’ll find useful. There are many other grant and proposal writing tips that could be shared, but our goal is to respond to some of the questions we’ve heard and to get you started by showing you some basic examples.

There are many different grant programs available to artists, arts groups and organizations. Grants can be found at local, municipal, regional, provincial, national and international levels, and can support a wide range of artistic activities.

Each grant program has a "program description" that lets you know what types of projects will be considered for funding, along with information on things that won’t be considered for funding. The program descriptions will also tell you about the funding agency’s priorities and their vision. Before you start, there are three things to keep in mind:

1. Match your idea with a grant program
Find a grant program to fit your idea rather than trying to create a new idea that fits into a grant program. Often, people will hear about a grant or the grant deadline and attempt to create a new idea at the last possible minute. Not only is this stressful, it often doesn’t work.

Instead, take the time to focus on what you really want to do. Put your ideas and thoughts to paper; elaborate on some of the logistics such as who, what, where, when, how and why; THEN have a look at the funders to see which ones are the closest match to your idea. Once you identify a funder that looks like a match for your project idea, give them a call or email them to see if you are eligible to apply and to get any feedback, advice or guidance on how to proceed with your application.

2. Take your time
Grant writing takes time, so don’t leave it to the last minute – you want to give yourself the best chance at being awarded a grant -- and that simply takes time. The more time you have, the better – a month before the deadline is ideal as you’ll need time for yourself and others to review your application package.

3. Create a schedule
Creating your own grant-writing calendar will enable you to schedule quality blocks of time you can spend thinking and sketching out your project ideas. You can put grant deadlines onto your regular calendar or daytimer, or set up a calendar in your email program (i.e. Outlook) or online through Google Calendars.

Having a birds-eye-view of grant deadlines for the year will help you to decide which grants you want to apply for, and help you to get organized in gathering the information you’ll need for each one.

For more information on grant writing, we recommend reading through our Grant Writing Handbook.

Click here to download the Grant Writing Handbook.

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