Tips for writing and winning art grants
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So Rachel's Tips for Writing and WINNING Art Grants
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This list is a resource for people interested in applying for art grants from Burning Man, Burners Without Borders and some Regional Events in the Burning Man Network. Following these tips does not ensure that you will be granted. You can print this too!
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DODo NOT
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Before you apply
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READ the guidelines so that you understand what is expected of you as a partner in this relationship.Wait until the deadline to read the guidelines.
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Know what the grantor values, what are their goals and how does your project help them reach their goal.Wait until the deadline to begin your application.
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Consider how well your project idea fits the goals and values of the grantor. The better fit, the better for everyone involved.Change your project to match every funding opportunity you come across.
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Be clear on how much you can accomplish if you do not receive a grant.Starve in order to accomplish this project.
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Identify your team members and community supporters.Promise things to your team members that you can't deliver.
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Reseach the projects that the grantor has supported in the past, to get an idea of what types of projects they like.
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When you Apply
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Start with the budget and be accurate about the minimum amount you need to make the project happen.Pad the budget.
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READ and answer every question clearly, concisely and directly.Eloquently elucidate your groundbreaking next-level ideas in flowery prose or technical jargon. If the reader can’t understand the simple facts of your idea they won’t give you money.
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Be consistent about what you need and how you will spend the funds - in the narrative, budget and everywhere else.Say conflicting things in separate sections of your application. It's confusing to readers.
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Make crystal clear 1) what you are doing; 2) how you are doing it; and 3) why it is significantVaguely describe your potential ideas and general inspiration.
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Ask questions before the deadline and for feedback afterwards.Forget to include required information. This is the easiest way to disqualify yourself.
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Absolutely, positively, without a doubt, include spectacular visuals.Dismiss the value of your idea or undercut the importance of your project.
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Accurately identify your audience. Is it really "everyone, everywhere" or a smaller more specific group?Exaggerate.
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Proof read. Ask a friend to review your application before you submit it. Make sure that it's coherent to someone who isn't familiar with your project.Misspell the name of the grantor, please.
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Post-deadline
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If you are offered an award, READ the contract and make sure that you understand and agree to every element in it.Sign anything without READING and understanding the expectations.
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Ask if the reviewers had feedback so that you can improve your application.Complain, either personally via email or publicly via social media.
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Be a good partner by fulfilling your part of the relationship.Hesitate to communicate if/when you run into challenges.
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Apply for as many grants as you are eligible for each year. Practice is good for you!Get discouraged or give up.
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THE BEST TIP IS TO READ, READ, READ.
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DO/DoNOT