TIPS FOR SEEKING FUNDING FOR CREATIVE PROJECTS
- Make sure you clearly understand the organisation’s criteria for funding and that your initiative is a good fit. If it isn’t, don’t try to make it fit – rather look for a more suitable funder.
- Funders want to see good things happen. For your best chance of success, talk to them first before preparing an application. They will be able to tell you if your project is a good fit and provide invaluable guidelines that will make applying easier.
- Be able to sum up your project clearly and concisely, including the key stages, who is involved and whether there are any skills missing. If you get your information together in one place, it can be used to connect with multiple funders.
- Make sure your budget is actual and not aspirational. It needs to add up in terms of expenses and income, and don’t forget to include in-kind support as both a cost and income. Funders want to see that you have thought through all costs and other income streams to give them confidence you can bring the project to fruition.
- Don’t forget to provide information on your experience delivering similar projects if they have been successful.
- Keep a database of potential funders and their criteria, adding to it each time you seek funding for an initiative. If a previous funder has turned you down one year, don’t be shy going back to them in future years in case their circumstances have changed.
- Make sure that as well as a great idea, you have someone with great project management skills to demonstrate you can deliver your initiative. This person will also need to be good at organising tasks and paying attention to detail.
- Develop a value proposition for businesses and identify and approach those that align with the outcomes you are seeking to achieve, e.g. city centre businesses that would benefit from an event run in the CBD.
- Don’t view funding applications as a one-off, rather try to create a longer-term, mutually valued partnership. Make sure you:
- Thank funders for any support provided.
- Acknowledge them every time you promote the projects they have supported.
- Keep them in the loop as the project or event progresses and send them photos, if appropriate.
- Invite funders to the events they are supporting.
- Get on the mailing list of philanthropic organisations and attend their AGMs to show your support for them.
- Make the funder or sponsor feel valued and in turn they will remember you next time you are seeking support.
- Discuss opportunities for funding well in advance of when you need it (eg at least three months)
- If your project is held regularly, e.g. each year, develop relationships and value propositions where you can source multi-year funding support.
- Investigate opportunities through Pub Charities – they get a lot of sporting applications, but not many from the arts. They also have a requirement to return a proportion of funds into the area from which they were derived.
- Consider opportunities to use equipment of the sponsors to promote their brand and save you having to hire them, e.g. gazebos.
- Groups that engage early tend to submit better quality applications. Leave plenty of time to prepare a strong application and receive feedback from funders.
- Collect all the paperwork together in a ‘funding kit’ (eg trust deed, bank account #, financial information, annual plan, GST number, certificate of incorporation etc) before you make your submission.
- To demonstrate professionalism, applications to funders should be typed rather than handwritten.
To keep informed about upcoming funding opportunities sign up to our CUSP newsletter through the CBOP website.
If you would like to discuss your creative project and funding options with our Funding & Project Advisor, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.