The art of writing funding proposals

In addition to a great idea, you need a strong team, a plan, and proof of delivery, so be sure to build strong partnerships and collaborations. Any good business development requires an awareness of other organizations that do similar work to yours or conduct activities that complement your work. It’s also a great way to be aware of what’s out there in terms of funding and opportunities. Beyond looking at the big funders, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for organizations that offer one-time grants – this can be a great start for small pots of funding to help you get started and cut. the hurdle not only of having to learn a whole new application language, but provides the opportunity to try out an idea before developing it further.

Funding agencies — especially the larger ones that have established themselves as the go-to funders for creative projects — tend to ask for information that serves as checkboxes. This narrative needs to change, and one way as organizations to do that is to see every rejection, comment, and inquiry as a real benefit to strengthening your project and future apps.

Finally: ask for help. Funding applications are exhausting and require the ability to budget, research, write scripts, manage projects and have a clear understanding of evaluation and monitoring. It is not the work of one person. Most funders offer sessions, either individual or group workshops, to help you better understand what they are looking for. There are consultants and experts who can support your application, but if there is no budget to invest, consider funding online libraries or ask someone with experience if they can. browse your application or advise you.

We cannot claim to be accessible if we only fund those who have the resources to afford full-time fundraising teams or if we create barriers by insisting on a certain language to be used. in funding applications. Many of the items described above relate to the ongoing frustration of writing funding proposals; a cycle that perpetuates the fact that to get funding, you have to be established without any funding. I hope to see a change where access is taken seriously and not just lip service. This includes providing more transparency and making it easier to support new ideas. Until then, we continue and participate in efforts to offer transparency and support.


Scott R. Banks