Today is the first day of October and I am cross-eyed from staring at the computer for the past 6 days. It’s grant season and I am doing everything in my power and ability to make sure I find and apply to every opportunity I can. Last year, I missed multiple opportunities for a variety of reasons but mostly because I hadn’t found them in time. This year, with a bank account currently at $0, I feel that I must be diligent and apply to everything.
Advice for new grant applicants:
- Have a general template: If you can create an overall, general letter to the various foundations awarding individuals money, it can make your life easier. That way, when you find something you want to apply for and the deadline is that week or worse, that day, you might have a chance of getting it submitted in time.
- Create a “to do” list: I have started collecting the various opportunities on my computer’s desktop by taking screen shots of the page that the award is listed on and labeling each image by their deadlines. All of these screen shots are kept in a folder labeled “opportunities with deadlines”. As soon as I finish applying for one opportunity I immediately move on to the next.
- Use direct language: I was recently denied an opportunity for a proposal I wrote. I was fortunate enough to have the director of the program tell me why the proposal wasn’t accepted. He suggested “in the future, use less first person language in your proposals”. Just the facts are needed with grant writing: what, why, how, when and where.
- If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again: Earlier this year I was denied a Pollock-Krasner grant. That really stung. I was really hoping to be accepted for that grant knowing that money would make my life easier. The foundation wrote that unfortunately, they did not have enough funds for everyone but invited me to apply next year. And I will. As soon as January rolls around I’m submitting that application again. Sometimes foundations want to you to apply multiple times before they will award you money. Your diligence shows them just how serious you are.
I hope that helps. You are more than welcome to contact me with any questions and I will be sure to answer them as soon as I am able.
And now, back to the studio with me.