From Dreams to Reality: Funding Tips
Having a great idea for a dance work/event is one thing, but securing funding can be a challenge and the biggest barrier to turning your vision into a reality. Raising funds requires planning, creativity and most of all an understanding of what funding avenues are available. Then you need to know how best to interpret your own vision to meet the goals of these funders to have a better chance of achieving success.
There are many types of funding sources available including; residencies, scholarships, awards for individuals to project funding via Government grants, Regional Community Trusts and Gaming Trusts.
Sponsorship and donations apply to both individuals and organisations and in recent times we have seen the emergence of many crowd funding platforms; Givealittle, Boosted or Pledgeme. Regardless of the funding source, the principles and techniques in putting applications and proposals together are the same. Here are some tips to help improve your skills.
• Know the funder/sponsor you are applying to.
Check out their strategic priorities and criteria for funding. Research past projects they have funded (who, what and where). Check out their website and talk to people who may have dealt with them before.
• Know who you are.
Be clear about what you want to achieve and the fit to the funder/sponsor’s goals. Understand your brand (identity) or product, your vision and your purpose.
Match one or more of your attributes and values to the potential funder/sponsor and you have the core ingredient for a strong application/proposal.
• Get in early.
Plan ahead so you have plenty of time to ensure your application and proposal is accurate and completed to meet deadlines. Keep things succinct and personalise it to the
funder/sponsor. Clearly outline the benefits you offer and don’t promise things you cannot deliver.
• Persistence pays off.
Apply far and wide, think outside the box and leverage off your networks and contacts. Always ask for feedback on your application and look for ways you can improve. Above all, don’t take it personally if your application is declined.
• Reporting and feedback.
Make sure your accountability reports are completed in good time and provide funders/sponsors with success stories showing the positive outcomes of their funding. Take photos of your dance work/event, seek evaluation from those who attended and/or ask someone to review the event.