Last time I offered up four steps to help you get ready to look for grants. If you missed it, read it here.
This week I want to focus on what is probably the most important thing you can do when searching for grants. It may seem obvious, but the best thing you can do from the start is to make sure you are a good match for the grant you are considering:
Know what you are looking for.
Funding for a specific project? Money to help you run your art business? An opportunity to partner with a civic organization to create a public art? Funding for advanced education? Write it down, in detail, so you can get really clear.
Artist grant expert Gigi Rosenberg makes a good point when she says, "That process of naming your project is something that many artists actually can't do...you need to write about your projects as if they're already completed so somebody else can see what your vision of your art is in the world."
Research the grant, in detail.
Most of the time I spend on a grant website such as The Foundation Center Online is spent doing searches for grants based on keywords that fit the artist and then reading the grant information (all of it) to make sure the artist is a really good match for what the grantors are looking for.
Many times I think I've found a gem of a match and get to some small statement buried within the info that makes it very clear that the artist would not be considered for that grant. It can be the area you live in, the type of art you produce, your gender, your ethnic background, your goals, anything. Grantors often have very specific criteria that you will have to meet in order to be considered.
Those two things done will give you a huge advantage, not to mention that you won't waste time and money looking in the wrong places!
Do get a copy of Gigi Rosenberg's book The Artist's Guide to Grant Writing (Watson-Guptill, 2010). In it Gigi will teach you how to win grants, fundraise creatively, and ensure that every second you spend writing a proposal pushes your art further into the world. Also, read Aletta de Wal's interview with Gigi. Lots of very valuable info there as well.
All my best to you and yours,
Artists get their art marketing questions answered in these two audio recordings. Reeeally valuable info here for a song. Each hour-long Q&A session is only $15. Get more info and order them here.
If you're like me and love to have great resources around, I suggest you get on the email list for Aletta de Wal's new book "My Real Job Is Being An Artist: What You Should Know Before You Quit Your Day Job (Or Get One)." It will help you get really clear about where you are and what YOUR most effective next steps are. Email me to get on the notification list, and get special goodies too!
Got a burning question about your art marketing? If you haven't already had one, you can request a free 15-minute conversation here. It's a great start!