Monday, October 5

Free Grants for Artists and Art Programs

8 Tips for Getting a Grant as an Artist or Art Program
So you are an artist or work with an art group and want to apply for a grant for some free grant funding, but you’ve heard it’s difficult or impossible to apply for a grant that gives free money. But by following the set of main "rules" around obtaining a grant, it is much quicker, easier, and far more effective to get it done – and get the grant for free funding you need to do what you do best as an artist or as someone working in the arts. After all, you and your program will need free funding opportunities or free matching funds to do the work you do best as an artist. And that is why the grant funding sources are there for you, because the arts are important and is something the community wants to keep alive and creative. It is much easier and more rewarding to be creative because your time and efforts are not spent worrying about your future, or even your next few months living expenses. As an artist or arts administrator you are being encouraged to reach out for free grant funding to help you be nourished enough to create.

So let's look at what you want and how to really get some free grant money for you and/or your organization.
Getting Started
The first step in getting maximum grant funding is to get organized! Begin your search or establish a team of volunteers to look at a few potential funders – like the Ford Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. There are also funds available through your state or county arts associations, but in this time of troubling financial issues – this may be more difficult to obtain. Private and National organizations have continued their commitment to assure artists get the support they need. They know that free funding, beneficial grants provide the support an artist needs.

Writing the Proposal
Before examining each section of the proposal, here is some general advice:
● Write clearly, concisely, and honestly;
● Use direct and easy to understand style;
● Be specific! Provide the reader with examples and details without extending the content unnecessarily;
● Remember to show and not just tell;
● Avoid unsupported assumptions. Prove the problem exists with the targeted population, and that the proposed project can have an impact;
● Emphasize, at all times, the connection between the project’s objectives and the foundation’s priorities;
● BE POSITIVE! Maintain the attitude that the foundation is receiving a great opportunity to participate in a useful and needed project.
Title Page
When naming a project, use imagination and creativity. The title should describe the project with words that are easily remembered. Be serious, not facetious! The title should convey the desired image to the prospective funder, as well as to the community at large. Be original.
Depending on the foundation’s guidelines, the contents of this section may be included into other parts of the proposal. The introduction gives the background information on the applicant or organization as well as the project. Most importantly, the introduction demonstrates the credibility of the organization and the validity of the project. With this in mind, do not overwhelm the reader with too much history and structure. In addition, although ideas and philosophy are an important foundation to a project, the introduction should show that the applicant organization takes action and follows through on its ideas.
Possible things to include are:
● When, why and how the organization was started
● Statement of purpose, goals, and philosophy
● Mention of significant events
● Brief description of prior and current activities
● Description of the targeted population of the project
● Evaluations from other funding sources
● Excerpts from letter of support.
Statement of Need & Purpose
This section identifies and provides background on the problem that the project intends to address. Establish the project’s relevance to their priorities and the specific goals they hope to achieve.
The purpose forms the heart of the proposal as it states the goals, objectives, and expected results of the project.
GOAL — a conceptual statement of the ultimate purpose of the entire project. It usually describes a long-term result, although one that is attainable within the duration of the project.
OBJECTIVE — a specific, concrete declaration of a short-term or intermediate accomplishment, which can be measured later to determine the level of success.
As a guideline, a project usually has only one or two goals and several objectives. If the proposal contains a long list of goals, either some of the goals are actually objectives, or the project needs to be more clearly defined as to its ultimate purpose.
The Procedures and Methodology
The statement of need defines the problem; the purpose outlines the proposal’s intentions to solve the problem; and the procedure section describes the methods that will be used. When detailing the activities and their rationale, try to convince the prospective funder that the you are eager to perform the tasks and are an action taker. And that you can achieve the expected outcomes.
The evaluation section describes how the project will be examined for the achievement of its objectives and goals. Foundations want to ensure that their money is well spent on successful program. The content of this section enables the applicant organization to give progress reports back to their funder. Therefore, the evaluation techniques must give accurate and valuable information.
You’re Done. Congratulations! Here's to your great success. Here is hoping you get free funding to create the best project ever. Remember to be confident about all of this. Free grant funding isn't a handout. It is not a way to get free money you do not deserve. It is all about getting the support you need to do what only you do best. So do everything you need to fill out the application and request free grant funds with enough free money to get the job done. And please be sure to get your grant in prior to the deadline.
Here are a few foundations that provide free grants and free grant funds. We will be adding more as we check them out.
Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Princess Grace Foundation, International Child Art Foundation
Ford Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
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  1. Thank you so so so so much for this! WE are lampworkers in New Mexico looking to get money for our home business and this is a great little resource!

    Thank you!

  2. Glad this helps. I'll be adding more funders as we go on. Good luck.

  3. Thank you, I Teach Game Developers and Digital Artists and would like to help them find funding for Start-up Companies in this Industry as well.

  4. Sxean Lee-David,
    I will look for some possible grant listings for these possibilities, although it may take a little longer.
    Tonight I posted about 8 new grant funders that provide money to artists, free grants to artists or other support. I don't think these apply to your question, but may be useful for the others.

  5. I have written an original theory in the social sciences based on a law of nature I uncovered that laid undiscovered for centuries and has the realistic potential to redefine the way humans value all personal relationships.
    If people knew the law of nature I discovered existed I am positive they would apply it in their everyday lives because the individuals who have applied it thus far all received positive results (more happiness & less pain).
    Meanwhile, the Halls of Academia still think I'm crazy so it's been impossible to garner their support.
    I need money to promote the book (The Mammalian Way) I wrote based on the theory and research already conducted direct to the people. Do you have any ideas where I might start in earnest to obtain a grant for such a life changing project?

  6. I am a 50ish, woman,who was just laid off, and has always had the dream to be a REAL artist. I am self taught in Colored Pen & Ink, pencil sketching, acrylics, and photography. I never had anyone to back me up, the time to work on it, or the funds to study art formerly. I am hoping this lay off is the start of my career as a REAL artist. But, I need supplies, and a way to cover the bills, and buy groceries while I create. Is there something out there for someone like me? The artist in me is dying to get out before I die of old age! Is there something for a middle-aged, unemployed wife with a dream?