PRODUCTION TIPS: Best Practices from A Grant-Awarded Writer to Fund All Types of Programs (Guest Post)
Giovanna Aguilar is a multimedia content producer and a good friend. She recently wrote an article on LinkedIn with tips for people, like filmmakers, who are seeking and applying for grants. Her article is very informative, helpful and encouraging so I wanted to share it with you. Show that you like it by sharing it and liking her original LinkedIn post, as well.
*******So, you are considering grants to fund your dream project or program. Perhaps you are a nonprofit, filmmaker or public school program in need of financial support. How do you begin the grant writing process? How do you bring to fruition your thoroughly researched idea?
January is not only for setting new year’s resolutions but also for planning your grant submission calendar. It is important for you to know that this is when most grantors restart their funding cycles.This represents an opportunity for you, but it must begin with a mix of preparation, patience and perseverance. Trust me, these three Ps are going to make all the difference in how you secure your first awarded grant — funds.
I got started writing grants by chance and out of utter necessity when one of my film projects, DreamTown, needed funding. The director had sent me a previously submitted grant application that I wound up spending a couple of days rewriting expeditiously to beat the deadline. By the time it was completed, I had a severe migraine. My first tip to you: Do not do that - throw yourself into a tight deadline, especially the first time. It will deter you from the already draining process. Yes. It helped that I had a template to work from, which is essentially what your first application will be, a reusable document with key sections that include the project’s objectives, impact and budget.
Here’s the deal. I’m going to be straight with you. Whether you are writing the grant proposal yourself or hiring a professional, it takes work, a lot of work. Your job is to write effectively based on a strategy for your program. Let me reiterate this point, you must write based on a strategy for your program. This is nonnegotiable. You must have a strategy, a plan, in place, or a spin doctor-grant writer who knows your industry inside and out. Yes. I won’t lie. Luck and spin happen too.
Ultimately, though, securing grant funds is about selling your story to the grantor. And I must admit that filmmakers are deftly suited for this, which is why I am happily sharing insight into grant writing best practices that have worked for me across all types of programs. While the grant writing process is quite an arduous one, these 10 are a good start.
G’s —Top 10 Best Practices for Writing Winning Grants
- Who Is your program or project going to benefit or target?
- What is your program going to do?
- Where will the program take place?
- Why is your program so important that the grantor must fund it?
- How will you ensure that you can do what you are proposing with the funding?