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8 Hot Tips for Grant Applicants

Applications for our Music Works and VicArts funding rounds are now open. Are you thinking of applying? Here are a few more hints from our program staff to help you along the way.

A grant applications photo

1. Do your research

Check our lists of previous grant recipients to get an indication of what kind of activities have been supported and how much money they received. Does your application fit in with previous patterns or funding? If not, why not?

2. But don’t assume anything 

Don’t see your artform, genre or project type on the previous recipients list? Don’t assume we won’t fund it. We are always looking for ways to support more experimental, niche or cross-art form projects/collaborations, but we may not have received a strong application in your field in the past.

3. Get to the point

What do you want the funding for? Say it  quickly and succinctly in your application. Don't waste precious space telling the back story within the questions, put it at the beginning of your timelines or attach a “bio” of the project. It’s important that the Assessment Panel understands your reasoning, but first they need to know exactly what you want to do. If you have doubts about any part of your application, then it is highly likely the Assessment Panel will too. Make sure your intentions are crystal clear. Describe what you will do, not just who you are.

4. Stay on the subject 

Make sure your support material is well curated and keep it tight – only include material that will add value to your application. Accompanying notes and captions can be useful in helping the Assessment Panel to understand how the material connects to your project, so provide brief explanations where appropriate.

5. Money matters 

Lots of people seem to write their budget as an afterthought, but it’s a major part of your application! Spend time researching and planning out your budget properly. Work out your expenses first and then decide how much you can afford to put towards the project income and how much you need to ask for from the various funding bodies.

6. Read the fine print

We can’t stress this enough - make sure you read the application information thoroughly before you get started, and give yourself plenty of time to complete your application. Haste makes waste.

7. Spread the risk 

Our grant rounds are highly competitive and there are always more worthy projects that apply than we have funds to support. Applying to more than one source of funding increases your chances of success and leverages the effort you put in to pull your application together. Check the Australia Council for the Arts for relevant programs, Regional Arts Victoria  and your local council’s arts and cultural programs. There is also a raft of philanthropic bodies that you can apply to – you’re creative in your art, don’t be afraid to get creative on the funding side too.

8. Call us! 

Our program staff here to answer your questions. They are friendly folks with a wealth of useful insight. If you’ve applied before and been unsuccessful, they can give you feedback on why your application didn’t receive support, if you’ve never applied before they can demystify the process. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone! We’re happy to take your call (see tip 6 though and get in early!). Interpreters can be arranged if needed too.

A photo of Aarti Desai and Dean Linguey

Creative Victoria's Arts Officer, Aarti Desai and Senior Arts Officer, Dean Linguey are happy to take your call

Ready to get started?

Read more about VicArts grants

Read more about Music Works grants

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