Free money. It’s out there for the taking. You’ve just gotta know where to look. Last night I attended an amazing seminar called Grantseeking Basics for Individuals in the Arts to learn the hottest tips on how to get my hands on some of that sweet, sweet free money. Oh yeah…
I’d love to share some of the biggest takeaways from this amazing seminar provided for free by the Foundation Center:
- Do your homework. Research funders whose interests most closely match your needs. Tap into all available resources and services. Explore as many sources of funds in both the public and private arenas.
Public: federal, state, city, and local councils for the arts
Private: foundations, corporations, individuals, non-profits, and earned income
- Network! Network! Network! Grantseeking is all about relationships. Go to the ballet, museum openings, and the opera. Look in the program and see who gives money. Research the corporate logos in the programs of your competitors and projects in your field. Look for the most personal contact and ask for guidance.
- Befriend those who decline you and ask for guidance. Find out who is on the panel. Ask for the panel notes. Volunteer to be on the panel. Keep the doors open.
- Don’t give up! Never stop. The hardest grant to get is the first one, then you can use it for leverage to get the next one, and the next one, and the next one!
Finally, there were two statements that really stood out for me from an evening full of fantastic and useful advice:
“Network until you don’t have to introduce yourself”
“If you ask for money, you get guidance. If you ask for guidance, you get money.”
I highly recommend taking these free classes offered by the Foundation Center. But that’s only if you like free money. So let me ask you this:
What would you do if someone gave you a $50,000 grant?
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