The key to successful grant proposals is preparation. As an artist help it is good to know you are likely to find preliminary grant proposal writing steps to be the most time consuming as well as the most vital step of the process.

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1. Define your project.

a. Clarify the purpose of the project and write a clear mission statement.

b. Define the scope of the work to focus your funding search.

c. Determine broad project goals, and then identify the specific objectives that define how you will focus the work to accomplish these goals.

d. Decide who will benefit. Think broadly.

e. Draft a timeline that includes the planning phase, the period of searching for funds, proposal writing, and the intended project start date. Periodically update the timeline.

2. Identify the right funding sources

a. Look for a match between your project and the grants you are seeking; look for consistency between the purpose and goals.

b. Make direct contact with the funders. Request proposal guidelines as necessary.

c. Look for the funder’s annual report to learn what sort of project they typically fund.

3. Make a plan: to submit your proposal before the deadline, in case anything goes wrong. Expect mail delays, etc.

4. Create a checklist: of everything that must go into the proposal.

Other tips:

Be absolutely certain to follow their suggested format precisely as they have outlined it. Observe the format strictly.

Some proposals require very technical measurements of results. Inquire about expectations.

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