How to Write a Grant Application | Budgets19.06.2017
Writing grants is an essential skill for those working in the arts, and many organisations depend on successful grants to deliver certain projects and activities. To celebrate the opening of the Regional Arts NSW Country Arts Support Program (CASP), Regional Arts NSW has put together a weekly step-by-step guide on how to prepare a successful grant application. This week we take a look at preparing a budget. You can read the previous article on Planning & Research here.
When preparing a budget for a grant application, always read the guidelines to establish what the particular grant program will allow. Ensure that your budget matches the project described in your application. Some important things to remember when preparing your budget are:
- Do NOT requrest more than the maximum amount available, as this may make your application ineligible and will indicate to the panel that you have not read the Guidelines properly.
- Do NOT expect a grant to pay for your entire project. Additional contributions from other sources are generally expected. This can be in-kind support, contributions from your organisation, generated income like sales or fees, other grants, sponsorship or donations.
- DO read all the explanatory notes included in the budget section of the application form. These are intended to guide you in completion of the budget and provide examples of the types of income and expenditure items to be included. It is a good idea to do a draft budget before you transfer it to the actual application form. If you adjust individual figures make sure you re-check total amounts.
- Do NOT include GST in your budget figures.
- DO estimate the ‘in-kind support’- that is, the non-cash items donated to your project. You will only be able to provide estimates of their value but they are important to include as it shows the ‘real cost’ of your project.
- DO contact your local Regional Arts Development Organisation, or Regional Arts NSW’s Grants & Project Manager for guidance in completing your budget.
- Do the expense section of the budget first
Be realistic about what you ask for – don’t underestimate the time and cost of the project. Likewise, don’t inflate your costs as assessment committees look carefully at budgetary issues.
- Assess the personnel time involved
- Approach the artist./consultant to verify their costs and availability. For assistance on artist fees/wages visit the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance website and the National Association of Visual Arts website. Information on contractors/employees are available through Fair Work, with superannuation details available from the Australian Taxation Office.
- Assess if there is any travel, accommodation and living allowance involved
- Assess the cost of any materials, venue and equipment hire
- Don’t forget to consider hidden costs like insurance, catering, documentation and incidentals.
Now it’s time to look at income. How much can you apply for from this particular grant? Is there an in-kind support you can source? Are there any cash donations or sponsorship opportunities? Is there any earned income? What can your organisation afford to contribute to the project? Is there any confirmed or unconfirmed income from other grants for the project?
Budgets must always be balanced so that income equals expenditure. If you’ve completed your budget and it balances, congratulations! You’re onto the next step!
Next week, we’ll take a look at writing the application.
If you have questions about Regional Arts NSW grants contact our Manager, Grants & Projects on (02) 9270 2500 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Regional Arts NSW grants visit the Grants page here.