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How to Write a Grant Application | Budgets

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:

  1. 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.

  3. Now do the income section

  4. 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 For more information on Regional Arts NSW grants visit the Grants page here.

Image: Outback Theatre for Young People, RAF 2016 project 'Echo In Our Walls'.

Image: Outback Theatre for Young People, RAF 2016 project ‘Echo In Our Walls’.