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Grant Proposals

I am wanting to know where I can get help to write successful grant proposals for my women's ensemble. Are there people that do this professionally? Where would I go to find these resources?
thank you for any suggestions,
Nancy Singla
Founder and Artistic director of the Cantala Women's Ensemble, Toronto, Canada
on June 5, 2010 8:02pm
Hi, Nancy,
Yes, there are professional grant writers out there. I did a quick Google search of "grant writers toronto arts" and got the Toronto Arts Council web site, They seem to be grantmakers (that is, a group that gives grants), but they also offer workshops. I'd give them a call or e-mail and find out who they recommend as professional grant writers in your area. Certainly you can search for professional services online, but a recommendation from an established group like the Toronto Arts Council would make me feel more secure, were I in your shoes. For more about what sort of actual grants they offer groups like yours, go to
Before you talk to any grant writers, you will need a few things:
-a budget, showing line by line what your expenses were for the previous year, and a corresponding line-by-line list of where the funds came from to cover all your expenses;
-the appropriate nonprofit status or other type of status (incorporated or not incorporated) for whatever grants you'd like to apply to;
-a clear idea of what you would like to use grant money for (General operating expenses? Commissioning fees for composers to write you new music?);
-a sincere belief in the value of what your group does, so you can make a strong argument to the grant writer and to the organizations you want to apply to for funding.
Two books I am rather fond of, unsubtle yellow and black covers and all, are
I hope this information helps you get started! Good luck, and happy music-making in the meantime.
Martha Sullivan
on June 5, 2010 8:32pm
Hi Nancy,
I've written several posts on grant writing on my blog,  Use the seach function on the blog and type in "grants."  That will pull up the posts.  I have written many successful grants for several choirs and these posts "begin at the beginning."  If you have any questions, leave a comment - grants are one of my favorite subjects.  There are many grants out there!
Jane Schaefermeyer
VP and Grants Writer for Jubilate, Salt Lake City, Utah
on June 7, 2010 8:32am
Martha and Jane have both given you good ideas to use as a foundation.  I want to take it a step further in one regard.
I am a choral conductor who also is a grants administrator and director, so I read a lot of grants in my work and do a lot of site visits.  In the times we are living in (at least in the US) funding for arts organizations is much more competitive than it ever used to be...I've seen a huge change in just the three years I've had my current position.  When Martha talks about clear ideas and sincere belief, she is right on the money.  With both of those, I also recommend that you talk about the community impact that Cantala is having.  How is it impacting Toronto?  What makes your choir different than the others?  Are you doing any outreach or collaborative work, if so what are the goals?  What impact does it have on your singers?  The one thing you must remember is that your grant must stand out above the "pack".
Also, I would recommend taking Martha's advice about the Toronto Arts Council is to also, if they offer them, take a class in grantwriting.  I think its important for choral directors today to understand the mechanics of grant writiing, because you help craft the vision of the organization.
Dan Adolphson
Director, United Arts FUND -- Minnesota
Co-Director of Music Ministries
Living Spirit UMC, Minneapolis
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