Museums know they need money, but they’re often so overwhelmed they can’t put ideas on paper. While it may seem counter-intuitive to focus on your problems, this is exactly what I recommend to museums.
Failing to win a grant your museum applied for can feel very personal. It’s natural to have feelings of sadness and frustration, and wonder what went wrong. This is a post to help you move past the rejection letter and use failure to strengthen future applications.
With few exceptions museums rely on grant funding to supplement their annual budget. While it’s recommended a museum cultivate a stream of income that supports its yearly activities, most museums can only afford to keep the lights on and maintain a spartan staff.
Grant writing can be a complicated and intensive process. Each grant application will have a different emphasis and process to follow, and if you’re new to grant writing, it can be intimidating. While all grants are different, there are aspects that remain the same. From the dozens of grants I’ve written, read, and edited, I’ve compiled the top 8 tips to a bulletproof proposal.
Through working with granting agencies, providing grant reviews, and writing grants with museums and archives, I’ve seen a specific set of mistakes museum professionals make all the time. I’ve even made some of them myself. I want museums to be stronger applicants and am here to share the most common museum grant pitfalls to know and avoid.
In my work as a museum, library, and archives consultant, I’ve had a great amount of exposure to the fundraising world. Money is so often needed in order to meet museum missions, and grants are often a popular way to secure funding. Through my role as a grant writer and reviewer, I’ve decoded the top four museum funding ideas that are often well received by granting agencies.