Of these, earned income (such as ticket sales, merchandise etc) is in some respects the most significant, but most organisations will need to raise additional (possibly all their) income from fundraising activity which is likely to include some or all of the following:
Once you have a written proposal and budget you can approach potential supporters for your project, but remember that you are unlikely to raise all the money from one source. In fact, diversifying your income sources can be a good means of ensuring financial sustainability and reducing reliance on one income source.
Always check guidelines carefully, as some funds will only be open to groups that have a particular legal status such as charitable status (which can be a pre-requisite for raising support from individual donations).
Before starting identify a ‘target list’ of potential funding sources (grants, trusts & foundations, local authorities, individual donors etc) and look at the ‘match’ between them and your festival, their funding criteria and the likelihood that they will invest in your festival. As a rule of thumb you start with the sources that are closest to you. It does not follow that you will raise the largest sums from such sources but they are the ones most likely to identify with what you are doing/wish to do. If you obtain support from local sources (no matter how modest) then that encourages others to invest in you too. Funders like the evidence of others valuing your work as well as disliking being the sole source.
As each funder has their own priorities and criteria for arts support and assessing applications, your proposal may need to be adapted for each submission. Read all application guidelines carefully and have any additional material required prepared in advance of any application deadline. Funders and sponsors may attach conditions to any support given. Make sure that these are practically deliverable within the event and the budget.
If this is your first project, it can be difficult to convince people to give you money, so use endorsement from one funder to persuade others to get involved.
Donations from individual donors tend to be a product of a long-term relationship but if successful can provide great results.
Annandale and Eskdale Council of Voluntary Service: Guide to Writing a Successful Application (can be viewed from the Related Documents section on this page).
Fundraising : Some critically important things to remember include:
Make your case SMART
Some basic protocols
Generic Funding Information
The Arts Council England East Midlands produces a regular newsletter with information on funding for the arts.
The following document is in Portable Document Format (PDF). You can download software to view PDF documents for free from the Adobe website (opens in a new window)
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