Writing a funding proposal for any project starts with a great idea and ends with strong communication, but a lot of things need to happen in between so that you actually get those grant dollars.

Here’s a checklist we put together to help you get there.

artstart checklist-01

Review the application guidelines!
This convenient document outlines everything you need to know and do to apply for an ArtStart Grant. Make sure your project is eligible and learn about what our expectations are of you as a potential grantee.

Identify your fiscal sponsor! 
If you’re an independent artist or organization without 501(c)3 status, you’re going to need a fiscal sponsor. A fiscal sponsor is a certified non-profit organization that will accept grant funds on your behalf and manage the finances of your project. You’ll need to submit a Memorandum of Understanding signed by both parties with your grant application. This is required, and we even provide you with a template!

Collect your support materials!
We totally want to hear all about what your plans are, but we all love to see pictures, watch videos, and hear audio recordings. These types of support materials illustrate your experience and add context to your grant narrative. While that type of documentation is encouraged (but not required), here are a few that you must supply: Three (3) letters of support, one from the head of your board or organization, and two from professional references or past partners. The top executive of an organization or school you’ve worked with will be the one to write this letter for you. Letters MUST be on official organization, business, or school letterhead and contain a live signature.

Confirm project space!
What’s a great idea for a project without a place to run it? Just an idea.
Make sure you have your space confirmed when you submit your grant so that there are no questions as to whether or not you’re capable of implementing what’s planned. Documentation of the arrangement is helpful.

Get school approval!
If you’re proposing a project that will engage students from Newark’s public or charter schools, we’ll need to see proof that you’ve been vetted and approved by the school to offer creative services to its students. Without written approval from the school, we can’t approve your project. It is imperative that we see you’ve got permission to work in Newark’s schools and with our city’s youth!

Determine curriculum standards!
Any projects that deal with students in grades K-12 are considered on the Arts Education Track. There is a lot of information in our grant guidelines about being an arts education project, as well as numerous resources for you to utilize as you develop your project. A large part of your narrative if you’re on the Arts Education Track should be dedicated to outlining how your program meets the NJ State Curriculum Standards. Out-of-school-time projects should also meet the standards of the National Summer Learning Association. Programs working with populations outside of K-12 are not required to cite the curriculum. Need more help? Download and review the guidelines document!

Select and finalize your project staff!
This may seem like a no-brainer, but making sure you’ve compiled the most qualified staff and project partners is KEY! It’s not required, but it is strongly encouraged that you have your full project staff identified at the time you submit your grant. Be sure to have their resumes, curriculum vitae, or brief bios on file.

Documentation is imperative. The ultimate goal is to leave no room for assumption by our review panel. They will be looking to see that you are really able to implement the project proposed, which means: appropriate staffing, a realistic budget, a safe space to work, and the many other items listed above. ArtStart Grant Applications will only be accepted online and are due by Friday, April 29, 2016.

Unsure? Need a little more help?

Schedule a 15 minute phone or in-person meeting with NAC staff to go over details. We’re here to help, but you must arrange a meeting in advance. We cannot edit budgets, narratives, or other elements of the project but can tell you if you’re on the right track.