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What are grants?

A grant is monetary assistance for a specific purpose. You will need to account for how all the money is spent. It is important to remember that you don’t ever get something for nothing. 

Where can they be found?

Many government bodies and/or arts organisations offer grants.

Check out the Q Music website and sign up to our newsletter Broadcast, which will provide you with updates on the calendar and closing times of available grants.

How do I apply for a grant?

Get organised – know what you are applying for and why! You will need to be able to get this across clearly in your application.

Allow plenty of time for the amount of preparation and research involved.

Always read the application form and the guidelines carefully and if you don’t understand something make a note of it so you can get the point clarified.

Now ask yourself the following questions:

What is the project? Outline its aims & objectives.

Why do you want to do this project? How is it significant or meaningful to you or your organisation? Identify the ongoing benefits after the life of the project.

Where will the project take place? – Location(s)/venue(s).

Who are you targeting? – Both in terms of participants and audience.

How will you manage the project? Talk about the logistics, management of funds, the resources needed – financial, human, materials etc.


Get in contact with the funding organisation to make sure you are on the right track. Don’t harass them with endless queries but approach them once you have read all the material and worked out a general plan.

Are your budgets and schedules realistic? Always double check and make sure someone else runs their eye over the application to pick up anything you may have overlooked. For more info on preparing your budget, please see below.

Supply some sort of overview of your organisation i.e. its background or history, aims and objectives, current or recent projects and its future directions.

Always make sure the application is supplied in the format outlined in the application and/or guidelines – this may include document formatting and spacing, number of copies, etc.

Most importantly: Meet the deadline! Late applications won’t be reviewed so all the work you will have done will be wasted.

Almost all grants programs are extremely competitive and funds are limited. Your application will be one of many so don’t be discouraged if you are not successful this time.


When preparing a budget for a grant application, always read the guidelines to establish what the particular grant program will allow.

Don’t request more than the maximum amount available, as this may make your application ineligible and will indicate to the panel that you may not have read the guidelines.

Don’t expect grants to pay for your entire project. Additional contributions from other sources are generally expected. This can be in-kind support, contributions from your or other organisations, generated income like sales or fees, other grants or sponsorship and donations.

Do the expenses side 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
Assess if there is any travel, accommodation and living allowance involved
Assess the cost of any materials, venue and equipment hire

Now do the income side:

How much can you apply for from this particular grant?
Is there any in-kind support you can source?
Are there any cash donations or sponsorship opportunities?
What can your organisation afford to contribute to the project?
Is there any other grant income for the project?

Budgets must always be balanced i.e. income should equal expenditure.

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