Stop philosophising – just show us the money!


This post is a response to a comment I have received through facebook which said: “it seemed to me, i might be wrong, that your page may be geared to institutions that fund, rather than to those seeking funding.” Thanks Elene for prompting me to do this!

I am hoping to present for both sides in these pages, for fund seekers  and donors.

The focus of the blog is on philanthropy, which is funds from the private sector, either from individuals, families or trusts and foundations and given as a gift with no expectation of benefit in return.  This is distinct from funds from the public sector, such as government grants, and also distinct from commercial sponsorships.

All artists and arts organisations should consider a variety of revenue streams in order to fund their work and keep it viable.  Multiple revenue streams also protect against potential deficits should a grant be refused, or a gift not eventuate.

Because December is a good time of year for planning for the year ahead, I thought I would set out some of the sources of government grants available just once, so that they are dealt with, and I can keep focus for the rest of the blog on philanthropy.

The key source of government funding in Australia for the arts is the Australia Council for the Arts.  You have to decide which art form your work fits into (which can be trickier than it sounds) to work out which board is the correct one to apply to.  Have a look at the grants which have closing dates of January 2011.

You should then always have a look at your state’s department for the arts.

Arts Victoria Most things have two funding rounds – March and August, but there are a few exceptions.

Arts NSW – next quick funding rounds close in February.

artsQueensland key dates are April and August

Arts SA – some deadlines in February

Department of Culture and the Arts WA closing dates in February and July

Arts NT closing dates from March

Arts Tasmania seems to open applications from February with closing dates from May onwards.

Arts ACT closing dates in May

Visual artists should consult NAVA’s Money for Visual Artists which is well worth the small investment as well as their directory of grants and prizes.

Filmmakers should access Screen Australia, Film Victoria, Screen NSW, Screen Queensland (previously knowns asThe Pacific Film and Television Office), ScreenWest, the South Australian Film Corporation, Screen Tasmania, Screen ACT and the Northern Territory Film Office.

There is also government funding at the local level – many town councils and shires have arts development and support funding and are keen to engage with local artists and arts events.

I can’t overstate how important planning ahead is for these kinds of applications, because they often ask what other sources of funding you might be planning, such as sponsorship and other grants you are applying for.  The key question many funding bodies will ask will be – how will you complete the project if you don’t receive all of the money.  If you have a contingency plan, or ideas of other ways to break even (ie box office, merchandise) that can help your application considerably.

Hopefully this answers some of the question – where is the money?.  Ozphilanthropy will continue to explore the philanthropic sources of funds in more detail as we go along.

Do you think about your potential funding in separate strands or do you just lump it all in together? How far in advance do you plan for your projects? Do you have a good resource to prompt you when to apply for funding?

I look forward to hearing how you organise the various components of income required to do your work.

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About ozphilanthropy

#Philanthropy. Posts by Sharon Nathani. Consultant, blogger, speaker & committee member/grantmaker @Impact100Melb and Melbourne Womens Fund. Board member at Outer Urban Projects. Learning more to share with you through Grad Dip in Philanthropy and Nonprofit studies at QUT and Masters in Social Investment & Philanthropy at Swinburne. Former Executive Officer Inner North Community Foundation.
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