Our Creative Programme Officer Joe Danher is back again with tips about how to make sure your Do It Differently Fund application has the best chance of succeeding – this time, he’s looking at how to put together a strong budget for your project.
Start and end dates
Firstly, let us know the timeframe of your upcoming project. These can be tentative if you are not yet certain of an exact start and end date. However, you must be sure that any proposed activity does not commence prior to the start of the funding period for that round. As per all our funds, we cannot fund retrospectively. You can find the funding period start date both in the application guidelines and the “How to Apply” section of the Do it Differently page on our website.
The Project Budget template allows you to detail the specific costs related to your upcoming opportunity. The example budget below gives an idea of the level of detail that you should be aiming for.
Research your costs in advance and show your workings out where possible – whether that’s day rates for a studio, a fee for a mixing engineer, number of units for vinyl manufacture, etc. Be sure to name your key collaborators and identify their roles in this section if you haven’t already elaborated on this earlier in your application. The more detail, the better.
If you are including musicians’ fees or paying yourself a fee for ‘time to create’ as part of your Project Budget, please be sure to reference Musicians Union rates. The panel will regard an application of this nature more favourably if the musicians are being paid fairly!
Most importantly, remember the budget limitations detailed in the application guidelines. If you are applying for PR, marketing or equipment costs, these can only account for up to 50% of your grant request. As per the example budget, you can use the item descriptions to clarify which costs within your Project Budget would be covered by the Do It Differently Fund grant.
You may also include a contingency in your Project Budget where appropriate.
Other funding sources
You will also be asked to tell us about any other funding sources that will be crucial in enabling your project to happen. Perhaps you’ve applied to Do it Differently for the full amount of £3,000 and your total project budget is £6,950. In this section, we would expect to see where the remaining £3,950 is coming from. This can include anything from personal income, donations from family and friends through to other grant applications, crowdfunding, revenue from merch sales or past touring, for example.
Whilst it’s certainly a bonus if you’re funding sources are confirmed, you shouldn’t hesitate to include an item if it is not yet confirmed (for example, a pending grant funding application). This will show the panel that you’ve identified the avenues through which this funding may be obtained.
If the grant request doesn’t cover your total Project Budget and the Other Funding Sources section is left blank, the panel may hesitate to offer you a grant as it would seem the deficit has not been considered.
Once you’ve completed this section, double check your entire budget to ensure everything adds up:
Do It Differently Grant + Other Funding Sources = Project Budget
If the grant funding you’ve applied for is covering your entire Project Budget, this section may not be relevant to you.
If you haven’t already, check out Joe’s earlier Q&A on our blog about how best to answer each longform question in the Do It Differently application. Entries close on Monday 20 May.