11 top tips to ensure that yours is the funding application that gets noticed:
Do your homework and research
Spend some time sitting down and researching what funding options there are when the deadlines are this way you will find what’s right for you and you won’t miss any deadlines. Check out the Help Musicians UK Funding Wizard for inspiration.
Make sure you’ve checked all areas of eligibility, application and decision dates.
Give you best musical examples first
Ensure your music is easy to access (with working links) and you get across what you do best nice and early in the example – think about what best represents you.
Ensure your online presence is up to date
If you give a link to something make sure it is up to date and relevant showcasing your most recent gigs and current social media activity. Remember we will probably Google you!
Tell us who else is backing you
Funders are looking for artists with credibility. If you’re not yet starting to get noticed in the industry, you’re probably not quite ready to apply for funding. Provide evidence that shows if you’re getting radio airplay, good write-ups, prestigious gigs or a fast-growing fanbase.
Don’t rush into it – take time, re-read, re-write
Do your preparation. Start writing well ahead of the deadline. Put it aside for a couple of days and come back with fresh eyes. Ideally, get someone else to read it through. Bad spelling and grammar won’t necessarily rule you out, but they leave a bad impression and don’t inspire confidence.
Pitch the right project
Show an understanding of what you need to do next and where you want to get to with the project.
Think about your application as a kind of business plan
Funders are willing to take risks, but we want to see a strong plan in place. Convince us that the money will be well spent. Think of the funder as an investor – it’s not an X-Factor-style talent contest and funding isn’t a prize to be won.
Keep it simple
Try to find the right balance between providing too much information and too little. Avoid jargon or overly academic language. Be as clear as possible about what you want to achieve and how you would do it if you received a grant. Headings and bullet points can help to structure an application in a way that makes it easier to read.
Make it clear
Can the person assessing your application understand your ideas and intentions properly? Remember who your audience is, read through and imagine you are the funder – would you back your project?
Use word limits carefully
Make sure you cover all key areas or bullet point and don’t use too many words on just one area.
Add realistic costs - we like to see balanced budgets. Also consider what other sources of income/match funding are there.
If you fail first time or second time try again
A lot of the most successful artists have had rejected funding applications, don’t give up!
Say Thank You!
Funders are more likely to help you again in the future – and to provide helpful advice – if you keep them ‘warm’. If you’re lucky enough to receive a grant, make sure you take note of any specific conditions, and keep the funder up-to-date with any changes to your plans. There is usually some flexibility if your project develops in a slightly different way to how it was originally planned. Remember also to credit the funder appropriately, invite us to gigs, and to give us a shout-out every now and then!
To start your search to find the right funding opportunity for you, use our helpful Funding Wizard.
Help Musicians UK offers funding for emerging musicians through:
Do It Differently Fund - for independent individuals or ensembles who can demonstrate an element of self-sufficiency in their career
Postgraduate Awards - for students in financial need who wish to complete their studies at leading UK conservatoires and performing arts colleges
Transmission Fund - for artistic development opportunities
PRS for Music Foundation offers funding through a variety of schemes:
The Open Fund - for organisations or individual music creators
Momentum Music Fund - for individuals or bands entering the next career stage
The Composers Fund - offering support for composers’ professional development