Musician’s Corner (this week Professional’s Corner!) – our Company Manager, JBS
We spoke to our resident fundraiser (Yorkshire Youth & Music’s Company Manager), JBS, on how she puts together funding applications for our projects. She’s got valuable insights, so without further ado, here is J’s account of the process from start to finish:
“As you may have already seen (if you’ve ever received an email from Yorkshire Youth and Music) the following sentence is in our signature – we hold Youth Music funding for working with children and young people in challenging circumstances along with funding from Children in Need to expand our Deaf Instrumental programme of projects across the region.
It sounds simple: we ‘hold’ (or successfully apply for) funds so that we can run worthwhile projects giving accessible opportunities to children who wouldn’t normally have access to music.
It isn’t as simple as it seems, however… We have to bid (or apply) for funding and we have to ensure that we meet the criteria each funder is looking for – funders have certain priority areas (geographically and thematically) that they wish to fund.
We spend a lot of our time filling in application forms – and it is worth mentioning that you need to allow a lot of time to do this (if you’re thinking about applying for anything yourself). If you already use online forms, you probably also know that you might come across a range of difficult to navigate issues, including whatever format the form comes in and maximum word counts. It’s definitely worth writing something up in a document before pasting into the online form.
There may be different stages in an application process too. If you’ve completed your first stage application, and got through successfully, well done!
You’ll normally find out after a few weeks or months whether you have been successful or not. If you reach a second stage, you are often now invited to complete a second stage application. Keep going though, because you’re nearly there! To complete this stage, you’ll need to have put in place a more detailed plan for your project, including having a complete and detailed budget and a full schedule of dates. Then you can press that all important submit button!
Even if you have been successful at this second stage, the funder may come back to you with more specific questions, so it’s always better to be prepared. If you’ve been unsuccessful at this stage, they may or may not give you feedback on your application – it depends very much on the funder. I would always ask, because any feedback can help you strengthen that next application, if you decide to try again.
If we’ve been successful, we then programme our reporting schedule into our diaries to make sure we don’t miss any of the deadlines for payment of the grant.
We also often need to ensure that we match fund our projects, which means asking for contributions from partner organisations. This could be a school, a local authority, another charity or an organisation within a Music Hub. As I’m sure most of us know, there is less money in the pot for all of us, so we have to make sure our projects have clear outcomes that benefit the children the most. In some cases, we will need to approach local trusts and foundations to provide match funding, and this also involves an application process… so yes, you’ve guessed it – the process above starts all over again!”
J’s account is full of great tips if you’re wanting to write your own applications, folks. Remember, you can always contact us here at YY&M if you’ve got an idea and you’d like to make it happen.