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How to Complete a Funding Application

Most funding awards will require applicants to complete a comprehensive application form. Whilst these forms can appear intrusive and complicated, they are usually relatively straight forward to complete.

Last updated: 25 February 2022

Read the brief

Is this the right funding for your idea/project? Most funding awards have fairly strict briefs and you’re unlikely to win an award if your project doesn’t clearly meet the criteria. However, some organisations also offer ‘open funding’ awards which invite a wider and less specific range of applications.

Give yourself adequate time to complete the form

It may require you to obtain information from other people and/or organisations.

Provide only the information that is required

Answer the questions fully, but don’t include superfluous data that will render the application difficult or overly time-consuming to assess.

Proof the application thoroughly before submitting

Check for typos, consistency and also ensure that all of the numerical entries in your budget(s) add up appropriately.

Be realistic in your forecasting

Where you are asked to provide budgets, be economic and resourceful but don’t underestimate the true cost of resources or people’s skills. If you’re hiring musicians as part of your project, use MU rates where applicable as these are widely recognised by funding assessors.

You may also need to individually negotiate rates with artists, depending on their profile and expertise.

Be mindful that financial evidence will be required

It is often necessary to provide receipts and/or invoices for every financial transaction undertaken as part of a funded project. Bear this in mind when obtaining quotes and costings as part of your budgeting.

Be true to your word

You will need to deliver your project as outlined in your application. Don’t write things purely for the benefit of obtaining funding, as you will be required to demonstrate that you have executed a project as promised, in terms of finance, creativity and delivery.

Need help? Use the MU's Arts Council England Funding Application Advice Service

The MU is offering support for members who are applying for Arts Council England (ACE) Project Grants or to the ACE’s Developing Your Creative Practice fund. This is open to all union members based in the UK who are looking to fund activities in England, including student members.

Learn more about the service

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