Ally Newton offered her audience chocolate prizes as they focused on how they could work towards the big prize of winning CBF grants for their station, at a CBAA Conference session on funding.
She began by outlining, who is the CBF and who do they fund, then discussed key principles for writing a grant.
The primary purpose of the CBF is to support community media by offering grants for content, development and operations.
The main content consideration, according to Ally is creating “great radio that makes you stop and think” by encouraging people to participate, and including diversity in voices and on screens.
Funding initiatives are available for development and operations that are focused on helping stations to be more resilient by building community engagement.
Ally encouraged participants to prepare to apply for a grant from the Bright Futures project, as $1.3 million will be available for grants that will improve your station’s sustainability. She suggested partipants “begin brainstorming to come up with any ideas you can improve your station’s sustainability. This is a one off grant… Applications that give the best return will get funding.”
Preparation and planning for a grant application requires planning and telling youjr story to convince that you are worthwhile investing in.
“A really good grant application is telling your story, like writing a narrative,” she said.
Steps in preparing to write a grant are:
Why does your station/ community need the project? Why now and not in 12 months? Grants can be applied for every 12 months.
Was there a community consultation process in your grant preparation? If so, explain it in the application.
Who will deliver the project? Provide a brief bio like you would find on linked in for who will be involved in the grant.
Think about direct beneficiaries of the project and explain who they are.
How will the project be delvered and when? Provide a timeline of key details.
How much will it cost? Admin, insurance, marketing, quotes.
Her grant writing tips:
⁃ Keep language simple
⁃ Assume the reader knows nothing
⁃ Support any claims with evidence
⁃ Facts, not opinions (do your research)
⁃ Be specific
Ally admitted to being a fan of Drake, so she imagined Drake would be assessing the examples she showed. Give enough information for someone with no knowledge of your station to assess the application.
Common mistakes include not providing outcomes but outputs. To help you find the right approach, use a SMART matrix for guidance.
Opening up for questions from the floor, Molly from SYN said she sees the relationship between her station and our funder as a partnership. We want to understand what they want how can we help them achieve that. “Make clear what success looks like,” she said.
Key take aways
Apply SMART to outcomes
Apply for grants, if you don’t apply you will never get them.