Step by step
When the contents of your plan are clear you can start looking for funding. Look for funds whose mission relates to you and your project. This stepped plan concerns subsidy applications for concrete plans only.
There are hundreds of private and government funds in Holland. Research which organisations’ target group and objectives match you and your plans. In some cases you can apply to several funding bodies.
When you have made a selection of matching funds, ascertain their application deadlines. For the general planning, indicate what logical stages can be distinguished within the project, what the main activities to be carried out in every stage are, and how long everything will take. Also state when you expect the result of the application and, if it is honoured, when the grant accountability report has to be sent.
- a: determine the costs
Even if a project is still in its infancy, the subsidy provider will want to see a detailed budget. Don’t exaggerate, but budget the costs realistically. Make two scenarios: one for the subsidy provider, in which you have enough funds to be able to do everything that you would like to do, and a ‘secret’ scenario based on the minimum amount which you can realise the plan with.
- b: determine the revenue
The counterpart of the cost budget is the financing scheme, which includes revenue from entrance fees, other subsidies, donations, sponsoring, merchandising and co-production.
- c: Determine the amount that you will apply for
Find out the maximum amount which the fund(s) normally contribute(s). It might be a percentage of the total costs, or in other cases a fixed amount. Always ask for a definite amount.
If a fund uses standard forms, complete them carefully! Fit the application to the fund in question and note the requirements well. Be clear and concise. Contact the fund if there is something you don’t understand. The full application must show what will be produced, and why, how, by whom, for whom, when, where, for how long, how much it will cost, and how these costs will be covered.
- a: describe the content
The basic concept should give a clear picture of the artistic result of your plans and what you want to achieve. It is the essential part of your application.
Be explicit in your application. Describe your personal motivation. You also need to describe the idea, its history and your sources of inspiration, but do this in a business-like manner.
- b: make a smart package
Explanations, detailing, the budget and the planning should be put in the annexes. Only the essence of these documents should be included in the main application form, with reference to the annexes. Design a clear layout and check that the package is complete, looks smart, and that everything in it is easy to find.
Once the subsidy has been granted, you should keep the subsidy provider informed about any important developments; for example, if there is a substantial change in the budget which the subsidy was based on. It is not permitted, generally, to move costs from one main budget item to another. If you want to do this, though, consult the subsidy provider so that problems at the final settlement stage will be prevented. Invite the subsidy provider to public occasions such as openings and premières, if applicable. Mention the subsidy providers in your publicity.
After the conclusion of the project you will have to account for the way in which you used the subsidy. Sometimes an audit report is demanded. Make sure that you keep proper records, and save them.