8 Tips to a Strong (Bartol) Proposal – Deadline May 2, 2016!
At the Bartol Foundation, we want to consider your strongest proposal. After many years and reading many, many proposals, we encourage organizations to use these tips when creating your request. Note: You need to have already had a site visit with us in order to apply.
No Need to Preach to the Choir: At the Bartol Foundation, we understand the importance of arts education, the creative process and community-based programs. Focus your proposal on your specific needs and goals rather than extensively quoting research on the importance of the arts.
Be Concrete and Specific: We want to invest in programs that are clear in their goals and their implementation. Provide us with concrete details that show you have the components of your proposal well planned out. For example, give us a timeline of activities, the date and the venue of a community performance, and/or include a support letter from your partner school. Make sure to provide a sample curriculum as part of the required attachments for an arts education request.
Define your Terms: What is a “ten-week residency”? Once a week for ten weeks? All-day, every day for ten weeks? Forty-five minute sessions or three-hour sessions? The same students every time or different? Twelve students in a class or 200? Again, be specific.
But what if I don’t know the details? We understand that sometimes our deadline doesn’t quite mesh with your planning. In that case, tell us the process that you will use to make important decisions or to identify your prospective partners or artists. Tell us about your track record with work similar to what you are proposing. But more details always result in a stronger proposal. Sometimes the best thing is to wait until next year if your plans are not fully formed yet.
Don’t Cite Partners without Telling Them. We expect that you have spoken with any person or organization that you are naming as a potential partner. Make sure that they are not also applying to the Foundation for a similar or conflicting request. It’s always good to provide a letter of support that demonstrates a potential partner is on board.
Evaluation can be simple. We want to know that you have a system for assessing how you are doing and adapting as you go. This can be as simple as, “We had no enrollment on Mondays. We asked the parents and found out that Monday was karate day. We switched the class to Thursdays and now it’s full.” In any case, please do answer the question about evaluation with one concrete example.
Why now? We tend to fund about one-half of the proposals we receive. Often those that receive funding make a compelling case as to why this is something that needs to happen now. Why does this project or this year’s general operating programs represent an important step for your organization artistically or organizationally? Many of you have long-range plans. Tell us (briefly and concretely) how your request will move your plans forward.
You can’t be new and vague. For organizations that are new to us, or just plain new, convince us that you have the capacity to pull off what you are proposing. Again, do this by being concrete and specific when describing your program.
A reminder that you cannot apply to the Foundation without a site visit prior to the deadline. The 2016 deadline for scheduling a site visit has passed If you missed it,make sure to get on our calendar early next year.
Any questions? Call or email us. The lines are open.