Grant Writing Resources


Tips for writing a grant proposal

Artists and Organizations: Seize the moment and take note of NALAC funding opportunities.  Maximize your time and project ideas by submitting applications to NALAC Fund for the Arts (NFA) and/or the NALAC Transnational Cultural Remittances (TCR) grant programs.  To incentivize your participation, this article will outline techniques and resources to help develop strong applications.  There is no time like the present to research new opportunities, update your application materials and sharpen your grant-writing skills.


Things to keep in mind when developing a proposal

One of the first steps in writing a grant proposal is to choose the appropriate funding opportunity. If your proposal fits the interest of a funding organization and matches the goals of the grant program, then your proposal has a better probability of being financed. Because proposal writing is a time and energy consuming process, it's important to be sure that your proposal is eligible, timely, complete and well written. Review the published guidelines thoroughly. Afterwards, take the opportunity of communicating with funders early in the writing process to identify any lingering questions that are not answered in the guidelines.


A successful proposal will convince the reviewer of the importance and feasibility of your project. Reviewers in general have little time, and they may not be completely familiar with the type of project you are proposing. For these reasons, your proposal should be concise. Submit a complete application and write in a precise form; avoid philosophizing and using complex terms. Try not to be repetitive. Well in advance of the deadline, have your proposal reviewed by trusted sources that can edit for grammar, completeness, quality and clarity.


Preparing artistic work samples

“People will know you more through representations of your work than your actual/live work.”  Artistic work samples allow the reviewer an opportunity to evaluate the artistic quality of your work.  The presentation style of the work samples not only showcases your aesthetic vision, but it can also reveal something about your commitment to professionalism.  Therefore, your artistic work samples must be of the utmost quality. The following tips appear in “Essential Tools for Grantwriting” produced by the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Immigrant Artist Project.


Quality of artistic work sample: Invest in professional documentation and presentation of your work.

Selection of artistic work sample: Present a coherent body of work. Prioritize strongest, most relevant work.


Quality of Work Samples for Still Images


Clear image


Fills the frame


Presents the art on a neutral background


Consistent lighting


Representation of scale


Consistent sizing and cropping


Include installation shots when appropriate

 Quality of Video Work Samples


Clear video and audio


Use a tripod

See the performance space before documenting performance


Use multiple cameras to show perspective


Test work sample before sending

 Quality Literary Work Samples


Alwaysput your best poem/literary work sample first.


Capture a peak moment in the text right away; avoid lengthy build-up


Show strong command of the literary style: formal, aesthetic, and conceptual