The Business of Begging


Recently, I've been writing a lot of sponsorship packets and grant proposals. This is hands down my least favorite thing to do in the theatre biz. I don't like begging for money. But unfortunately, I'm a starving artist and art is kinda pricey to produce so I have to write these really nice letters to people. Most of time I kind of feel like this:

But here are some tips for helping get your sponsorship letter/grant proposal noticed.

1) Include Supporting Evidence

Just like with your 10th grade Science Project you need to show evidence on why you're so fabulous and why giving you ten grand won't be a total waste of their time and money. Whether this is photos of previous productions, short video clips or inspirational footage for the upcoming production you need to get them excited in your vision.

2) Have Press Clippings

You need press clippings or at least quotes about your work to seem legitimate. Even if you got a crappy review on your last show, you can copy/paste a sentence out of it that alludes to the fact it was good. If you don't have press clippings; they'll think people aren't interested in your work.

3) Charts and Graphs

Everyone loves them. They make proposals look more impressive.

4) Have All the Facts

Know the show date. Know the venue they want. Know everything about the production you're doing. (Except the cast - that would be wrong.) Know the answers to any question they could possibly ask. Practice your interview skills with a friend and have a great interview outfit. Yes boys, that normally is a suit. Have it ironed.

5) Hire a Proof-reader

On your blog, typos happen, you go back and fix 'em. On your grant proposals they can't, or they'll throw your proposal in the bin. Hire a proof reader to look it over and spot any mistakes you may have made. It may make sense to your artistic brain but to a third party it may look weird. If you can't afford a professional, ask your mom.



  • Jemma
    17 July 2013

    LOL! Thanks for this. I too always feel like such a shit when I'm writing for money. I feel leik Oliver or soemthin.

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