A big part of your festival planning effort is going to be geared towards getting funding for your festival. You can help ensure you raise enough money by incorporating one or more of the following three proven strategies.
A common way to get funding for your festival is to obtain donations from your community. These can be monetary donations or in-kind donations (i.e. donations in return for advertising). A local butcher, for example, may not be in a position to give you money but could donate sausages for your BBQ instead. This is still wonderful support as it means that you will not have to outlay money for the sausages and thus will increase your profit. You can also seek help from bakeries, supermarkets, fruit and vegetable suppliers and cafes/restaurants to see if they can donate any items.
Corporations are always looking for ways to connect with their customers in the communities where their products and services are available. In fact, many corporations have a budget for donating to charitable events including festivals. The best way to attract corporate sponsors to your festival is to do your homework and prepare a sponsorship letter and detailed sponsorship proposal outlining the specific benefits the company will receive in return for their sponsorship such as signage, booth location, ad placement, exposure before the day/on the day etc. In addition, they will want to know visitor demographics and the amount of traffic you expect to receive at your event.
Obtaining a government grant for your festival is easier than you think. Many national and local governments around the world have funding available for festivals. For example, Festivals Australia and the Regional Arts Fund are government programs that provide funding for arts related festivals throughout Australia. In addition, GrantConnect is an online service provided by the Australian Government that can help you find available grants for your community project. Additionally, it is always a good idea to check with your local member to find out about council grants that may be available. In order to receive grants, you will need to make sure that your festival meets the qualifications and complete the application. You need to keep in mind that while this is a relatively easy process, it is not immediate and absolute. Therefore, be prepared to plan as much as a year in advance and stay in close contact with the government agency.
Originally published 24 November, 2011
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