How to Write a Good Proposal

Make sure your organization is eligible for Arts Work Fund funding (see guidelines for eligibility requirements).

  • Provide a rationale for the proposed work that is clearly defined. Discuss how your organization identified the issue at hand and its significance to the organization's development (i.e., Why this? Why now?).

  • Clearly described the proposed project and its outcomes. In the case of applications for consultant services, describe the process used for choosing a consultant and the relevance of the consultant's credentials. Include a copy of the consultant's proposed work plan and projected deliverables.

  • Discuss the potential project impact on organizational capacity and effectiveness in achieving the organization's mission.

  • Make sure the proposed budget is adequate to accomplish the proposed work. Include cash and in-kind contributions.


Proposals Less Likely to Receive Support

Following are characteristics of proposals less likely to receive Arts Work Fund support:

  • Applicants that do not meet the eligibility guidelines.

  • Proposals that do not present a clear case for the identified management or governance challenge or the potential for results.

  • Requests for activities which appear to be ongoing in nature, such as costs associated with the annual audit.

  • Projects that do not show evidence of commitment from the Board or executive leadership.

  • Applications requesting funding for a consultant but do include the consultant's work plan and fees.

  • Projects that engage an independent contractor to perform typical staff functions.

  • Applications listing a current Board Director or family member as a consultant, or one where a Director resigns from the Board to become the consultant for the applicant.

The Arts Work Fund invests in the financial sustainability, management, governance and growth capacities of small arts and cultural organizations located in the Chicago metropolitan region.

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Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development
P.O. Box 577309
Chicago, IL 60657-7309
773.296.2601 PHONE
773.435.6532 FAX

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