Free Money - Is your Chorus missing out?

Free Money - Is your Chorus missing out?
Type of post: News
Sub-type: No sub-type
Posted By: Dick Bushell
Status: Current
Date Posted: Sun, 19 Jun 2016
Many clubs are unaware that there are many funding opportunities available throughout the year, every year, for arts-specific activities such as the things YOUR barbershop chorus does all the time. 
The world of funding and grant applications might sound like a real headache at first.  All of the paperwork aside, many clubs don’t even know where to start looking for funding for their activities. 
Well, the good news is that BHA can make things much simpler for you and your club!
Firstly, there are people who can help you and your club out!  Your BHA Vice President, Marketing & Development, Dan Millgate, has a comprehensive and current database of grants available all over the country.  The database is continuously updated and includes all new and recurring federal, state and local government, philanthropic and corporate grants available to you.  So, if you have some project ideas, get in touch and Dan can tailor a selection of appropriate funding options for you.
Dan also has some fantastic resources for you, such as tips and tricks on winning grants, advice on how to make money whilst having fun, resources on how to run successful fundraising events, and much more.  Contact Dan by email at  Also, don’t forget to check out the Marketing Resources page on the BHA website,
Another way to get help with your grant applications is understand that funding bodies actually want to help you to be successful in your application!
Applying for the first time can be scary, but all funding bodies can provide you with a contact officer to talk you through the process of applying, make sure your project fits within the funding requirements, help you to make sure your application is the best it can be, and much, much more.
A great example is the funding on offer from the Australia Council for the Arts, whose Arts Projects for Individuals and Groups fund a range of activities that deliver benefits to the arts sector and wider public, including national and international audiences.  Grants are available from $10,000 to $50,000. 
For 2016, the closing dates are at midnight on the:
  • Tuesday 7 June 2016, for projects starting after 1 September 2016
  • Tuesday 4 October 2016, for projects starting after 1 January 2017
If you are planning to apply to the Australia Council for the first time, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the grant programs on offer by reading the program summary pages, read the relevant case studies that give examples of the projects supported in the past, and understand the assessment criteria for the relevant grant program by reading the program summary pages.  You can find all of this information at
The next step is to contact a Grants Officer to discuss your idea before you submit an application.  This can save you LOTS of time and energy!
Australia Council for the Arts
Phone: 02 9215 9000
What can be applied for?
  • the creation of new work
  • creative development
  • touring
  • festivals
  • productions
  • performances
  • recording
  • promotion and marketing
Peers will assess your application against the following three criteria.
1. Artistic merit
  • the artistic rationale and process
  • the context of the work
  • the significance of the work
  • the level of experimentation and risk taking involved in the work
  • the quality of work previously produced
  • public or peer response to work previously produced.
2. Viability
  • relevance and timeliness of the proposed activity
  • the skills and artistic ability of the people involved and their relevance to the proposed activity
  • realistic and achievable planning, resource use and evaluation
  • fees payable to artists involved
  • the timetable and budget
  • the role of any partners involved, including confirmation of their involvement
  • diversity and scale of income and co-funding - including earned income, grants, sponsorship and in-kind contributions
  • proposals which involve working with diverse audiences or communities, peers will look for demonstrated cultural competencies and appropriateness.
3. One of the following criteria
The third criterion will help to tell how your project may contribute towards delivering the goals of Australia Council for the Arts’ strategic plan to support the arts in Australia.  They will ask you to choose one of the following, which you think best reflects the primary outcome of your project. 
Peers will assess the contribution to the creation of new work.  They may consider how the proposed activity:
  • develops your area of practice
  • contributes to diverse artistic practice
  • builds or develops national or international collaborations
  • engages young people in the creation of work.
Peers will assess the contribution to audience engagement.  They may consider how the proposed activity:
  • stimulates your audience
  • increases or diversifies audiences
  • satisfies existing audience demand
  • delivers long term benefits for audiences
  • increases the experience by Australians of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture.
Access and Participation
Peers will assess the contribution to access to, and participation in, the arts.  They may consider how the proposed activity:
  • increases participation in arts and culture, particularly among diverse groups and regional/remote communities
  • impacts on participants
  • increases the experience by Australians of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts and culture
  • strengthens artistic experiences for children and young people.
Peers will assess the contribution to the international profile of Australian arts.  They may consider how the proposed activity:
  • will engage global audiences with Australian work
  • develops international partnerships
  • develops international markets for Australian work
  • meets existing international demand for Australian work.

Don’t forget that this process takes time – at least 12 weeks from the time you lodge your application.  So you need to be proactive in managing these timeframes. 
Most importantly though, don’t forget that you aren’t alone!  There are resources and people to help you out and we want you to be successful.  Ask for help!
Dan Millgate
VP Marketing & Development