“Guide to Getting Arts Grants” by Ellen Liberatori is an excellent book. This is my “if you can only buy one book on grants, get this one” recommendation. Actually, even if you could buy two, you wouldn’t need the other one.

I have worked as staff in the not for profit sector, where my job was dependent on my getting the grant to pay my salary for the next year. How’s that for motivation? I’ve also written grants for a not for profit metals group and for myself as an artist.

I’ve taken workshops on grant writing and read up on them for years.

This book is really good because it explains, in a way I’ve not seen in a book before, how to understand what foundations want, the importance of matching your request to their goals.

She also covers what you might want to ask for, as an artist, at various points in your career. That chapter is an excellent overview of what’s out there in terms of support, and it should also help you figure out what you want to look for.

One of the hardest things for some artists in grant seeking is the incredible amount of organization, budgeting and planning that is required. The author helps you with that by breaking it down into different processes, and the steps within those. This should keep you from being overwhelmed and will also greatly increase your success if you can follow her instructions.

The author has worked in the not for profit sector for 30 years, taught grant writing for 15 years and has worked on both sides of the equation — applicant and foundation staff. That experience really shows through, in a way that I can see, having been in the not for profit sector and working closely with a foundation for years.

I got this book at the library, but I will definitely be buying a copy for myself.

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