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Topic: Grant Money
Message: Posted by: wizardofsorts (Apr 20, 2003 10:46PM)
I was thinking about putting together an anti-drug magic show and trying to find some grant money to do it. Has anyone ever done this? Can anyone point me where to start? Thanks in advance.
Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Apr 21, 2003 08:19AM)

Grant writing is an involved process. It begins with addressing a specific need in your community and finding an organization that wants to address that need by funding worthy projects.

Grant money can come from several sources, such as government agencies, corporate foundations, and private foundations. These organizations give grant funds to non-profit, tax exempt organizations.

The process of getting a grant can be broken down into four steps:
1. Planning Start with a well-planned project to be funded. Having a good plan is the most important part of the process.
2. Finding Funding Sources Research organizations that you want to approach.
3. Writing the Proposal Include key elements.
4. Follow Through Do the project and file the interim and final reports.

There are two ways for magicians to qualify for grant money from these sources. One is to form your own non-profit organization; another is to work through an existing organization.

When I started out in magic in the late 1970's I managed to receive grants from the New York State Council on the Arts for presenting magic. I did it by forming my own non-profit organization. I would not recommend that method for you. It takes too long and the paperwork is a nightmare.

It would be better for you to find a local non-profit group to work with. You would co-write a grant with that organization to fund a project. I've written all about this in a 34 page onus report to the Success-In-Magic program.

A simpler and faster way would be to skip the idea of grants altogether and just go after a corporate sponsor for your anti-drug show. For example, a local HMO in your area might be willing to fund the show. Or perhaps a professional association. There is a clown in my area who gets funding from the dental association for her dental show in schools during the month of February, which is National Dental Month.

One year the local telephone company in my area funded 22 performances of my Reading Is Magic show in area schools.

The corporation funds some or all of your performances in exchange for the publicity and/or goodwill. You do not have to be a non-profit organization and the funding organization does not get a tax write-off.

If you want to go the grant route, start your research at: http://www.fdncenter.org

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Chrystal (Apr 25, 2003 12:09PM)
Hi Wizard,

Several years ago when I was thinking about going pro, I saw a tiny ad in the paper regarding an info session about starting your own business. The info session was sponsered by the government and backed by a local bank. In a nutshell this is what was offered: they would sponser 25 people to start their own business and give those chosen money to live on for an entire year! They would also send each person to business college for 6 months! This was not a loan! Free money and a great opportunity! Stats showed most business ventures fail the first year, it was their way of helping a new company. A dream come true for those of us hopefuls!

As you can imagine the room was packed with people as everyone wanted to be one of those 25 picked. When I mentioned what my plans were to open up an entertainment company they pretty well laughed at me. (Should mention the majority of people attending were consultants of some sort.) Undaunted, I returned armed with 17 letters of recomendations and potential clients. Turned down again... sigh. I then returned with a 35 page business plan... listing all the entertainers in my area, a list of all the schools, community centers, etc. in my surrounding area as future potential clients.

They finally decided to give me a chance... so determined was I. (I said I would give this much determination in my new business and proved it with my constant appearances.) LOL

The final obstacle was presenting my plan to a panel of business leaders who would make the final selection. I did a 10 min comedy routine which made them laugh after a weary day of viewing hundreds of candidates. In a nutshell, I was chosen!

That was several years ago and the program continued to be such a success that it is still running. Although they have cut back on the monies given to a few months of living expenses. There are now thousands that have gone through this process. Ironicially I've been nominated as Entrepreneur of the Year twice... in the field of perseverance. Ha Ha

This happened in Canada. However, there may be a similar program through banks in your area. I'd make a call and find out if there is an entrepreneur program sponsored by a bank or a government agency. May be worth checking into. If you are interested in finding out what grants are available, there is a book published yearly, that every library supposedly has, that lists these. Haven't tried this myself and Jim is right I've heard it's a lengthy process. Still, also may be worth checking into.

Good luck Edd! :)
Message: Posted by: Zack (May 16, 2003 10:13PM)

Wow! What a story! You're my hero!