I have received a few grants; for both production and educational projects. They certainly are not a way to get rich, but can be just the thing to light a fire under that back-burner idea you have had to make a short film.|
My best advice is to consider your grant proposal to be a sales pitch.
In addition to being on the grantee end, I have also served on several grant panels and juries. The people on these panels have a job to do; to fulfill the mission of the granting organization.
When applying for a grant, find that mission statement, the essence of what the granting body hopes to achieve. It may be educational, artistic, or even environmental, as was the case when I got a grant to make a film about endangered salmon. Whatever it is, hone in on that mission and shape your proposal to be a “solution” to the mission, even if you have to modify your idea to make it work.
If the grant requires community participation, find a way to present your work to the public, or better yet have the public participate in a small aspect of the creation of your project. If it requires a connection to a certain topic or message, find a creative way to address it, rather than just tacking it on to some other idea.
Last, but not least, make your proposed budgets reasonable without unrealistic payments to yourself or others. The last thing a granting body wants to do is finance an inflated production. It is better to list more hours of work at a rate of $50 per hour than fewer hours at a rate of $100.
[Note: Wendy died on November 14, 2005. Here is information about her animation work: Wendy Jackson-Hall Obituary]