Having appropriate funding is essential in the music industry, but crafting successful grant proposals takes a certain skill.
After music educators expressed a desire for more grant writing education, Conn-Selmer partnered with the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business to offer an inaugural two-day intensive certification on grant proposal writing for music educators.
Approximately 60 people attended the event in Chicago in December 2018 to learn about various elements needed for successful grant proposals. Topics included how to develop proposal ideas and methods, establish and sustain relationships with funders, define clear goals and objectives, create program budgets, and write proposal summaries and compelling problem statements.
Dr. Marc Hardy, director of nonprofit certificate education at the University of Notre Dame, presented during the course. Attendees also read Tori O’Neal-McElrath’s “Winning Grants Step by Step: The Complete Workbook for Planning, Developing and Writing Successful Proposals.”
“A lot of folks don’t know the basics of grant writing and how to get started, and this offered them an opportunity to feel confident about getting into grant writing,” says Michael Kamphuis, managing director of Conn-Selmer’s Division of Education. “It energized a lot of folks because in areas where we’re not seeing the funding necessarily, this kind of gave them the hope that there are people out there that want to support them.”
Attendees had an “aha moment” during the course when Hardy relayed how much charitable money is available, Kamphuis says. In 2017, the arts, culture, and humanities received $19.51 billion in charitable money, according to the Giving USA Foundation.
While attending the course, educators had the chance to began developing their proposals or received guidance on pending proposals. After completing the course, attendees received a certificate from the University of Notre Dame.
Conn-Selmer plans to host similar events in the future, says Aaron Albin, director of educational communication for Conn-Selmer.