Creative Internships Blog Week 27
Olivia Richardson, NoFit State Circus
Why writing a funding application is just like writing a great, cheesy pop song…
All great songs have a great structure. All* (*most) songs are unique but yet all share a common structural denominator – a wonderful balance between repetition and bursts of brand new information.
The best way to keep your listener absorbed is to give them something new and exciting every so often, while still delivering enough familiarity to maintain their engagement. Just like a funding application!
(“Ahhh we see what you’re doing now Olivia – this is clever!” I hear you say…)
With writing it is very much the same. Think of your application being a brand new song on the radio from a brand new artist – you know nothing about this artist or what their music is about, just like funders. Make sure, like a catchy chorus, you keep hammering home your main themes and ideas for your organisation - get your project stuck in their head all day. Pad around these main themes with the rest of the information that they need to know – things that may only need saying once or twice. Maybe add a ‘bridge’ offering a new perspective? This might be in the form of a testimonial for example, or other sources that back up your overall ask. Finally, we reach the last chorus. The climax of the ballad. The bit we’ve all been waiting for. Make the ask - and leave it ringing in their ears!
The trick to a great pop song melody? Keep. It. Simple.
The simpler the melody, the easier it is to remember. Seems obvious right?
When writing to funders, it’s really really easy to overcomplicate things. Again, remember the person reading this doesn’t know your organisation as well as you do, so make it understandable. If your application is too complex, it will alienate your funder. Get someone who knows absolutely nothing about what your writing about to read it first. If they’re confused…start again!
In layman’s terms, the chords that sit under the melody. This is the music in the background that determines the overall feel and pace of the song.
And just like a song, your funding application needs this underpinning too. Do your research into what your funder likes and dislikes and choose the tone of your application accordingly. Make sure your ‘melody’ fits with your chosen funder or you are simple going to waste both your time and theirs.
Do I need to explain this one? The words of the song. The bit that seems oh so easy and is really the hardest part
Can you sum your huge idea into a lovely, succinct, few paragraphs? It can be so tempting to waffle for pages on end about your fabulous idea but try and keep your word count down. Every so often, there will be the opportunity and space to write ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘American Pie’ or ‘Stairway to Heaven’ but most of the time there will be a word count. Just keep it a short and simple ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ and get as much information into your 300-word box as possible. Make every.word.count.
Follow this method and instead of being a one hit wonder or a chart show flop, you’ll be releasing your greatest hits album in no time and ‘Top of the Pops!’
BIANCO, NoFit State’s epic and awesome show in the beautiful big top is BACK.
12th-27th June, John Street CF10 5PE (Just behind John Lewis)
Tickets are already on sale and selling fast. BOOK NOW.