Spring deadlines for grant & residency applications are weeks away. My butt is shifting into gear and already I'm going mad. What keeps me focused, however, aside from my tips & tricks list (read my Part I post) is Gigi Rosenberg's The Artist's Guide to Grant Writing. Her book is full of wisdom and hope, which is much needed after trudging through any application process.
A few quotes from the book:
"How is your project unique? Most funders like projects that solve a problem in a new way." Pg 56
"Why does the world need your project right now? An urgent, well-timed project is most likely to receive funding." Pg 56
"Well-written proposals tell a story, with a beginning, middle, and an end. The beginning is what you've done as an artist previously, the middle is where you are now, and the end is where you want to take your work next." Pg 84
"If your artists statement will appear alongside your work, your audience wants to look inside your process. They want to know what makes you tick." Pg 93
I forget if this book recommends hoarding submitted applications, regardless if they earn you a grant or fellowship, but that's what I do in binder-form. So when application time comes, I can flip through previous applications to see if there's any material I can repurpose or build off of. Sometimes there is, sometimes there isn't, but it doesn't hurt, nor cost much, to stay organized.
Quick note: although my resources are focused towards grants, my binder is also used to apply for fellowships and residencies. I've found that grant writing advice is transferrable to other artistic applications.
My binder is nothing fancy.
Inside, on the other hand, is an archive of materials I've submitted over the years, like resumes, artists statements, work samples, etc, as well as application instructions. Below is (1) an outdated resume, (2) guidelines for the 2020 CityArtist grant (which I was awarded $5,000 to curate my own performance forthcoming autumn 2020), and (3) notes for the Artist Fund, in which I'm applying again this year.
My binder is also a resource archive of handouts I've collected from various people. I highly recommend checking out the Authors Guild Foundation. They regularly host free trainings in-person and online.
Best of luck on your applications, y'all. And send a few good vibes my way, too!