Where to Start

The best strategy is to start by creating a budget and determining how much funding you need to create your work or proceed with your project . Build in any costs for research, marketing or distributing your work, website design and maintenance, or any other costs specifically associated with your project. Visit the Guide to Managing Your Money for additional information on budgeting. Once you determine your budget and have a realistic sense of what you need, there are several kinds of funding you can pursue. Most often, you will use a combination of sources to obtain the funding necessary for you to complete your work. Given that the nature of every artist’s work is inherently unique, we have provided a tool box of funding sources that you may use to develop an overall funding strategy.

Your funding strategy should have clear goals and objectives. Be thoughtful in your approach; understand why you need the funds and how you will use them. Consider which options are most closely aligned with your needs. A common way to start thinking about financing any venture is in steps. Start with yourself. Record the total expenses related to the work and calculate how much additional income you can contribute. Other funders will be more likely to trust your judgment and support the project if you have committed your own assets as well. Next, if you have the option, ask your circle of family and friends to invest. There are tools and tactful ways to approach these individuals without the worry of altering a close relationship or creating an awkward family situation. This strategy is described in greater detail later on in this guide. With some initial backing, an investor or funder will be more willing to contribute to your work.

You will still need to work hard and be strategic in your funding approach as you begin to wade into the pool of individuals, organizations and businesses fighting for funds. With your hard work and a clear strategy, you can achieve your funding goals and see your creative vision come to life.