The BCMA had a productive meeting with Community Gaming Grants program staff earlier this month. BCMA shared information about our sector, and Gaming Grants staff had suggestions about how museums can be more successful when applying for grants. We are working with Gaming Grants staff to organize a webinar for BCMA members, but in the meantime here are a few takeaways from the meeting:
- April 30, 2018 is the application deadline for this year’s Arts & Culture intake. Please note this is a month earlier than previous years!
- Be proactive – don’t be afraid to contact program staff if you run into any issues with your current grant, or need help framing your application. They are there to support you.
- Make sure you demonstrate community impact. This doesn’t have to be complicated, but make sure you provide details on the tangible benefits you provide to your community.
- Explain your program in a way that is understandable to people who are not museum experts.
- Community Gaming Grants are “program grants” – this is different than operating grants or project grants. One benefit of this type of grant is that operational expenses can be included as long as they are necessary to your program. For example, if you are offering an educational program for the public, operational expenses like staff time, a new boiler or collections storage that allow you to operate that program are eligible.
- Provide documentation about in-kind contributions – for example, log your volunteer hours and attach a value to them (e.g. $10/hour for basic labour) and document donated materials and professional fees.
- The BC Association for Charitable Gaming is a resource. They have free workshops and trained volunteers in different regions of the province who can help you write your application: http://bcacg.com/
- Be sure to read the full program guidelines each year before writing your application. Many people skip this step and miss important information.