So You Have Your Funding - Now What?


‘We have reviewed your application and decided to give you a grant for the full amount.’

HURRAH! Likely weeks and months of stress and worry, and finally it’s paid off. You’ve got your funding. The hard part’s over.


We asked three producers to tell us what they thought were the most crucial aspects of planning a show were once the funding was secured; timelines, communication and getting creatives on board all feel key but why not have a read and see what other advice Rory Thomas-Howes, Molly and Millie of The Project People and Sarah Gain have to give.

At Mobius we’re always happy to have pre-application conversations with you and can suggest suitable budgets for marketing, PR, advertising, print, design and photography/videography even if you’re not yet sure who you’d like to run your campaign. It can really support a grant application to include that you’ve been in conversation with a listed comms agency as it shows your planning and budgeting is likely to be accurate and thoughtful. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions.

Rory Thomas-Howes (writer/producer)

Financial stability when mounting a production is important (and wonderful, and rare!), but so is financial responsibility. Whether you secured this money through a grant, donations, fundraising events or a particularly kind relative (send Nana a muffin basket), someone has trusted you to manage this funding properly.

Assuming you've drawn up a clear timeline and budget with cashflow considerations for your project already (if not, do so immediately), the first thing to do is clarify all the conditions of the funding. We'd all love a life-size animatronic statue of Darth Vader in our hallways, but funders might be a bit miffed to find their money spent on an (admittedly awesome) personal gift. On that note, decide who's managing the budget - usually the producer or general manager.

Next up, if you’re developing a project for or with a venue, or secured partners, let them know you’ve received the funding. That gives them the go-ahead to action box office, engagement, marketing and stockpiling the fizzy rosé for press night.

KEEP YOUR RECEIPTS! One more time. KEEP *clap* YOUR *clap* RECEIPTS *clap*!

Some things need a little more time than others – I usually prioritise marketing and PR planning, PRS licensing, public engagement activities (consider how much time you’ll need to reach your target audience), rehearsal spaces (the affordable ones often book up weeks in advance) and travel and accommodation (if you're working on a touring project). Hiring creatives would be a good next step - give yourself plenty of time to interview candidates and develop a vision for the project.

Overall, remember that raising money for theatre in this day and age is an almost Herculean feat – give yourself a kudos for getting this part done, and focus on using that money in the most effective way, to make your project as good as it can possibly be.

Millie and Molly, The Project People

Congratulations! Getting funding can be a long, tricky road, so well done. As Creative Producers we produce and support creative projects across a wide range of forms and disciplines, but we start every project in the same way.

After we’ve secured funding, we find the best place to start is to re-read the application to remind our artists of the aims, deliverables and heart of their project. Then we look at the timeline and plot out the key dates and milestones.

Next we look at what we have and what we need; in terms of people, places, things. It’s great to illuminate what you need right at the beginning and often you can be surprised at how many elements of the project you already have covered.

Then we get into the budget. Remember budgets are fluid and if you need to reallocate funds in some areas that’s totally normal. But do always check in with your funders and partners before you make the changes “in pen” and make sure that budget still balances.

Finally we turn to the creative team - people make projects! We always get the core creatives in a room or on a video call right at the top of a project. Building that sense of a team creates momentum and it’s this collaborative energy which ultimately makes projects happen. Our final bit of advice would be to consider your role in the project. Now that you’ve got funding, what do you want to do and what do you not want to do? Your energy is precious, so think about bringing experts in to help with those areas that aren’t your thing. Good luck with your project!

The Project People. We provide flexible, affordable and collaborative producing support for creative projects.

Insta: @the_projectpeople

Sarah Gain

You got funding, congrats! It’s tough out there for arts funding so you definitely deserve a pat on the back. What to do next? If you’ve got funding, you’ll have already done a lot of planning and have a budget and proposed schedule so these are general tips as you head into your project.

Communicate. It’s obvious that one of your first jobs will be to confirm with your creative partners the project is happening, but it is also important to communicate exactly what is expected of each creative. Some roles may have a slightly different scope in different projects. For example, a Production Manager/Stage Manager/Producer can all have interchangeable elements depending on the project’s requirements. Be clear from the outset what is expected of who and where the buck stops, it will save headaches later down the line.

Expect the unexpected! We can’t predict the future, but the biggest tip for any Producer is anticipating where future problems could arise. Whether that’s physical issues with hire equipment or rehearsal space to time allocated for activities. There is never enough time (unless you’re the National) so get as much done as early as you can so when things inevitably hit a bump you’ll have a bit of wriggle room to solve the problem. On that note…

Allow contingency in your timeline as you do in money. The likelihood of something getting delayed, postponed or just take longer than expected is high. If you can give yourself any breathing space in your schedule then do it.

Twitter: @sarahgain

Insta: @sarahgainprod

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