Museums and Districts get Behind Grant-Writing
Writing a grant application should not be difficult, but it does require a few essential ingredients. At each of the eight Museum Grant Program Application Workshops, hosted by six of the Saskatchewan’s Districts for Sport, Culture and Recreation, museum staff had the opportunity to learn how ingredients, such as a summary of strategic actions for the upcoming year, a balanced budget, and careful attention to museum standards, can have a positive impact.
According to Bonnie Mills Midgley, community development coordinator, Rivers West District, “the workshop in Rosetown was very well attended and the museum staff and volunteers were eager to learn more about the application process.” SaskCulture representative Paul Gingras facilitated the workshops, providing an overview of each area of the grant application, answering questions, suggesting solutions to participant concerns and challenges. Mills Midgley noted that attendees also used the time to make personal connections with other museum representatives.
“They were given the chance to share challenges and successes with other museums. It encourages them to develop some new ideas, and it has whetted their appetites to travel and see what other museums are doing,” adds Mills Midgley. The six Districts that hosted sessions, Rivers West, Lakeland, Prairie Central, Parkland Valley, Southeast Connection and South West - also benefited from the opportunity to meet and make connections with museum representatives.
Wendy Fitch, executive director, Museums Association of Saskatchewan (MAS), feels the workshops have been successful in helping museums with the application process. “Those who attended the workshops were generally better prepared,” she says, “and were able to put forward a better application to the jury.” Ensuring that museums have grant-writing skills is important to MAS; however, as a registered charity they are limited by legislation in offering grant-writing training opportunities.
“We were pleased that SaskCulture was able to offer this training. It demonstrates their commitment to being more than simply a granting agency for the cultural sector,” says Fitch. “SaskCulture listened to our concerns and included us in the solution.”