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Grant-in-Aid (GIA)

The purpose of the Alaska State Museum Grant-in-Aid Program is to help Alaska museums reach their full potential as stewards of culture, resources, and community.

What to do

  • Know and follow the instructions and rules. 
  • When in doubt – ASK!  Not knowing or understanding something could put your application, and thus funding, at risk.
  • Locate and look at your most recent Strategic Plan.  This is especially important for regular GIA grant applications (less necessary for Mini-grants).  A strong application will be able to point to a current, approved-by-your-board (or Director), dated Plan.  A wonderfully strong application will be able to point to language within that Strategic Plan that supports the idea put forth in your GIA application (the point of your project proposal).
  • Proofread your narrative, please.
  • Be prepared to write more than one draft, and have multiple people edit it.
  • Know the submission deadline and submit a day or two early if possible.
  • Be concise – explanation and detail should add support, rather than emotion or fillers
  • Address some basic questions:
    • Who? – will benefit? Will be involved? Will be responsible?
    • What? - is the specific project? are the goals? materials involved? are the concerns?
    • Where? – specific room in the museum? Out of town workshop?
    • When? – will the project start? End? Will you see results? How long will it last?
    • Why? – is this important? Should it be funded?
    • How? – will the project be undertaken? Evaluated? Successful?

Writing the narrative

  • Need, purpose, identifiable goals, and a persuasive reason why this project should be funded are the fundamentals for the narrative.
  • Only include extra background and detail if they support the above objectives.
  • Remember the "hook" – present your project as fulfilling the specific interests or goals of the funder, in this case: concise and simple reasoning why this grant will help your institution reach its full potential. This is critical, and success with this will make your application more persuasive and compelling.

Mini-Grant Questions De-coded

What do you wish to do with this grant?
Be simple and concise. State exactly what you want to accomplish, and the tools which will help you achieve the goals. List your anticipated budget, and account for every dollar. Be specific (such as: $600 collections database software; $10 Shipping and Handling);
Explain why you need this grant. Why is it a priority for your museum?
Discuss how this will your institution, how it will benefit the community, etc.
Are you using any other sources of funds or in-kind resources?
This question is asked to give a clearer and more complete picture of the proposed activity. This also indicates careful consideration and planning from the applicant.