Got a big idea? Needs some money to make it happen? Then Ideas Fund is for you. But there are a few common mistakes that crop up in each round of applications that may be standing between you and some cold hard cash. If you’re thinking of applying, make sure you’re not doing any of these…
1. Nothing in your portfolio
Let’s start with the basics, shall we? If we’re going to give you a shedload of cash, we want to know something about you. No profile picture, no work, no examples of your style, nothing to back up the claims made in your application? We’re left with nothing, which is a titanic waste of an opportunity. Having a portfolio crammed full of work will show us how likely you are to deliver your project, how that project might look and where you might need help. Want to make a film? Show us a film you’ve made. Geddit?
Speaking of which, it’s not just enough to say what your project is about – you need to say what it actually is. Is it a film? Is it a play? Is it an exhibition? It may sound silly, but you’d be amazed how many applications forget to make it clear.
2. Messing about with the application form
If you were asked to fill in a form at customs, would you go away, write the answers on a postcard/napkin/piece of bread and then hand it back to the unsmiling official behind the desk? No. No, you wouldn’t. In much the same way, we need you to upload a completed IdeasTap application form (you can download it from the brief page) when you apply – not a script, image or document of your own making.
If you really do need to re-format the application form, then please make sure you’ve included all the information asked for on the IdeasTap application form. The contact info, for instance, is very important for when we want to get in touch.
If you do have any problems uploading anything or downloading the application form or attaching it when you’re submitting, please check our Help Centre or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Not reading the terms and conditions
We know when you haven’t read these. Because you apply with projects that, under the terms and conditions, are ineligible. You cannot use the Ideas Fund solely on equipment, on professional development and training or on a project that is part of your education, eg your graduation show. So, before you apply, for the love of fivers read the terms and conditions and check that your project is eligible.
4. Not including a budget
We get it – you’re not the Chancellor of the Exchequer. You may not have much experience of drawing up budgets. But without seeing your budget, we have no way to judge your ability to deliver, how well you understand what your costs are or how you’ll cover them. We even have a Creating a Project Budget template you can use to help you, so don’t just miss it out!
5. Doing it all yourself
Being a really driven, super-focused lone wolf is great, particularly in boxing films. But, IdeasTap is all about collaboration. Make sure that you’ve included a referee in your application – someone who knows you in a professional context or has worked with you before, even if that’s just a teacher.
Also, get someone who knows nothing about the project to read over your application. Check if they can understand it and if not, fix it before sending it to us.
And one more for luck…
Check the details. IdeasTap is one word with a capital I and a capital T. It may seem like a silly detail, but details count. We want to know you’ve done a bit of research into us and our funding – getting our name right is a pretty good indication that you have.
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Image by formatbrain, under a CC BY 2.0 license.
Read more about Ideas Fund on our funding site.
To apply for Ideas Fund Innovators, visit the brief.