October 1, 2017 • Newsletter
October is definitely my favorite month. It’s a month full of sweaters and jeans, spicy teas, and baseball playoffs. And if fundraising is part of your reality, October may also mean grant writing and grant reports. So October might not necessarily be your favorite month. I’m sorry. Would you like some spicy tea? It helps, I promise.
The truth is, October is busy. Really busy. There are plenty of things to do before the end of the year, and the holiday décor that already starts appearing reminds us that the end of the year is right around the corner.
But all of those things are a bit easier if you have a clear sense of the story of your creative practice: Who do you serve? What do you do really, really well? And what do you need to do it? A clear answer to those three questions will enable you to write compelling grants, grant reports, investment proposals, and marketing pitches. But the financial part of that story is equally important. What is your financial story? Is it one connected to grants and fundraising, measuring impact and connecting that impact to your work? Or is it a story of earned income, which is driven more by cultivating customers, clients, or collectors and delivering value?
There is no singular right answer to these questions, no magic financial story that makes for a successful career. But there is probably a right answer for you. Spend some time this month, thinking through that story…
- Review the income part of your budget. What is your biggest “category” of income? Who are your three biggest funders?
- Describe the funding story you want to tell as part of your creative business. If the story you want to tell is different than the story you are telling, think about changing it this month.
- Build intention around the financial choices you make when it comes to earning income.
Keep the answers to these questions in mind. They will come in handy as you start building your 2018 budget, especially if you’ll be working on telling a different funding story next year. Until then, all the best with your creative empowerment…