When new filmmakers and Cable TV Producers think about how to raise money, they often turn to crowdfunding. While that can certainly be an effective way to raise funds (see our article, “Insights and Tips from Three Successful Crowdfunders“), another source of funding can also come from grants.
Some individual artists get discouraged when they discover that many grants are open only to non-profit organizations. A way around this is to find a fiscal sponsor with which to partner. Essentially the fiscal sponsor “loans” their non-profit status, legitimizing non-profit status for the artist. In exchange, they typically take between 5% and 12% of the funding that is raised. For more about fiscal sponsorship, check out our article “Fiscal Sponsorship: What’s It All About.”
Below is a list of organizations that maintain lists of grants available to individuals and non-profits for the making of documentaries, shorts, narrative films and public television programming (Please note that there may be some overlap between lists) :
- POV Documentary Funding Sources – POV lists over 70 grants, ranging from general funding to emerging and established filmmakers, to others that are based on geography, gender, ethnicity or subject matter.
- FilmProposals.com List of Film and Screenwriting Grants – Close to 40 grants that apply to various aspects of filmmaking and screenwriting.
- Association of Public Television Stations – The Grant Center for Public Media maintains a topic-based list of grants available to those seeking to create programming in the are of public television.
- WomenArts – WomenArts maintains a list of grants that have a specific focus in underwriting works by women, or in which women were principle creators.
- Desktop Documentaries – A list of 20 grants available for those interested in making documentaries.
- International Documentary Association – An extensive list of grants for creating documentaries, some based on geographic location and others on subject matter or life cycle of the film.
- No Film School – As they phrase it “A Massive List of Grants All Filmmakers Should Know About.”
Now that you have the tools in your hands to find funding, good luck and go get ’em!