Before You Apply

Is the ORBI grant program right for your project?

It depends.  You should be aware of some facts about all grant programs:

  • All grant programs are competitive.
  • All grant programs only have a finite amount of money to award at any one time.
  • All government agencies and foundations are looking for specific kinds of projects to fund.
  • All grant applications are limited to certain information and a certain number of pages.

Because there is always a finite amount of money to be awarded each year or grant cycle, you can never depend on grant funding year after year.  You must build a strong local base for your funding through admissions, sponsors and donors.

The only thing that changes from grant cycle to grant cycle is the quantity and quality of applications.  Your project may be funded this year, but the same project may fail next year because the quality of applicants next year may be higher.  This has happened in the ORBI grant program.  The program didn’t change.  The applicants did.

Because funders are looking for specific kinds of projects, you must do your homework.  If a funder offers information and help, take full advantage of what the funder has to offer.  In the ORBI grant program, we offer one-on-one assistance.  In the 1999 program, there were 24 applicants, but only 5 of them contacted the Project Director for assistance before the applicant deadline.  Only 2 of those called far enough in advance to receive help in planning and developing their projects.  If you don’t know what the funder wants, you cannot produce a good application.

After you do your homework, you must produce a clear, succinct, and complete, description of your project within the limits of the application.  The grant panel cannot evaluate a project unless it knows:

  • The organization’s purpose and activities, including the founding date,
  • The project’s purpose,
  • Who will be involved,
  • What they will be doing,
  • Where the project will take place,
  • When it will happen,
  • The impact of the project on the people involved.

If you have a well defined and planned project, you should be able to write a description that is rich in facts and specifics.  If you have not done your homework, have not planned your project, and have not clearly identified the other people and groups that will be working with you, you will write a description that is very vague and general.  You will have trouble describing your project in the space provided, because you don’t know exactly what you are going to do.

So:

  • Rely on local, reliable funding sources for your basic operating funds,
  • Have a clearly defined project,
  • Do your homework about the funder to which you are applying,
  • Line up all the specifics of your project before you write your grant application.

The ORBI Project Director will read drafts of applications and offer comments, but complete drafts of applications, including budget forms and at least a list of support materials must be provided at least two weeks before the application deadline.  Remember that the Project Director has no role in the grant decision-making process.  His comments and suggestions in no way guarantee the success of your application with the grant panel.

Below is a look at past grant reviews from 2006 to 2010 to give you a look at how our grant applications are reviewed.

Here are important items to note as you review ORBI’s grants from year to year:

  1. Two of our four grant panelists are new each year.  The perspectives and experience of our panels changes from year to year.
  2. In recent years, we have awarded $36,000 per year in our annual grant program.  While our amount remains the same, the number and amount of funding requested varies every year.  You can see, from the grant awards below, which years were more competitive than others by looking at the number of applicants who received the maximum $3000 grant award.
  3. Some applicants are favorites with our grant panels because their projects embody ORBI grant guidelines, and because they have a strong track record.  Also note that there are always new projects being funded.  Some have become well established as a result.  A strong project, with a strong application will always be competitive in the ORBI process.
  4. First time applicants should ALWAYS call the Project Director to discuss a prospective application.  First time applicants should ALWAYS plan to submit a draft application at least two weeks before the grant application deadline to the Project Director.

2012 ORBI Grant Awards

Project

Organization

Grant Award

Art in the Village Middleport, OH Riverbend Arts Council $1,189.25
WV Artist Residency Martins Ferry, OH MITCH Collective $1,058.00
Children’s Theater Program, Parkersburg, WV Guild Builders $2,250.00
Artist Residency at the Museum, Wheeling, WV Children’s Museum of the Ohio Valley $2,250.00
Arts in the Park, New Martinsville, WV Artslink $1,319.75
Stories at the Rivers Edge Series, Various venues, WV & OH West Virginia Storytelling Guild $2,250.00
Theater Production, Pomeroy, OH River City Players $1,058.00
Young People’s Concerts, Wheeling, WV Wheeling Symphony Society $2,250.00
Very Spectacular Arts Program, Parkersburg, WV Artsbridge $1,750.00
Annual Summer Concert Series, Steubenville, OH Old Fort Steuben $2,625.00
Youth Theater Production, Marietta, OH Theatre de Jeunesse $2,625.00
Towngate Traveling Children’s Production, Various venues, OH & WV Oglebay Institute $2,250.00
Evergreen Arts & Humanities Series, Marietta, OH Washington State Comm. College Fdn. $2,625.00
Native American pow-wow, Gallipolis, OH Native American Education Association $2,250.00
Winter ballet performance and master classes, Huntington, WV Huntington Dance Theatre $2,625.00
Winter ballet performance and master classes, Parkersburg, WV Schrader Youth Ballet $2,625.00
Museum Making Connections, OH & WV schools Huntington Museum of Art $2,250.00
Target Schools Project, Montclaire String Quartet, OH & WV schools WV Symphony Parkersburg $2,250.00

2011 ORBI Grant Awards

Project

Organization

Grant Award

Children’s Theater Program French Art Colony $2,000.00
Huntington Festival WV Blues Society $1,800.00
Children’s Theater Program Guild Builders $2,860.00
Mural Project East Liverpool Temple Company $1,000.00
Arts in the Park Artslink $1,500.00
Ballet Concert with Schrader Youth Ballet River Cities Symphony Orchestra $2,860.00
Stories at the Rivers Edge Series West Virginia Storytelling Guild $2,860.00
Artists’ Fees for Festival Mid-Ohio Multicultural Festival $2,000.00
Young People’s Concerts Wheeling Symphony Society $2,000.00
Very Spectacular Arts Program Artsbridge $2,860.00
Annual Summer Concert Series Old Fort Steuben $2,860.00
Annual Film Festival Colony Historical Theatre Association $1,400.00
Evergreen Arts & Humanities Series Washington State Comm. College Fdn. $2,000.00
Native American pow-wow Native American Education Association $2,000.00
Winter ballet performance and master classes Huntington Dance Theatre $1,500.00
Blues and Arts Festival Foothills Music Foundation $2,500.00
Target Schools Project, Montclaire String Quartet WV Symphony Parkersburg $2,000.00

2010 ORBI Grant Awards

Project Organization Grant Award
Arts in the Park 2010 program, Middleport, OH Riverbend Arts Council $2,250.00
Ballet Concert with Schrader Youth Ballet River Cities Symphony Orchestra $3,000.00
Children’s Theater Program at Actors’ Guild of Parkersburg, WV Guild Builders $3,000.00
Artist fees for Arts in the Park festival, New Martinsville, WV Artslink $1,500.00
Artists’ fees for 2011 festival in Parkersburg, WV Mid-Ohio Multi-Cultural Festival $3,000.00
Youth Theater Production Theatre de Jeunesse* $2,000.00
Young people’s concerts for Ohio and West Virginia schools, Wheeling, WV Wheeling Sympyhony Society $1,000.00
Stories at the River’s Edge Series WV Storytelling Guild $2,800.00
Very Spectacular Arts Program Artsbridge $3,000.00
Summer Concert Series, Steubenville, OH Old Fort Steuben Project $1,500.00
Winter ballet performance and master classes for dance students in Lawrence Co., OH and Cabell Co., WV area Huntington Dance Theatre $1,950.00
Blues and Arts Festival in Pomeroy, OH Foothills Music Foundation $3,000.00
Target Schools Project, Montclaire String Quartet WV Symphony Parkersburg $2,000.00
Native American pow-wow and education programs in Gallipolis, OH Native American Education Association $3,000.00
New films festival for emerging filmmakers in WV and OH Colony Historical Theatre Association $3,000.00

*denotes first time grantee

2009 ORBI Grant Awards

Project Organization Grant Award
Festival Exhibit WV and OH artists French Art Colony $2,500.00
Children’s Theater Program at Actors’ Guild of Parkersburg, WV Guild Builders $3,000.00
Artist and crafts demonstrator fees at festival in New Martinsville, WV Artslink $1,500.00
Artists’ fees for 2010 festival in Parkersburg, WV Mid-Ohio Multi-Cultural Festival $3,000.00
Evergreen Arts and Humanities Series in Marietta, OH and Parkersburg, WV Washington State Community College Foundation $3,000.00
Young people’s concerts for Ohio and West Virginia schools, Wheeling, WV Wheeling Sympyhony Society $3,000.00
Museum Making Connections program providing elementary school programming in OH, WV and KY schools Huntington Museum of Art, Inc. $3,000.00
Scottish Heritage Celebration Belpre Historical Society* $800.00
Summer Concert Series, Steubenville, OH Old Fort Steuben Project $3,000.00
Winter ballet performance and master classes for dance students in Lawrence Co., OH and Cabell Co., WV area Huntington Dance Theatre $1,700.00
Blues and Arts Festival in Pomeroy, OH Foothills Music Foundation $3,000.00
Outreach to WV theater organizations and playwrights for Humble Play Festival of new works Arts/WEST $2,500.00
Native American pow-wow and education programs in Gallipolis, OH Native American Education Association $3,000.00
New films festival for emerging filmmakers in WV and OH Colony Historical Theatre Association $3,000.00

*denotes first time grantee

2008 ORBI Grant Awards

Project Organization Grant Award
Montclair String Quartet in Washington Co., OH and Wood Co., WV schools WV Symphony Orchestra, Parkersburg $2,500.00
Exhibition of purchase award works from 40 years of annual exhibit of WV and OH artists French Art Colony $1,500.00
Children’s Theater Program at Actors’ Guild of Parkersburg, WV Guild Builders $2,000.00
2007 Holiday Performances and Master Classes, Parkersburg, WV Schrader Youth Ballet Company $1,000.00
Summer program of regional WV and OH storytellers in Middleport, OH, Mason, WV, Ripley, WV and Ravenswood, WV Riverbend Arts Council $2,700.00
Artist and crafts demonstrator fees at festival in New Martinsville, WV Artslink $750.00
Artists’ fees for 2009 festival in Parkersburg, WV Mid-Ohio Multi-Cultural Festival $2,500.00
Evergreen Arts and Humanities Series in Marietta, OH and Parkersburg, WV Washington State Community College Foundation $1,500.00
Young people’s concerts for Ohio and West Virginia schools, Wheeling, WV Wheeling Sympyhony Society $2,600.00
Museum Making Connections program providing elementary school programming in OH, WV and KY schools Huntington Museum of Art, Inc. $2,500.00
2008 biennial exhibition of paintings by WV and OH artists Tri-State Arts Association $1,500.00
Youth Theater Program, Monroe Co., OH Oglebay Institute $1,500.00
Annual student art show at gallery for students from Wheeling, WV area, Shadyside, OH and Martins Ferry, OH ArtWorks Around Town* $1,500.00
Summer Concert Series, Steubenville, OH Old Fort Steuben Project $2,000.00
Winter ballet performance and master classes for dance students in Lawrence Co., OH and Cabell Co., WV area Huntington Dance Theatre* $1,500.00
Blues and Arts Festival in Pomeroy, OH Foothills Music Foundation* $2,000.00
Outreach to WV theater organizations and playwrights for Humble Play Festival of new works Arts/WEST* $2,700.00
Native American pow-wow and education programs in Gallipolis, OH Native American Education Association* $2,250.00
New films festival for emerging filmmakers in WV and OH Colony Historical Theatre Association* $1,500.00

*denotes first time grantee

2007 ORBI Grant Awards

Project Organization Grant Award
Montclair String Quartet in Washington Co., OH and Wood Co., WV schools WV Symphony Orchestra, Parkersburg $2,300.00
Summer Festival Exhibit in Gallipolis, OH French Art Colony $1,500.00
Children’s Theater Program at Actors’ Guild of Parkersburg, WV Guild Builders $3,000.00
2007 Holiday Performances and Master Classes, Parkersburg, WV Schrader Youth Ballet Company $1,900.00
Storytelling Programs, Meigs Co., OH and Mason Co., WV Riverbend Arts Council $1,450.00
Artist and crafts demonstrator fees at festival in New Martinsville, WV Artslink $1,500.00
Artists’ fees for 2008 festival in Parkersburg, WV Mid-Ohio Multi-Cultural Festival $3,000.00
Evergreen Arts and Humanities Series in Marietta, OH and Parkersburg, WV Washington State Community College Foundation $3,000.00
Young people’s concerts for Ohio and West Virginia schools Wheeling Sympyhony Society $2,300.00
Storyteller performance, Ripley, WV Arts at the Alpine* $585.00
Very Special Arts program, Parkersburg, WV Artsbridge $2,700.00
Youth Theater Program, Monroe Co., OH Oglebay Institute* $2,300.00
Artist residency in Washington Co., OH & Wood Co., WV schools The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society $2,500.00
First Annual Summer Concert Series, Steubenville, OH Old Fort Steuben Project $1,500.00
Miniatures Exhibition, Huntington, WV Renaissance Art Gallery* $590.00
2006 ORBI Grant Awards

Project Organization Grant Award
Montclair String Quartet in Washington Co., OH and Wood Co., WV schools WV Symphony Orchestra, Parkersburg $2,920.00
Summer Festival Exhibit in Gallipolis, OH French Art Colony $2,460.00
Children’s Theater Program at Actors’ Guild of Parkersburg, WV Guild Builders $2,920.00
2006 Holiday Performances and Master Classes, Parkersburg, WV Schrader Youth Ballet Company $1,600.00
Bi-annual regional artists’ exhibition in Huntington, WV Tri State Arts Association* $2,500.00
Artist and crafts demonstrator fees at festival in New Martinsville, WV Artslink $1,500.00
Artists’ fees for 2007 festival in Parkersburg, WV Mid-Ohio Multi-Cultural Festival $2,920.00
Evergreen Arts and Humanities Series in Marietta, OH and Parkersburg, WV Washington State Community College Foundation $2,920.00
Young people’s concerts for Ohio and West Virginia schools Wheeling Sympyhony Society $2,920.00
Museum Making Connections: Elementary Schools, OH, WV, KY Huntington Museum of Art $2,920.00
Artist residency in OH & WV schools The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society $2,920.00

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