Here is more information about what MAP is asking for, and how we are asking panelists to look at your budget spreadsheet.
1) We encourage you to submit the dream version of your expenses (rather than the “it will happen with duct-tape” version).
Our rationale for asking for the dream is two-fold:
a) As a re-granting organization, it is important that we share with our funders what it would actually take to do the most fully realized, resourced version of the artist’s vision.
b) MAP can fund up to 30% of your full expenses budget. An “undercut” budget won’t increase your chances of being funded, and might reduce your eventual award amount if you do get funded.
2) When you put the dream numbers on the expense side (“Actually, I’d really like to make $3000 instead of $1500 for this work”). Please list income you have a clear plan or expectation to raise, rather than artificially trying to balance the expenses side. MAP panelists know that our job is to help make your dreams a reality in a difficult world.
Don’t worry about balancing it to the penny. Panelists understand the budgeting process, and it’s preferable to demonstrate a realistic ballpark than to name grants you wouldn’t have otherwise included simply to zero out that balance.
3) How is MAP asking its panelists to think about my budget?
MAP is trying to reduce the role budgets play in terms of potential panel bias.
Rather than considering funds raised to date, we will ask panelists to consider the scale of the ideas and whether the budget presented more or less reflects that scale, and/or adds to their understanding of the project description in some way.
Here’s an example of how a MAP panelist might respond to a fictional budget. Notice how she’s using the budget to give context to the narrative and the rest of the proposal; this is how we ask our panelists to work, “Yes, given my experience I think $85K is a great ballpark, which factors in the technological components that were so prominent in the narrative. I also see that they’ve added a line in for the elder community member they mentioned briefly in the proposal. Awesome to know there is an intention to pay this advisor to the project. It speaks to the ethics embedded in the process. That was a lingering question from the project description, which the budget helps clarify. I do see they have a ways to go in terms of fundraising, but MAP’s criteria does not state that they needed to demonstrate a percentage of funds raised to date. This gives us as a panel an opportunity to consider a ‘seed’ award that might attract more resources in the future.”