Be clear and focused about your intentions and goals. Organizations offering grants, funding or residencies prefer artists with a sense of purpose and direction. Practice quantifying your needs so you know what opportunities to pursue.
Always read the instructions of any grant VERY carefully. The last thing you want is to be tossed out on a technicality. Whenever possible, speak with someone at the organization you’re applying to so you can get some basic info on their decision-making process.
Learn how to be an astute storyteller. Create a written description (and elevator pitch!) of your project(s) and state how you believe your work will advance you personally and, if applicable, also influence society in powerful ways.
Timing Is Everything
Grants and procrastination don’t mix. Always start your grant search early — at least two months in advance of the deadline so you can get everything together (including your inspiring pitch) drafted up, refined and tuned up before submitting.