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The Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development Grants

Grants to Chicago Metro Area Non-Profits for
Organizational Development for Arts Organizations

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development, in partnership with the Chicago Community Trust

Deadline Date:



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Grants ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 to Illinois non-profit arts and cultural organizations that focus on presenting, producing, or providing quality arts programming and/or on enhancing the capacity of individual artists or small arts and cultural organizations in the Chicago Metropolitan area. The purpose of these grants is to provide financial assistance to promote organizational development among Chicago area arts organizations.

The Arts Work Fund assists small arts and cultural organizations to develop sustainable organizational capacity. Grant funded projects may take a variety of forms, each tailored specifically to the organization receiving the award. Eligible project categories and examples, include, but are not limited to:
* marketing research and planning and audience development efforts
* strengthening financial management and fund development capacity
* improving board functioning and governance
* identifying and addressing structural and operational issues
* establishing or refining personnel or volunteer management systems
* organizational and executive coaching
* business, strategic, and succession planning
* creating new collaborative efforts among arts organizations
* technology planning

Applicants are strongly encouraged to think creatively and to focus on critical capacity-development needs that, if addressed, would enable the organization to do its best work. The majority of grants support consulting fees and associated project costs related to working with outside experts.

The Arts Work Fund understands that organizational development is an ongoing process. The Fund expects that organizations will utilize its grants to take a progressive step forward. Given that, the Fund welcomes organizations to apply for additional support upon completion of their currently-funded project. Organizations need not wait a year, nor is there a limit on the number of grants an organization can receive.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 129662

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $15,000

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Arts and cultural organizations that meet the following criteria are welcome to apply for a grant:
• A mission primarily focused on presenting, producing, or providing arts programming and/or on serving and enhancing the capacity of individual artists or small arts and cultural organizations;
• A three-year operating history after incorporation as an Illinois nonprofit;
• A current IRS 501(c)(3) public charity designation determination letter;
• Annual operating expenses between $50,000 and $999,999, as reflected in the most recently filed I.R.S. Form 990 or audit;
• At least one paid staff and a minimum of five board members;
• Located in and serve the six-county Chicago metropolitan region (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties); and
• If a former Arts Work Fund grant recipient, must have submitted a final report for previous grant activities. (The final report may be filed together with a new application for funding.)

Note: Programs organizationally or financially connected to colleges, universities, or religious organizations are unlikely to receive a grant from the Arts Work Fund, even if the program is operated separately.

Ineligible Costs:
• Operation and program expenses
• Debt retirement, endowments or capital campaigns
• Fundraising events/lobbying activities
• Staff salaries
• Purchase of computers or other equipment
• Purchase of software, unless integrally related to the project for which funding is being sought
• Annual audits
• Conference or workshop fees
• Reimbursement for work completed prior to a grant award

Pre-Application Information:

There are two ways to submit applications:
1. Submit the proposal cover sheet, proposal narrative and all required attachments via the online cover sheet, available on the website at; or
2. Submit the proposal cover sheet online, and then submit the narrative and attachments via email to, and/or via mail to:

Marcia Festen, Director
Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development
P.O. Box 577309
Chicago, IL 60657-7309

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development
P.O. Box 577309
Chicago, IL 60657-7309
773.296.2601 PHONE
773.435.6532 FAX

Marcia Festen
Director, Arts Work Fund

Grant Coverage Areas:

The six-county Chicago metropolitan region (Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will counties)

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Attached Files:

Geographic Focus:

USA: Illinois