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Operating Support Grant Program

Grants to Minnesota Arts
Nonprofits for General Support

Agency Type:

State

Funding Source:

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Minnesota State Arts Board

Conf. Date:

12/19/19

Deadline Date:

01/17/20 4:30 PM

Description:

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Grants to Minnesota nonprofit arts organizations for general operating support. New applicants are encouraged to contact the Funding Source prior to applying. Funding is intended to support organizations that provide services to artists, organizations that exhibit, present, and produce art, and arts conservatories and schools.

Operating Support is a grant program that provides general support to high quality, established arts organizations that produce, present, or exhibit works of art; to organizations that provide a broad range of services to artists; and to community arts schools and conservatories that make arts learning available to Minnesotans of all ages and abilities.

The program recognizes that organizations with an established record of programmatic service and administrative stability should have access to funds to support their organizational goals and objectives, and to maintain their ongoing programs, services, and facilities without special emphasis on new initiatives as justification for funding. 

By ensuring that sufficient resources are available to sustain the arts and arts organizations, the Operating Support program is dedicated to achieving the following Arts Board long-term strategic outcomes:

  • Minnesotans learn, grow, or change because they participate in quality arts experiences;
  • Minnesotans are more likely to participate in the arts because arts experiences are relevant and accessible;
  • Minnesota communities are stronger or more vibrant because of art’s impact on social, civic, or economic life;
  • Arts organizations effectively manage and strategically apply resources to maximize impact for Minnesotans.

Operating Support grants include two components:

  • Formula award
  • Merit award 

See http://www.arts.state.mn.us/pubs/pubs/fy2021-opsup-overview-and-instructions.pdf#page=9 for more information.

The Operating Support grant program uses a four-year grant cycle. There are two types of application reviews: full application review and interim application review. For more information, see: http://www.arts.state.mn.us/pubs/pubs/fy2021-opsup-overview-and-instructions.pdf#page=10.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 136384

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Varies; minimum award amount is $15,000.
- Formula award will vary, depending on the overall number of grantees and the total dollars available for this program, and will be based on the applicant’s two-year qualifying expenses, as verified by financial information required with the application.
- Merit award will vary based on the total dollars available for this program, the number of grantees in the budget group that are recommended for merit awards, and the applicant’s most recent advisory panel review score as compared to the scores of other grantees in the budget group.
- During any year, a grantee may receive no more than 50 percent of its total operating expenses from the Arts Board.
- The Arts Board is unable to commit to a specific grant amount for the multiyear grant cycle. The grant amount will vary each year of the four-year period; each year, the grantee will be notified of its grant amount.

Term of Contract:

- The Operating Support grant program uses a four-year grant cycle. The board will make a commitment to provide annual grants for a four-year period.
- FY2021 funds must be expended by June 30, 2021.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for the Operating Support program, applicants must be structured in one of the following ways:
- A nonprofit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt arts organization with an arts focused mission; or
- An arts affiliate, operating as a distinct arts focused program hosted within a Minnesota public or nonprofit 501(c)(3) nonarts institution

AND must be one of the following:
- An arts producing organization,
- An arts presenting organization,
- A community arts school or conservatory, or
- An artist service organization

All applicants must:
- Be physically located in Minnesota. The majority of an applicant’s arts programming, services, or activities must take place in Minnesota, and must primarily serve and engage Minnesota audiences and participants;
- Have been in existence and actively providing arts programming in Minnesota for two consecutive full years before applying to the Operating Support grant program for the first time;
- Have two-year qualifying expenses, averaged over fiscal years 2017 and 2018, of $174,000 or more;
- Receive at least ten percent of its total unrestricted revenue from charitable arts support, averaged over fiscal years 2017 and 2018;
- Have at least one paid, professional, administrative staff person in a contract or salaried position (i.e., someone to whom the organization issues a W-2 or 1099 form).

For additional eligibility information and requirements, see: http://www.arts.state.mn.us/pubs/pubs/fy2021-opsup-overview-and-instructions.pdf#page=5.

Ineligible Applicants:
- Any state agency, public institution, or nonprofit organization that receives a legislative appropriation or legislatively mandated grant from the State of Minnesota’s arts and cultural heritage fund is not eligible to receive an Arts Board Operating Support grant for the same fiscal year that it receives the appropriation or legislatively mandated grant.
- Any project, program, or division housed within or affiliated with a state agency, public institution, or nonprofit organization that receives a legislative appropriation or legislatively mandated grant from the State of Minnesota’s arts and cultural heritage fund is not eligible to receive an Arts Board Operating Support grant for the same fiscal year that it receives the appropriation or legislatively mandated grant.
- An affiliate and its host institution may not both receive funding in the Operating Support program. However, more than one affiliate of the same host may receive funding.
- Two separate organizations whose work supports or is based upon the same artists or arts programming — such as an organization and an associated “friends of” organization — may not both receive funding in the Operating Support program.

For Ineligible Proposals, see: http://www.arts.state.mn.us/pubs/pubs/fy2021-opsup-overview-and-instructions.pdf#page=6.

New applicants, or applicants that were not funded in the previous fiscal year, are welcome to apply in any application round.

Pre-proposal Conference:

The Minnesota State Arts Board is offering one-hour Webinars to help applicants prepare to apply for grant programs. These sessions will focus on program basics and applicant questions. The Webinars are free of charge, but advance registration is strongly encouraged. Each session is offered as a conference call with an option to view a PowerPoint presentation online. You must listen to the audio portion by telephone. If you are not able to participate in the conference call, but would like to view the PowerPoint used in the Webinar, it will be posted on the grant program Web page following the session.

The Operating Support Webinar is Thursday, December 19, 2019, 3:00 p.m. Register at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSePg8ovnsPDQw_HuZbB-_9DyUxsOFWfPCgFgAMk4T519uCZQQ/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1.

For more information about joining a session, see: http://www.arts.state.mn.us/calendar/information-sessions.htm.

Pre-Application Information:

FY 2021 applications must be submitted and accepted before 4:30 p.m. on Friday, January 17, 2020.

Important dates:
- Application Deadline: January 17, 2020
- Board Approval: July 2020
For a full calendar of events, see: http://www.arts.state.mn.us/calendar/index.htm.

First time applicants are encouraged to carefully review the Program Overview and Application Instructions and then call the program officer prior to beginning an application.

50 percent cap: During any year, a grantee may receive no more than 50 percent of its total operating expenses from the Arts Board.

A full application is required for new applicants and those returning applicants who have reached the end of a multiyear grant cycle. An interim application is required for returning applicants in each subsequent year of the multiyear commitment. The application requirements for full and interim applications are different; current grantees should refer to the FY 2020 returning grantee interim or full application list to ensure they submit the correct application.

For sample applications, see URL for Full Text below.

All applicants are required to use the WebGrants system to apply, and will submit all materials electronically. Applicants must be a registered user. New users need to register in advance in order to create an account and set up a user ID and password.

Two online tutorials are available to acquaint users with the WebGrants system:
- How to register as a WebGrants user: http://www.arts.state.mn.us/training-and-info/2012-10-wg-reg/
- How to use WebGrants: http://www.arts.state.mn.us/training-and-info/2012-11-wg-nav/

For an application checklist, see: http://www.arts.state.mn.us/pubs/pubs/fy2021-opsup-overview-and-instructions.pdf#page=15.

Contact Information:

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

Application: https://apply.mnartsboard.com/index.do

If you have questions or need assistance
If you have questions about the content of the application form or narrative, please contact:
Richard Hitchler, program officer
(651) 539-2653
Richard.Hitchler@arts.state.mn.us

If you have questions about the required financial documents, please contact:
Dave White, director, finance and grants administration
(651) 539-2669
David.White@arts.state.mn.us

If you have questions about the technical aspects of the application form, or questions about electronic submission, please contact:
Tom Miller, project manager
(651) 539-2660
Apply.Arts@state.mn.us
E-mail is preferred.

All staff can be reached toll-free at (800) 866-2787.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota

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