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General Operating Support Grants Level II (GOS II)

Grants to Maryland Arts and Humanities Nonprofits
in Eligible Counties for Operating Expenses

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC)

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

03/13/20 11:59 PM


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Grants to Maryland nonprofit arts and humanities organizations and divisions in eligible counties to support organizational operations. Applicants must submit a letter of intent prior to submitting an application. Funding is intended to promote financial stability, build capacity, and encourage the community partnerships of arts and humanities organizations located in and serving Montgomery County.

GOS II is a highly competitive and rigorous category. Rather than simply focusing on the grant award, applicants are encouraged to consider organizational capacity, financial stability, and right-sizing. When determining which funding opportunity is the most appropriate fit, applicants should also consider which category will allow the organization to grow their organizations in a healthy, protracted manner, strengthen sustainability, and create strong partnerships in the community.

By awarding GOS II Grants, the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) seeks to:

  • Encourage organizations to maintain an active, two-way, ongoing relationship between the organization and the community in the planning, participation, and evaluation of public activity/activities, which include intentional strategies for diversity, equity, access, and inclusion;
  • Promote stability in arts and humanities organizations by providing a base of funding to support operating budgets;
  • Help ensure diverse arts and humanities experiences for constituents of Montgomery County;
  • Stimulate local support and involvement in the arts and humanities, including volunteer participation, audience development, and financial contributions;
  • Strengthen the scholarly and artistic capabilities of arts and humanities organizations;
  • Improve and/or stabilize the management infrastructure and effectiveness of arts and humanities organizations.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 139554

Estimated Size of Grant:

No grant award will exceed $600,000.

The grant awards for recommended GOS II applicants are based on a percentage of the organization’s average total allowable cash expenses and/or allowable cash income during the past three consecutive completed fiscal years, the panel’s ratings, total number of eligible applicants, and the public dollars available.

Term of Contract:

Two-year grants for activities occurring from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Grants are available to nonprofit arts and humanities organizations that had both cash operating expenses and cash operating income of more than $150,000 during its most recently completed fiscal year. Grants are also available for an arts and/or humanities division within an umbrella nonprofit organization, provided that the division’s cash operating expenses and cash operating income were more than $150,000 during the most recently completed fiscal year.

An organization is eligible to apply for FY20 GOS II Grant if it is not applying in any other AHCMC grant category within the same fiscal year, with the exception of the Advancement Grants or Capital Improvement Project Grants, and if the applicant qualifies as (A) Core Arts or Humanities Organization; (B) Affiliate Arts or Humanities Organization; or (C) Associate Arts or Humanities Organization, as defined below.

An organization is a Core Arts or Humanities Organization if it meets all the following criteria for at least the previous three consecutive fiscal years immediately prior to the application deadline and continues to meet these criteria in both FY21 and FY22:
- Has as its primary mission the exhibition, presentation, production or performance of, and/or education in, an arts and/or humanities discipline, and/or provides support services for artists and/or scholars and/or for arts and/or humanities organizations;
- Had both cash operating expenses and cash operating income of more than $150,000;
- Demonstrates 501(c)(3) status through one of the following ways:
1. The applicant has 501 (c)(3) status, as evidenced by their IRS Letter of Determination;
2. It operates as a specific arts and/or humanities entity or division within a larger 501 (c)(3) organization whose primary mission is not arts or humanities based; or
3. Has its primary office in Montgomery County;
- Is governed by an independent, legally liable Board of Directors operating under a mission statement for the organization and an operating budget specific to the organization;
- A minimum of 40% of the applicant organization’s Board members reside and/or work in Montgomery County at the application deadline;
- Has a full-time (35-hours or more) paid executive director, CEO, managing director, or comparable position, who reports directly to the organization’s Board of Directors and has had that position filled for no fewer than six of the 12-months prior to submitting the application;
- Offers no less than 51% of its programs and services in Montgomery County and these programs and services are open to the public, with or without an admission fee; and
- Has fulfilled all outstanding requirements for any grant(s) received from the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County in prior years.

For information about Affiliate and Associate Arts or Humanities Organizations, see

Non-allowable cash operating expenses include, but are not limited to:
- Investment Fees
- Interest Expenses
- Re-granting
- Capital improvements/other related costs
- Depreciation
- Loan principal payments
- In-kind donations
- Bad debt

Non-allowable cash operating income include, but not limited to:
- Unrealized gains or losses
- Investment revenues (interest and dividends)
- In-kind donations
- Revenue raised for capital
- Funds intended for re-granting

Costs related to improving or expanding the organization’s physical structure or purchasing equipment that would be covered by Capital Improvement Project Grants must be counted as capital expenses, not as operating expenses.

For additional grant limitations, see:

Pre-proposal Conference:

Workshops and webinars allow grant-seekers to ask AHCMC grants staff specific questions about the grant guidelines, application, and FluidReview online grant portal. At each workshop and webinar, grants staff will review major eligibility requirements, present an overview of the grant category, and offer technical assistance for the application process and use of the FluidReview online grants portal.

Workshops at AHCMC:
Wednesday, February 5, 2020 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Registration coming soon

Monday, February 10, 2020 from 3:00 -4:00 p.m.
Registration coming soon

All AHCMC webinars will be hosted through the Zoom platform. Go to the Workshops and Webinars page to see all upcoming workshops and webinars:

Pre-Application Information:

- Letter of Intent Deadline: Friday, February 14, 2020 – 11:59 p.m.
- Application Deadline: Friday, March 13, 2020 – 11:59 p.m.

First-time applicants are highly encouraged to contact Grants Program staff.

A panel review will take place in April/May 2020, and awards will be announced in late June 2020.

Matching Requirements:
- The applicant must provide a cash match for the General Operating Support Grant of one dollar for every dollar of grant funds awarded, for each year of the grant.
- Except as restricted below, the match may be from any source, including reserves, ticket sales, tuition, or state and federal grants.
- The match may not include: In-kind contributions or donated services; earned revenue from County government; or grants or appropriations from County government sources.

Personal appointments are available for those who are unable to attend a webinar or a workshop or who need additional assistance. These appointments are available for assistance with both the content of the application and/or assistance with the online grant application system. Consultation services in languages other than English are available by appointment. Personal appointments must be held at least two weeks prior to the application deadline. To schedule an appointment, contact Karen Judson, Grants Program Manager.

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

Karen Judson, Grants Program Manager
(301) 565-3804

Takenya Laviscount, Senior Grants Program Manager

Ana-Alicia Feng, Grants Program Coordinator
301-565-3805 X 21

Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County
801 Ellsworth Drive
Silver Spring, MD 20910
T: 301-565-3805
F: 301-565-3809

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Maryland: Montgomery County

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