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San Francisco Grants for the Arts - Performing, Visual, Media, and Literary Arts

Grants to San Francisco, California Non-Profits to
Support a Wide Range of Arts and Cultural Programs

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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San Francisco Grants for the Arts (GFTA)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

11/14/14 5:00 PM


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Grants starting at $5,000 to California non-profit organizations offering high-quality, diverse arts activities in the City and County of San Francisco. These grants are intended to enhance San Francisco's attractiveness to visitors by supporting activities in the performing, visual, media, and/or literary arts.

GFTA has a policy of supporting qualifying arts organizations’ general operating expenses, and does not limit the number of years groups may receive grants. The goal is to be a stable, dependable base of support for organizations that continue to meet the funding criteria.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 144881

Estimated Size of Grant:

A minimum grant is $5,000.

Term of Contract:

The successful applicant signs a contract for the period July 1 to June 30, the City's fiscal year, and must keep the Fund apprised of its progress through a year-end report.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

In order to qualify for funding, an applicant must:

- Have a 501(c)(3) non-profit status. (In rare cases, it may be acceptable to apply using a valid San Francisco fiscal sponsor.)

- Not be the primary responsibility of a government agency.

- Be governed by a legally constituted, fiscally responsible board of directors.

- Be based in, and identified with, the City and County of San Francisco for at least three full years at the time of the application deadline. The organization must be housed in San Francisco with its corporate address in the City.

- Produce an annual dependable San Francisco season of activities, for the general public, including visitors. This annual season should include at least one self or co-produced San Francisco activity.

- Plan and publicize public programming to attract visitors to San Francisco.

- Reach an audience appropriate to the activity, and produce accurate records of patronage.

- Produce consistently professional quality work.

- Be in good standing on previous and/or current GFTA grants and with other City departments.

- Demonstrate financial health evidenced by:
* receiving outside sources of funding,
* managing a budget size and percentage of earned revenue appropriate to the activity,
* maintaining a minimum budget of at least $35,000,
* not carrying an unreasonable accumulated debt,
* not being overly dependent on any one source of contributed income.

- Demonstrate sound administrative & fiscal management by:
* creating an organizational structure (staff, volunteers, artists, board) appropriate to the size and nature of organization,
* having an active board of directors/advisory board,
* preparing and submitting yearly financial statements,
* having a reasonable plan to retire debt—if applicable.

Note: An applicant’s mission must be clearly focused on developing, producing, and/or presenting art activities in San Francisco. In rare cases GFTA may fund significant programs or activities within a larger institution when that program or activity meets the same primary purpose guidelines as grantee organizations.

Applicants must have a minimum budget of at least $35,000.

In general, GFTA does not fund:
- education and training activities, or performing activities for/by students.
- organizations whose primary purpose is to provide space, technical assistance, or support services to the arts.
- start-up money for a program not yet established.
- deficit reduction.
- one-time only projects or special events.
- individual artists.
- activities not available to the general public.
- activities taking place outside the City and County of San Francisco.
- meals, lodging or transportation.
- benefits, fundraisers, or national day celebrations.
- film/video production.

Pre-proposal Conference:

There will be a GFTA grant workshop taking place in September. The workshop is an opportunity to review GFTA guidelines and priorities, explain the application process, distribute application forms, and have questions answered by GFTA staff. To obtain information as to the date, place, and time of the next grant workshop please email or call GFTA.

Pre-Application Information:

The online application will be available only between September and November. The application deadline is November 14th. This is not a postmark deadline and faxed or e-mailed copies will not be accepted. Completed applications must be physically received in City Hall, Room 347, San Francisco, CA 94102 by the deadline.

If mailing an application, please allow at least one week for delivery. It is also suggested that you mail your application via certified mail, return receipt requested, but please note that regardless of when an application is mailed, it must physically be in the office by 5:00 PM on the deadline date.

For further instructions how how to apply please, click here:

For specific instructions regarding this grant, click here:

Any questions on completing the California Cultural Data Project should not be addressed to GFTA staff. Rather, contact the California CDP Help Desk at 1-866-9-CAL-CDP (1-866-922-5237) or e-mail

If you have other questions regarding the application process, contact GFTA staff (see contact information below).

For New Applicants Only:
You are strongly encouraged to inform Grants for the Arts staff of your upcoming performances and exhibitions. No new applicant will be considered for funding unless it has received a site visit from staff or a designated representative.

Contact Information:

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

Grants for the Arts
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
City Hall, Room 347
San Francisco, CA 94102

Telephone: 415.554.6710
Fax: 415.554.6711

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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