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Organizational Support Program (OSP)

Grants to California Arts and Culture
Nonprofits to Support Operations

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

02/12/21 5:00 PM


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Grants to California nonprofit organizations in eligible locations for general operating support. Applicants must complete a request for qualifications form prior to submitting a full application. Funding is intended to support arts and culture organizations that increase local tourism and enhance the quality of life for residents. The majority of activities must take place in San Diego and/or benefit City of San Diego residents.

The Organizational Support Program (OSP) provides general operating support to tax-exempt, nonprofit, arts and culture organizations, for delivery of activities and programming that positively impact San Diego’s quality of life and tourism. OSP provides general operating support for nonprofit arts and culture organizations. 

The purpose of TOT funding is:

  1. To enhance the economy;
  2. To contribute to San Diego’s national and international reputation as a cultural destination;
  3. To provide access to excellence in culture and the arts for residents and visitors;
  4.  To enrich the lives of the people of San Diego; and
  5. To build healthy, vital neighborhoods.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 144998

Estimated Size of Grant:

The amount of money an applicant can be awarded is calculated using an algorithm and is dependent on several factors including the organization’s submitted annual operating income, the rank given to the organization’s proposal, the total amount of funds available for distribution and the number of organizations receiving awards. In FY21, OSP applicants were awarded between 1%-15% of their annual operating income (AOI). The minimum award amount an applicant can receive is $5,000. For more information, see page 6 of the Guidelines document in Supporting Documents below.

Term of Contract:

Contract Activity Period: July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Your organization is eligible to apply for an OSP contract award if:
- Nonprofit Status: Your organization holds tax-exempt nonprofit status under section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code; AND
- Organizations Purpose: Your organization is a nonprofit, tax-exempt arts and culture organization; AND
- History of Operations: Your organization has a three-year history of operating with its own independent governing board (not under a fiscal sponsor); AND
- Service Area: Attachment A to Council Policy 100-03 states that “the majority of the activities of the applicant organization must take place within the San Diego city limits and/or benefit city residents.” Because use of TOT funds is intended to benefit the city of San Diego, residents and visitors, San Diego-based organizations will likely satisfy this requirement. If your organization is not San Diego-based and you choose to apply to the OSP funding category, as part of the application process you must submit proof that your organization meets the criteria set forth in Council Policy 100-03 that the majority of the activities take place in San Diego and/or benefit city of San Diego residents. (Activities are defined as those produced or presented by your organization that are essential to the fulfillment of your organization’s mission. Under this definition, and with some exceptions, activities do not include tuition based or fee for service classes, touring, and cultural tourism marketing activities); the onus is on the applicant to prove eligibility and determination of eligibility is at the sole discretion of the City; AND
- Mission Alignment: Your organization operates to fulfill a mission that aligns with the purpose of TOT funding which is
1. To enhance the economy;
2. To contribute to San Diego’s national and international reputation as a cultural destination;
3. To provide access to excellence in culture and the arts for residents and visitors;
4. To enrich the lives of the people of San Diego; and
5. To build healthy, vital neighborhoods.

Your organization is NOT eligible for an OSP contract award if:
- Project Support: Your organization is seeking funding for a specific project such as a festival, parade, or celebration.
- Schools: Your organization is a university, community college, school district, or private educational enterprise.
- Regranting: Your organization’s primary purpose is grantmaking.
- Multiple Applications: Your organization has applied or will apply for Fiscal Year 2022 funds through any of the following TOT categories: Creative Communities San Diego (CCSD); Economic Development and Tourism Support (EDTS); or Citywide Economic Development Support (CEDS) as defined in Council Policy 100-03. Your organization must determine which one TOT category is the best match for your program.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Pre-Application Information:

- October 12, 2020- RFQ Opens
- October 20, 2020- RFQ Workshop 1
- October 29, 2020 - RFQ Workshop 2
- November 13, 2020- RFQ Deadline
- January 15, 2021 - RFP Opens
- February 12, 2021 - RFP Deadline
For a full Funding Process Schedule, see

The application process includes two steps: Request for Qualifications (RFQ), then Request for Proposals (RFP).

The matching requirement for all OSP awards is 1:1.

LUNA Instructional Video:

Contact Information:

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

Submit your Application for OSP Funding via GoSmart:

For questions, contact the Arts and Culture Funding Staff at (619) 236–6849 or

Sign up for 1:1 Office Hours at

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California: City of San Diego

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