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Grants to California Nonprofits for Arts and Cultural Projects

Creative Communities San Diego (CCSD) Program


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
City of San Diego
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: California: San Diego

Important Dates
Conference Date: 11/14/23
LOI Date: 11/28/23
Deadline: 02/12/24 8:00 AM PT Save

Grant Description
Grants to California nonprofit organizations for arts and cultural projects in eligible locations. Interested applicants must submit a preliminary application prior to submitting a full proposal. Funding is intended to increase access to arts and culture, for community and economic development, and to enhance the quality of life for local residents. Activities must take place in or benefit residents of the City of San Diego.

Creative Communities San Diego provides project support for nonprofit organizations to deliver dynamic projects in San Diego neighborhoods that: engage diverse communities in arts, culture, and creativity; and contribute to a more accessible and sustainable creative ecosystem. Projects can take a variety of artistic and cultural forms, from film and video screenings, art exhibitions and performances to festivals, parades, and other activities in a similar vein.

The purpose of TOT funding is:

  1. To enhance the economy and strengthen arts, cultural, and creative sectors;
  2. To contribute to San Diego’s national and international reputation as a creative, 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.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Your organization is eligible to apply for CCSD funding if:
- Nonprofit Status: Your organization holds tax-exempt nonprofit status under section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code at the time of application that is verifiable by an IRS letter of determination attached to the Part 1 Application; and
- Public Benefit: Your organization’s project must have a clear presentation that is open to the public, or meaningful and accessible engagement component within the activity period. While presentations and participation must be open to the public generally, they may reach specific audiences or charge a fee as long as such restrictions do not discriminate on the bases as described in Section 6; and
- History of Operations: Your organization has at least two full and consecutive years of operating with its own independent governing board (not under a fiscal sponsor);
- Service Area: Your organization maintains principal offices in San Diego county that can be verified by one of the required proof of address documents to be attached to the Part 1 Application, with an exception for arts service organizations with offices in San Diego county and primary headquarters in California; and
- Project Location: Your location must take place within the city of San Diego; and
- Mission Alignment: Your project aligns with the purpose of TOT funding.

For fiscal sponsor details, see

Your organization is not eligible for a CCSD award if:
- General Operating Support: Your organization is seeking funding for general operating support (the City offers a different funding category called Organizational Support Program (OSP) for general operating support. Guidelines for OSP can be found at
- Organizational Type: Your organization is an elementary or secondary school, school district, college, university, other government entity.
- Finances: Your organization has outstanding financial obligations or debts of any kind to the City.
- Re-Granting: Your organization’s primary purpose is grantmaking.
- Multiple Applications: Your organization has applied or will apply for Fiscal Year 2025 funds through any of the following TOT categories: Organizational Support Program (OSP) or Economic Development as defined in Council Policy 100-03. Your organization must determine which one TOT category is the best match for your organization.

For further funding restrictions, see

Pre-Proposal Conference
City staff is committed to being available to applicants during the application period. On-demand video technical assistance tutorials are available on the Commission for Arts and Culture website during the application period. More than 70 slots of virtual office hours will be available. All applicants have the opportunity to schedule one-on-one technical assistance sessions and to meet directly with staff.

FY25 Technical Assistance Sign-Up:

Applicants may sign up for 1:1 technical assistance sessions during the period of Tuesday, October 10, 2023 through Monday, November 27, 2023. See the above link for available dates and times.

Pre-Application Information
Key Dates and Deadlines:
- October 26, 2023: Application guidelines and online Part 1 form becomes available for applications.
- October 26 – November 14, 2023 Virtual technical assistance workshops and resources including office hours available with staff.
- November 20, 2023, 9:00 a.m.: Deadline for questions to Staff regarding the Part 1.
- November 28, 2023, 8:00 a.m.: Part 1 submissions due.
- November 29, 2023 – December 15, 2023: Part 1 evaluated for eligibility and compliance with city guidelines
- December 15 – December 21, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.: "Cure" period for applicants deemed "Not Qualified" due to missing or incomplete materials in the Part 1.
- January 12, 2024: Results of “Cure” period announced
- January 15, 2024: Online Part 2 portal opens
- January 15 – February 6, 2024: Virtual technical assistance workshop TBD (all dates posted on the City website and all successful Part 1 applicants will receive email notification).
- February 6, 2024, 5:00 p.m.: Last day for questions regarding the Part 2.
- February 12, 2024, 8:00 a.m.: Responses to the Part 2 due.
- March 13 – March 27, 2024: Panels review and recommend scores/ranks responses to the Part 2.
- March 29, 2024: Results announced to applicants.
- April 1 – April 11, 2024: Appeals period (10 days.)
- April 12, 2024: Commission’s Policy & Funding Committee review of panel recommendations.
- April 26, 2024: Commission reviews Part 2 ranks recommended by Policy & Funding Committee and recommends for inclusion in FY25 proposed City budget.
- June 25, 2024: Final award amounts confirmed through City’s appropriation ordinance.

All times are Pacific Time.

The application process includes two steps: Part 1 and Part 2.

The matching requirement for all CCSD awards is 1:1. CCSD funded projects with project budgets of $29,999 or less may use in-kind contributions to fulfill up to 50% of their match. The applicant must receive all matching income during the activity period.

Funds awarded to an applicant may be paid in advance of project activities and on a reimbursement basis pursuant to awarded agreement.

Fluxx User Registration Guide:

Fluxx Application Guide:

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 project budget, the rank given to the organization’s proposal, the total amount of funds available for distribution and the number of organizations receiving awards. For reference, in FY24, CCSD applicants were awarded between 3%-60% of their total project budgets. The minimum award amount an applicant can receive in FY25 is $5,000.

Term of Contract
Eligible expenses must be incurred by an applicant during the FY25 activity period between July 1, 2024 and June 30, 2025.

Contact Information
Apply online:

For questions, contact the Arts and Culture Funding Staff at

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