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Creative Communities San Diego (CCSD) Program

Grants to California Nonprofits
for Arts and Culture Projects

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 arts and culture projects. 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 (CCSD) centralizes arts and culture in neighborhoods across San Diego. CCSD provides project support to nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations to deliver projects that promote neighborhood pride and community reinvestment, make arts and culture more accessible and encourage people of diverse backgrounds to share their heritage and culture. Projects can take a variety of artistic and cultural forms, from film and video screenings, art exhibitions and performances to festivals, parades, or other activities in a similar vein. 

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#: 144999

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 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. In FY21, CCSD applicants were awarded between 5%-33% of their project budgets. The minimum award amount an applicant can receive is $5,000.

Term of Contract:

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

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Your organization is eligible to apply for a CCSD contract award if:
- Your organization holds tax-exempt nonprofit status under section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code; AND
- Your organization has a three-year history of operating with its own independent governing board (not under a fiscal sponsor); AND
- 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 City TOT funds are intended to benefit the city, residents and visitors, San Diego-based projects will likely satisfy this requirement; AND
- Your project aligns with the purpose of TOT funding.

Projects organized by entities that do not hold tax-exempt nonprofit status under section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code may be eligible for CCSD funding via a nonprofit fiscal sponsor. The fiscal sponsor will be
the primary applicant and contract holder, accountable for meeting contractual requirements and receiving payment on behalf of the project. The fiscal sponsor must be deemed qualified to contract with the City through the Request for Qualifications process. The fiscal sponsor must be a 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) but does not need to be an arts organization.

Your organization is NOT eligible for a CCSD contract award if:
- Your organization is seeking funding for general operating support.
- Your organization is a university, community college, school district, or private educational enterprise.
- Your organization’s primary purpose is grantmaking.
- Your organization has applied or will apply for Fiscal Year 2022 funds through any of the following: Organizational Support Program (OSP); 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
- October 30, 2020 - Fiscal Sponsorship 101 Workshop
- November 13, 2020- RFQ Deadline
- January 15, 2021 - RFP Opens
- February 12, 2021 - RFP Deadline
For the full FY2022 Funding Process Schedule, see

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

The application process includes two steps: Request for Qualifications (RFQ), then Request for Proposals (RFP). Applications are accepted via the online platform GoSmart.

Online Resources and Technical Assistance Opportunities are listed at

Application Information:

LUNA Instructional Video:

Fiscal Sponsorship 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 CCSD Funding via GoSmart:

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

Sign up for 1:1 Office Hours:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California: San Diego

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