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General Operating Support (GOS) Grants

Grants to St. Louis County, Missouri Arts and
Cultural Nonprofits for Organizational Support

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Regional Arts Commission (RAC) of St. Louis

Deadline Date:

04/11/19 11:59 PM


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Grants starting at $15,000 to St. Louis County, Missouri nonprofit arts and culture organizations for general organizational support. Applicants are required to submit a pre-application prior to the full proposal. Funding is intended to support the production and presentation of ongoing artistic activities that are open to the general community.

General Operating Support (GOS) grants support arts and culture organizations in the production and presentation of ongoing, sustainable, high quality artistic activities that engage the diversity of residents within their communities and beyond. The GOS grant money provides unrestricted, renewable funding to support day-to-day operations of nonprofit mission-driven arts organizations that produce and present ongoing year-round programming.

The GOS grant program is RAC’s primary vehicle for supporting and strengthening the organizational, programmatic, and outreach capacity of grantees by providing unrestricted operating support.

The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis (RAC) works to ensure that the arts are accessible to everyone. They do all they can to encourage, incentivize, and reward grantees to create more open, inclusive, and diverse places for people to experience the arts.

Successful applicants will seek to demonstrate the following qualities:

- A clear mission and vision supportive of artistic quality and community benefit
- Strong artistic and administrative leadership and management
- A qualified, engaged, and supportive board of directors
- A well trained and supported staff
- Positive and measurable outcomes that inform future decision-making
- Flexibility to adapt to internal and external changes
- An appropriate level of cash reserves to sustain the organization

GOS applicants receiving the highest ratings will share the following characteristics:

Artistic Merit and Quality of Programs:

- Strong artistic vision and leadership
- Some recognition of artistic excellence and quality of programs including awards, recognition, occasional local media
- Maintains a loyal audience base that is evidenced by consistent attendance numbers and ticket sales
- Hires local professional artists and builds the pool of artistic talent

Community Benefit:

- Diversity goals achieved through intentional outreach efforts and/or partnerships with diverse groups
- Implements strategies and programs to promote lifelong learning through the arts and to broaden and deepen an understanding of the art form through accessible and affordable programs
- Evidence of a commitment to diversity in staffing, board recruitment, and use of vendors
- Increases access to the arts through local and neighborhood based programming
- Awareness of the responsibility to increase awareness of value of the arts and participate in advocacy activities, when possible
- Ongoing efforts to assess and evaluate audience needs through surveys and other basic evaluation tools

Organizational Capacity:

- Solid administrative leadership and management
- An engaged and contributing working board of directors
- Strategic planning efforts undertaken on a regular basis
- Progress in establishing sound financial policies and practices
- Practice of generating renewable sources of annual income
- Accurate and timely preparation of financials
- Demonstrated progress toward establishing cash reserves to sustain the organization
- Provides training and professional development opportunities for staff and board members

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 149316

Estimated Size of Grant:

The amount awarded is between $15,000 and $300,000.

A funding formula is used to determine the award amount in GOS. This formula is based on an organization’s average annual operating expense (AOE) which is determined by averaging an organization’s total functional expenses from their last three IRS Form 990’s. Interested applicants may estimate the maximum award their organization can receive by using the new Funding Formula Calculator (see Supporting Documents listed below).

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The GOS Grant Program is open to an arts and culture mission-based organization that meets the following requirements:

- Nonprofit and tax exempt status: In "good status" as a nonprofit corporation in the State of Missouri and 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS
- A three-year consecutive history of receiving RAC funding through Program Support
- Performs at least 75 percent of its programming year-round within St. Louis City or County
- Must employ at least one permanent full-time employee or one permanent full-time-equivalent (FTE)
A full-time employee for any calendar month is an employee who has, on average, at least 30 hours of service per week or at least 130 total hours of service, during the calendar month. An FTE employee is a combination of employees, each of whom individually is not full-time but who, in combination, are equivalent to a full-time employee. Contract workers and seasonal employees do not count towards an FTE.
- Must have a three-year average annual operating expense (AOE) of $150,000 or more (See the RAC Grants Information Guide listed in Supporting Documents below for further details.)


- Educational institutions including schools, child care centers, colleges and universities are ineligible to apply. Organizations that are closely affiliated with such institutions should contact RAC prior to submitting an application and may be asked to provide additional information.
- Faith-based or religious-affiliated organizations are ineligible to apply for General Operating Support grants.

Note: If an organization is not currently eligible but will become so during the grant cycle in which they wish to apply, they should submit a written request to the Grant Director to be considered for an exception.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Grant Seekers Information Workshops will be held as follows:

On-Site Session: Thursday, November 29, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Online Session: Tuesday, December 04, 2018 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Pre-Application Information:

The upcoming two-year grant cycle is July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2021. The application review process begins in November 2018 and ends in June 2019.

Interested applicant organizations must submit a pre-application online by December 13, 2018. Organizations that are eligible to apply will be notified via email by December 20, 2018, and invited to submit a full application. The full application will be available on the website on February 5, 2019, and due April 11, 2019, at 11:59 PM.

For details on Grant Seekers Information Workshops, see Pre-Proposal Conference above.

GOS Grant Schedule:

- Grant Cycle: July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2021
- Arts and Next Steps: Thursday, November 15, 2018, 8:30 PM and 5:30 PM at RAC
- Pre-Application Deadline: Thursday, December 13, 2018 at 11:59 PM
- Notification of GOS Eligibility via Email: Thursday, December 20, 2018
- Full Application Available on the RAC Grants Website: Tuesday, February 05, 2019
- GOS Application Writing Workshop: Thursday, February 7, 2019, 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM at RAC
- GOS Application Writing Workshop: Tuesday, February 12, 2019, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM at RAC
- Advance Review Deadline (Level III applicants only): Thursday, March 07, 2019
- Full Application Deadline: Wednesday, April 11, 2019 at 11:59 PM
- GOS Panel Meetings: Third week in May 2019
- Appeals Process: Appeals are due within one week after receiving comments
- Full Commission Vote on Awards: Thursday, June 13, 2019
- Announcement: Wednesday, June 19, 2019
- Grant Cycle Start: Monday, July 01, 2019

For questions, please contact James F. Anderson via email.


Contact Information:

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

Online application portal:

James F. Anderson, Director of Grants
(314) 863-5811 ext. 1007

Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis
6128 Delmar Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63112

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Missouri: St. Louis County


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