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Operating Support Grants

Grants to Minnesota Arts Nonprofits
for Programming and Maintenance

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Southwest Minnesota Arts Council (SMAC)

Conf. Date:

08/05/21

LOI Date:

09/15/21

Deadline Date:

10/20/21 4:30 PM

Description:

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Grants to Minnesota nonprofit arts organizations to continue established programs and maintain facilities. Applicants are required to submit a pre-application prior to submitting a full application. Funding is intended to help organizations focus on existing services, programs, and facilities. Eligible organizations are located in and serve the people of Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift, and Yellow Medicine Counties.

The intent of the Operating Support grant program is to strengthen and stabilize arts organizations that demonstrate programming of high artistic quality and efficient management. This program recognizes that organizations with an established record of programmatic service and administrative stability should have access to funds to support their organizational goals and objectives, rather than specific projects. Operating Support funding enables qualifying organizations to maintain their ongoing programs, services, and facilities without special emphasis on new initiatives as justification for funding.

There are two levels of grants available:

Level One: Organizations with average annual expenses under $25,000 may request up to 35% for year one and 35% for year two.

Level Two: Organizations with average annual expenses of $25,000 to $173,999 may request up to 15% for year one and 15% for year two.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 159271

Estimated Size of Grant:

Operating Support Grants are two-year awards based on the average eligible expenses of your organization over the past two fiscal years as verified by your pre-application Financial Statement form. This year, organizations may choose to use 2018 and 2019 to calculate their average, omitting 2020.

Level One: Organizations with average eligible annual expenses under $25,000 may request up to 35% of that average for year one and 35% for year two.

Level Two: Organizations with average eligible annual expenses of $25,000 to $173,999 may request up to 15% of that average for year one and 15% for year two.

For both levels, a competitive grant round may result in awards less than the requested amount.

Term of Contract:

- Funding start date: January 1, 2022
- The funding years for SMAC operating support grants will run from January 1 through December 31. The project end date for this two-year grant will be December 31, 2023, two years after the start date.

Payments:
Year 1: 100% of the Year 1 grant funds will be paid in January 2022 after completion of the Year 1 grant contract.
Year 2: 100% of the Year 2 grant funds will be paid in January 2023, on completion of the Year 2 grant contract.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Organizations are eligible to apply if:
- The organization is located in and serves the people of Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift or Yellow Medicine counties or tribal lands within the SMAC service area.
- The organization's purpose and mission statement is focused clearly and solely on the arts
- The organization has at least two years of completed arts programming and financials.
- The organization has current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service and Articles of Incorporation on file with the State of Minnesota.
- Total annual expenses of less than $174,000

For ineligible applicants and projects, please see: https://swmnarts.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/General-Grant-Guidelines-FY22.pdf#page=2

In addition to the restrictions listed in SMAC’s general grant guidelines, the following organizations and uses of funds are not eligible for Operating Support grants:
- Organizations receiving funding from the McKnight Foundation in the form of any operational support grant
- Organizations that are eligible to receive funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board in the form of an operational support grant. (In fiscal year 2022 arts organizations with two-year averaged annual expenses of $174,000 or over are eligible to apply for a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant.)
- SMAC operating support funds used as a match for other SMAC grants
- SMAC operating support grant recipients including pro-rated general operating costs in the budget for any other SMAC grant request covering the same time period as the operating support grant
- Activities that are primarily educational projects within a school system.
- Projects where artists are required to pay excessive entry or exhibition fees in order to exhibit or perform in the project for which funds are sought.

Capital expenses such as major equipment purchases and facilities improvement projects, previous SMAC Operating Support grants, and any fiscal agent pass-through monies are excluded from your average eligible expenses. Your Financial Statement form will help you calculate this (available on the SMAC website and within the grant application).

Pre-proposal Conference:

SMAC Operating Support grant workshop webinar:
August 5, 2021, noon to 1:00 pm.
Register: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07ehz4p6e33ddaf50a&llr=9e86hmdab

To schedule one-on-one time with a grants administrator: https://calendly.com/carolinekoska-smac

Free grant writing assistance workshops are scheduled for organizations interested in applying to the SMAC grant programs. To sponsor a workshop in your area, please contact the SMAC office 507-537- 1471 or 800-622-5284, or e-mail info@swmnarts.org to make arrangements.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications for this two-year grant are open every other year. The next opportunity will be in Fall 2023.

Deadlines for FY 2022. Submitted by 4:30 PM:
- Pre-Application Deadline: September 15, 2021. (Pre-applications must be emailed to SMAC staff.)
- Application Deadline: October 20, 2021
- Panel Review: November 13, 2021
- Board Action: November 22, 2021
- Earliest project start date: January 1, 2022

Pre-applications are required to determine request amounts for full applications.

Before beginning an application, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact SW MN Arts Council to determine if this grant program is appropriate.

To request a review of your application prior to submission, contact staff at least two weeks prior to the deadline. A staff member will review the application, as time permits, for eligibility and completed requirements.

The applicant must not exceed 90% of the total project’s cash expenses in combined support from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council.

Video Tutorial for Online Grant System: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8P9ImR-APIbOVI5YVBFUWpXbnc/view
View a video recording of the July 16, 2020 webinar: https://youtu.be/0-vISbMBjXo

Contact Information:

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

Applicants may fill out and submit their application in several ways:
- Online application portal: https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=smahc
- In a Word document, submitted by email along with required attachments to: info@swmnarts.org
- On paper with required attachments, submitted by mail or dropped off at the office:
Southwest Minnesota Arts Council
PO Box 55, 114 N 3rd St,
Marshall, MN 56258)

Toll Free: +1 800 622 5284
Telephone: +1 507 537 1471

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota: Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift, and Yellow Medicine Counties

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