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Operating Support Grant

Grants to Oregon Arts Nonprofits to
Support Core Organizational Operations

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Oregon Arts Commission (OAC)

Deadline Date:

06/01/20 5:00 PM


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Grants of up to $40,000 to Oregon mid-sized and large nonprofit arts organizations to support core operations. Consideration will be given to arts organizations that provide continuous, high-quality arts programs in the community. Applicants must contact the funding source before applying.

The purpose of the Operating Support Program is to contribute to the core operations of Oregon’s arts organizations with annual operating budgets greater than $150,000. 

Applications will be reviewed on the basis of the following criteria:

The artistic excellence of the project, which includes the:

  • Quality of the artists, arts organizations, arts education providers, works of art, or services that the project will involve, as appropriate.
  • Artistic significance of the project.

The artistic merit of the project, which includes the potential to:

  • Celebrate America’s creativity and cultural heritage,
  • Invite mutual respect for differing beliefs and values, or 
  • Enrich humanity.
  • Importance of the project to the artistic field, artists, audience, community, and/or constituency.
  • Appropriateness of the project to the organization's mission, audience, community, and/or constituency.
  • Appropriateness of any proposed performance measurements. This includes, where relevant, measures to assess student and/or teacher learning in arts education.
  • Plans for documentation and dissemination of the project results, as appropriate.
  • Ability to carry out the project based on such factors as the appropriateness of the budget (including evidence of direct payment to artists), the quality and clarity of the project goals and design, the resources involved, and the qualifications of the project's personnel.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 162289

Estimated Size of Grant:

Operating Support grants can range from $3,000 to $40,000. However, the majority of grants will range from $5,000 to $25,000.

Term of Contract:

Activity Period: July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

At the time of the application deadline, all applicant organizations must
- Operate as a nonprofit as evidenced by:
- Current IRS 501(c)(3) federal tax-exempt status
- Active registration with the State of Oregon for corporate, non-profit status;
- Current DUNS number
- Note: Organizations that operate without their own distinct nonprofit status (e.g. organizations housed within an institution of higher learning, a larger nonprofit, or a federally recognized tribe) may apply for a waiver for this requirement.
- Operate within a mission that describes the arts as the primary purpose of the organization; arts programming must be the primary focus.
- Show at least $150,000 in cash operating expenses on the organization’s most recently submitted IRS 990. To determine an organization's total cash operating expenses, refer to line 17 on IRS Form 990-EZ (total expenses), exclusive of capital development.
- Have been in existence as a 501(c)(3) for a minimum of two years as evidenced by an IRS determination letter.

Organizations using a fiscal sponsorship are not eligible to apply.

Operating Support Program funds may not be used for activities that take place outside the grant’s defined activity dates.

The Arts Commission recognizes that some arts organizations operate without their own distinct nonprofit status. These organizations may apply for a waiver to the eligibility requirements related to IRS and State of Oregon nonprofit status.

Pre-Application Information:

All applications must be submitted through the online portal no later than June 1, 2020 at 5:00 pm to receive consideration for funding.

Assistance with technical requirements and application scope is available from the Arts Commission staff prior to the application deadline.

Awards will not be paid out until after the start of the Federal Fiscal Year (October 1). Applicants should plan accordingly.

In response to COVID-19, the Arts Commission has determined that for FY2021, organizations in all disciplines (Dance, Film/Media, Interdisciplinary Music, Arts Services, Literary, Theatre and Visual Arts) may submit an Interim Application by the published deadline..
New Applicants

New applications to Operating Support must contact the Arts Commission prior to applying.

Organizations applying for Operating Support for the first time will be accepted in FY2021.

These organizations must complete a full application and will be reviewed by a multidisciplinary panel.

NEA's definition of artistic excellence and artistic merit:

Contact Information:

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

To apply:

Contact Person:
Kat Bell
(503) 986-0082

The following is the contact for your discipline category:

Arts Services, Literary, Music
Brian Wagner

Film/Media, Visual Arts
Meagan Atiyeh

Dance, Interdisciplinary, Theatre
Deb Vaughn

For assistance or feedback:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Oregon

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