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Operating Support Grant

Grants to Virginia Arts Nonprofits in Fairfax County,
Fairfax, and Falls Church to Support General Operations

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Arts Council of Fairfax County

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Grants ranging from $500 to $50,000 to Virginia arts nonprofits serving communities in Fairfax County, as well as the Cities of Falls Church and Fairfax, to support general organizational operations. This program provides basic funding to arts organizations in recognition of the valuable programs and services they provide to Fairfax County residents. Operating grants also contribute to the stability of these organizations.

The purpose of Operating Support Grants Program is to maintain stability and encourage the development and advancement of the arts in Fairfax County while serving the artistic and cultural needs of Fairfax County residents and their families.

Through the Operating Support Grant Program, the Arts Council of Fairfax County seeks:
-To encourage wide participation in the arts through diverse cultural programming available to all residents of Fairfax County.
-To provide support for established arts organizations and the development of new organizations;
-To promote opportunities for individual artists and arts organizations of all disciplines to create, present, and celebrate their artistic endeavors;
-To be a catalyst for increased private sector support for arts organizations through leveraged public funding.

All Operating Support Grant Program grants must:
-Support activities, programs, or projects occurring within Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, or the
City of Falls Church;
-Have qualified artistic or scholarly, administrative, and management leadership (either professional or volunteer) capable of completing any grant-supported activities, programs, or projects.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 165364

Estimated Size of Grant:

Operating Support Grant Program grants range from $500 to $50,000. An organization can request no more than 15% of their actual expenses as described on the Budget Form for the most recently completed fiscal year.

Organizations may apply in one of five budget levels within the Operating Support Grant Program. The applicant’s budget size determines the appropriate category. If an applicant is an arts division/program within a larger nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, then the arts division/program’s budget should determine its category, not the larger nonprofit’s budget size. Applicant using a fiscal sponsor should use the applicant organization budget, not the fiscal agent. Do not include in-kind expenses in the budget level calculation.

For the Operating Support Grant Program, your budget size is determined by the “Total Expenses” you describe for your most recently completed fiscal year on the Budget Form. "Pass through money," money that is collected by the organization and then immediately dispersed, as in the case of collecting art sales and then distributing that money back to the individual artist, should not appear in an organization's budget as income. If the organization collects a portion or percentage of that money then only that portion can show as income.

Funding Levels:
-Level 1: Under $50,000
-Level 2: $50,000 - $100,000
-Level 3: $100,000 - $250,000
-Level 4: $250,000 - $500,000
-Level 5: Over $500,000

Term of Contract:

All activities supported by Operating Support Grant Program grants shall take place within the fiscal year for which the grant is awarded between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All applicants must meet the following criteria to apply to the Operating Support Grant Program. Staff reviews all grant applications for eligibility prior to the review process.

1. An organization is eligible to apply to the Operating Support Grant Program if:
-It has as a core mission the creation, exhibition, presentation, production, or performance of and/or education in an arts discipline.
-It has regular activity in a minimum of four different months in the year or 120 days of the year.

2. An organization must:
-Be in compliance with all local, state, and federal laws; and
-Hold current or pending status under IRS code 501(c)(3); or
-Operate as a specifically defined arts division, or have its own arts program identity, within a larger nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization; or
-If an organization does not hold 501(c)(3) status in its own right, a fiscal sponsor that holds 501(c)(3) status may apply on its behalf. The fiscal sponsor must manage all grant funds and ensure compliance with the terms of the grant if an award is made.

3. The organization or the division/program that is applying must have an address of record within the geographical boundaries of Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, or the City of Falls Church and satisfy TWO of the following four criteria for at least one year:
-Present at least 51% of public artistic activities within the geographical boundaries of Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, or the City of Falls Church.
-Meet, rehearse, exhibit, and operate within the geographical boundary of Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, or the City of Falls Church.
-Have 51% of board of directors’ members work or reside in Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, or the City of Falls Church.
-Verify that 51% of attendees at performances, exhibits, events, and activities reside in Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, or the City of Falls Church evidenced through acceptable statistical data including but not limited to: ticket analysis, subscription data, box office surveys, and audience surveys.

4. The applicant must have submitted all required final reports for any grant(s) received from the Arts Council of Fairfax County that are due by the deadline.

5. An organization must have independently prepared financial statements such as an audit or a treasurer’s report (audit required for organizations with expenses of $600,000 and above).

6. An organization is not eligible to apply to the Operating Support Grant Program if it receives line item funding from Fairfax County in fiscal year 2018.

7. Nonprofit organizations and foundations that directly support Fairfax County government programs and agencies are not eligible to apply.

Operating Support Grant Program grants cannot be used for:
-Fundraising activities, such as capital campaigns or endowment campaigns;
-Construction or renovation projects;
-Political advocacy costs;
-Activities not open to the general public;
-Debt retirement;
-Pre-grant Costs;
-Proselytizing and promoting any one faith over another;
-Events that would be inappropriate for a diverse, multicultural and multigenerational audience.

Pre-proposal Conference:

The Arts Council of Fairfax County conducted a free grant preparation workshop to instruct prospective applicants on how to complete an Operating Support Grant Program application. The workshop presentation was posted on the Arts Council’s website and can be found in Supporting Documents below.

The Arts Council strongly encourages attendance by all potential applicants. An applicant’s attendance at a workshop will not affect the evaluation of the application.

Pre-Application Information:

Every Operating Support Grant Program grant requires a two to one match by the applicant.

The matching funds may come from any source except the Arts Council of Fairfax County or the Fairfax County government. Potential sources of your matching funds include foundation grants, private donations, ticket sales, and member dues.

In-kind contributions may only consist of donated goods.

The value of all in-kind contributions shown as income must be offset by line item expenses in the
total budget.

The value of in-kind goods must be documented with invoices, billing statements, or donation
letters. To the extent possible, documentation about the donor and the value of in-kind goods should be provided with the application. If the grant is awarded, this documentation must be provided with the final report required at the end of the grant period.

-Deadline: Feb. 15, 2018
-Panel Date: Apr. 18-20, 2018
-Announcement: July 2018


Eligibility, Application, and Review Process:

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

Lisa Mariam, Grants Director and Master Arts Plan Coordinator
(703) 642-0862 x1

Arts Council of Fairfax County
2667 Prosperity Ave. Suite A
Fairfax, VA 22031

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Virginia: Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, and the City of Falls Church