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General Operating Support (GOS)

Grants to Delaware Arts Nonprofits
for General Organizational Expenses

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Delaware Division of the Arts

Deadline Date:

03/01/19 4:30 PM


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Grants to Delaware nonprofit arts organizations for general organizational expenses. Funding is intended to promote participation in the arts by supporting administrative costs, facilities operation, salaries, artists' fees, supply purchases, and professional development.

The Delaware Division of the Arts awards General Operating Support grants to Delaware arts organizations in support of their annual operating expenses to ensure that year-round participation in the arts is available to the people of Delaware.

Eligible Expenses:

- Artists' fees
- Administrative costs
- Contractual services
- Facilities operations (utilities, routine maintenance...)
- Marketing or publicity of events/activities
- Personnel (salaries, benefits...)
- Professional development (workshops, seminars, conferences, excluding credit-earning post-secondary coursework)
- Supplies and materials
- Technical costs
- Travel (domestic) and other operational expenses necessary to deliver arts programs and services

Organizations approved for GOS demonstrate a history of programming, service to their community, and management of their operations.

The following criteria are utilized by panels to evaluate each General Operating Support application in the “on year”:

1. Artistic Quality (40% of score)
- Artistic product, process, and/or service
- Interpretative materials and/or educational activities
- Ingenuity, vitality, relevance
- Program evaluation
2. Availability of the Arts/Service to the Community (30% of score)
- Fulfillment of community needs
- Audience development
- Outreach and collaboration
3. Management (30% of score)
- Board/staff qualifications and governance
- Fiscal responsibility
- Operational evaluation

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 165721

Term of Contract:

Funding awarded in the FY2020 grant cycle must be spent on activities that occur between September 1, 2019 and August 31, 2020.

The Division uses a staggered, three-year application cycle for General Operating Support. Grant awards for the second and third years will be determined by applying a funding formula to updated financial information submitted in the “off year” Interim Application.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for General Operating Support, applicants must:

1. Have the promotion, presentation, production, and/or teaching of the arts as their primary purpose as outlined in their charter, incorporation papers, bylaws, and IRS nonprofit determination letter.
2. Have a stable, functioning board of directors that meets at least quarterly.
3. Be based and chartered in Delaware as a nonprofit organization; exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) or 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code; and eligible to receive donations allowable as charitable contributions under Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
4. Have total operating income of more than $16,000 for the last completed fiscal year.

New arts organizations must successfully complete the Division of the Arts StartUp Program before applying for General Operating Support grants.


- The Division will not accept applications through fiscal agents.
- No individual may compile or submit an application on behalf of an organization if that individual is a member or relative of a member of the Delaware State Arts Council or Division staff.

Ineligible Expenses:

- Activities for which academic credit is given
- Activities outside Delaware
- Awards and cash prizes or donations
- Bad debt
- Building, renovating, or remodeling of facilities
- Capital expenditures and non-consumables valued over $3,000
- Traditional circus performers and athletic activities
- Contingency funds
- Expenses incurred outside the grant period
- Fundraising costs (capital/endowment campaigns)
- Investments of any type
- Lobbying
- Meals/refreshments
- Private entertainment
- Projects restricted to exclusive participation or enjoyment
- Projects that have sectarian or religious purposes
- Scholarships or research by individuals

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline for the General Operating Support Full Application or Interim Application (Report) is 4:30 pm on March 1, 2019.

Applicants will be notified of final funding decisions after July 1, 2019, following the Council meeting and passage of the state budget.

The Fiscal Year 2020 General Operating Support Full Application or Interim Application (Report) may be accessed at smARTDE beginning on December 1, 2018. If a Full Application is required, it will be available under “Opportunities.” If not, then you will find your Interim Report under “Reports Pending.

The General Operating Support Application follows a three-year cycle. A multi-year cycle permits grantees, as well as the Division, to focus more attention on the delivery of programs and services and less on the preparation, processing, and review of grant applications.

The Division uses a staggered, multi-year application system for the grant program. Organizations must submit a Full Application in the “on year,” and Interim Applications (Reports) in the “off years.” Grant awards for the second and third years will be determined by applying a funding formula to updated financial information submitted in the “off year” Interim Application (Report).

The Division of the Arts was created by the Delaware General Assembly to serve as the principal mechanism for supporting the arts in Delaware. Arts organizations seeking General Operating Support from the state are expected to apply for support through the Division. The Division will notify the Delaware Controller General’s Office and the General Assembly Joint Finance Committee of all organizations that apply to the Division for General Operating Support. Any arts organization receiving general operating support through other state mechanisms, including Grant-in-Aid, may see an impact in Division funding.

Applicants should not expect the funding to be exactly the same each year of the three-year cycle. Grant awards are re-calculated annually from a formula and panel review process that encompass the following: A satisfactory review of application materials and on-site evaluations, actual operating expenses/income as reported in the application and IRS materials, the number of organizations in the applicant pool, and available state and federal funds. Because of these variable factors, grant awards are likely to fluctuate from year to year.

General Operating Support grants are funded on a matching basis. Matching funds (1:1) must be cash and may not come from the National Endowment for the Arts. Other federal grant sources may be used as match in accordance with authorizing legislation.

Note: All materials submitted to the Division of the Arts during the grant application process are subject to public inspection upon request, in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act. Please redact any confidential information contained in financial documents and audits prior to submission.

The Statement of Assurances is the contract that all Division grantees must sign. Grant applicants must indicate that their organization’s authorizing official has read and agreed to the obligations of grant recipients, should a grant be awarded.

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:

Katie West
Program Officer, Organization Support

Delaware Division of the Arts
820 North French Street,
4th Floor
Wilmington, DE 19801

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Delaware