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FY19 General Operating Support Grants for Mid-Size Arts and Humanities Organizations

Grants to Montgomery County, Maryland Arts
Nonprofits to Support Organizational Operations

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC)

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/24/18 11:59 PM


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Grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 to Montgomery County, Maryland arts nonprofits to support day-to-day operating costs. LOIs are due November 30, 2017. First-time applicants must contact the program staff. Workshops will be held November 15, 2017, and webinars on December 6, 2017.

General Operating Support is defined as support for day-to-day operating costs or to further the general mission or work of an organization, rather than for a specific purpose or project. Grant awards support organizations that work in a wide array of arts disciplines including performing arts, folk and traditional arts, media arts, visual arts, literary arts, humanities disciplines including history and philosophy.

AHCMC encourages proposals submitted by African, Latino(a), Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) arts and humanities organizations.

By awarding General Operating Support Grants for Mid-Size Arts and Humanities Organizations, the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) seeks to:

-Promote stability in arts and humanities organizations by providing a base of funding to support an applicant’s operating budget;

-Encourage diverse arts and humanities experiences for Montgomery County residents;

-Stimulate local support and involvement in the arts and humanities, including volunteer participation, audience development, and financial contributions;

-Enhance the scholarly and artistic capabilities of arts and humanities organizations; and

-Strengthen the professional, administrative, and management capabilities of mid-size arts and humanities organizations.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177352

Estimated Size of Grant:

An organization may not apply for less than $5,000. The grant request may not exceed 35% of the organization’s FY17 cash operating expenses/income or $25,000, whichever is lower.

Term of Contract:

FY19 grants will be awarded for activities occurring on July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

General Operating Support Grants for Mid-Size Arts and Humanities Organizations are available to Montgomery County, MD based non-profit arts and humanities organizations that have annual cash operating expenses of at least $50,000 and no more than $150,000.

Organizations that have annual expenses of more than $150,000 are also eligible if the organization is not applying for General Operating Support Grants for Large Arts and Humanities Organizations.

An organization is eligible to apply for FY19 General Operating Support Grants for Mid-Size Arts and Humanities Organizations if it has met all of the following three criteria for at least the previous three consecutive fiscal years immediately prior to the application deadline:

-Has its primary mission the exhibition, presentation, production or performance of, and/or education in, an arts and/or humanities discipline; and/or provides support services for artists and/or scholars and for arts and/or humanities organizations;

-Has a balanced budget and annual documented cash operating expenses of no less than $50,000;

-Demonstrates 501 (c)(3) status through one of the following ways: the applicant has 501 (c)(3) status, as evidenced by their IRS Letter of Determination; the applicant operates as a specific arts and/or humanities entity or division within a larger 501 (c)(3) organization whose primary mission is not arts or humanities based; or the applicant has a Montgomery County-based fiscal sponsor1 with current 501 (c)(3) status, whose primary mission is not arts and/or humanities based. The fiscal sponsor must have been operating in Montgomery County for at least the previous three consecutive fiscal years.

Organizations must also meet the following criteria:

-Has its principal office in Montgomery County as demonstrated by the IRS Letter of Determination;

-Is governed by an independent, legally liable Board operating under a mission statement for the organization and an operating budget specific to the organization;

-Has at least one part-time paid staff to support the organization’s Board, comply with the grant requirements, and maintain ongoing programming;

-Has at least 40% of the applicant’s board members reside and/or work in Montgomery County as of the grant application deadline;

-Offers no less than 51% of its programs and services in Montgomery County;

-Has submitted the Cultural Data Project Funder Report in accordance with the Cultural Data Project procedures. See section about Cultural Data Project on page 5; and

-Has fulfilled all requirements for any grant(s) received from the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County in prior years.

-For the purpose of this grant, costs related to improving or expanding the organization’s physical structure or purchasing equipment that would be covered by Capital Improvement Grants must be counted as capital expenses, not as operating expenses.

-Due to the large volume of requests and limited funding, applications from national, statewide or regional arts and/or humanities organizations are not accepted at this time.

Non-allowable operating expenses include, but are not limited to:
-Acquisition of capital assets,
-Allocations to cash reserves,
-Capital improvements,
-Loan principal payments,
-Contributions of endowments, or
-Scholarships awarded by you for your own activities.

General Operating Support Grants for Mid-Size Arts and Humanities Organizations will not fund:
- Capital improvements, construction or renovation projects;
- Fund-raising activities, including costs of receptions, refreshments or food;
- Purchase of real property including land, buildings, warehouses, offices, and anything affixed to the land;
- Activities for the exclusive benefit of an organization’s members;
- Cost of souvenirs such as t-shirts;
- Debt retirement;
- Scholarships, awards or tuition assistance awarded by the organization;
- Political advocacy, or activities that support or promote the interests of any one political party or candidate; and
- Travel outside the United States.

Non-allowable operating income includes, but is not limited to:
- Loans
- Unrealized gains or losses
- Carryover
- Transfer of funds earned in prior years
- Revenue raised for capital or endowment funds
- Funds intended for the purpose of re-granting.

This is not an exhaustive list. There may be additional non-allowable expenses/income. Grants program staff will review all financial data, and may contact applicants for additional information.

Pre-proposal Conference:

AHCMC will conduct free grant preparation webinars and workshops to instruct prospective applicants on how to complete grant applications. While attendance is not required, AHCMC strongly encourages all potential applicants to attend this workshop, even if the applicant has applied previously. Whether or not an applicant attends a webinar or a workshop will not be a factor in evaluating the application.

Webinars and workshops are approximately 1 hour long.

Webinars: Instructions on how to join the webinar will be sent the day of the webinar.
Workshops: All workshops take place at AHCMC office, 801 Ellsworth Drive Silver Spring MD 20910.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 11:00 am
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 at 3:00 pm

Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 11:00 am
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 5:00 pm

More information on workshops:

Pre-Application Information:

First-time applicants must contact Grants Program staff prior to applying.

FY19 Intent to Apply Deadline: Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 11:59 p.m.
FY19 Application Deadline: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 11:59 p.m.

All grant recipients must provide a one-to-one match for the grant award. The match must consist of at least 50% cash. Cash may come from any source except AHCMC and the Montgomery County Government, and may include, but is not limited to, foundation grants, state and federal grants, private donations, ticket sales, and member dues. The match may be entirely cash.

The match may consist of no more than 50% in-kind contributions, as follows:
- In-kind contributions may consist of donated goods, donated services, and volunteers, as described in further detail below.
- The value of all in-kind contributions shown as income must be offset by in-kind expenses in the total budget.
- The value of in-kind goods and services must be documented with invoices, billing statements or donation letters. If the grant is awarded, this documentation must be provided with the final report required at the end of the grant period.
- The appropriate value of volunteer time.
- Professionals, such as attorneys, accountants, sound engineers, and lighting designers, who are providing services without charge, will not be considered volunteers. These individuals will be counted as having donated services, provided that the applicant supplies documentation about the usual hourly rate charged by the professional.
- The value of staff time paid by the organization as an in-kind expense must be documented in budget notes.

Personal appointments are available for those who are unable to attend a webinar or a workshop or who need additional assistance. These appointments are available for assistance with both the content of the application and/or assistance with the online grant application system. Consultation services in languages other than English are available by appointment.

AHCMC requires that applicants complete a CDP annually through the DataArts website ( and submit a Funder Report as a component of the application.

Personal appointments must be held at least two weeks prior to the application submission deadline.

The anticipated grant award announcement will occur in June 2018.

Contact Information:

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

Register for a workshop:

Register for a webinar:

Apply online:

Nabil Ghachem, Grants Program Manager

Audrey Singer, Grants Program Assistant
301-565-3805 x 21

801 Ellsworth Drive
Silver Spring, MD 20910

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Maryland: Montgomery County