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Cultural Investment Portfolio (CIP) - Project Grant

Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits and
Agencies for Public Arts and Cultural Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC)

Deadline Date:

05/01/18 11:59 PM EDT


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Grants of $2,500 to Massachusetts nonprofits and agencies to support public arts and cultural programming. Applicants considering a fiscal agent are required to consult with program staff about their chosen fiscal agent before submitting their application. These grants are available for specific projects and are not intended for general operating support.

In general, a project grant supports a specific, connected set of activities, with a beginning and an end, explicit objectives, and a predetermined cost. A project may be:
- A distinct aspect of the organization’s cultural activities, such as a one-time event; a single production; an exhibition; an educational seminar; or series of related arts activities, such as art classes or training sessions.
- A one-time activity or a program that is repeated for multiple years.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 179707

Estimated Size of Grant:

Projects grantees receive a grant of $2,500 for a specific project.

Term of Contract:

For FY18, projects must occur, and eligible expenses be incurred, between June 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applications are accepted from:

1. Massachusetts recognized 501(c)3 organizations

2. Programs under a federal, state, or local entity/municipality

3. Unincorporated associations, or organizations that are eligible to be a federally tax exempt, 501(c)3 nonprofit but have not attained this status may apply using a fiscal agent.

Individuals and for-profit corporations are not eligible to apply to this program.

Applicants must:
- Have minimum annual cultural programming cash expenses of $10,000 in the organization’s fiscal year prior to the
application. In-kind expenses do not count towards this eligibility
- Have completed a minimum of two full years of public cultural programming in Massachusetts prior to the
application date
- Not receive a Cultural Investment Portfolio or Gateway grant in the same grant year. Note: A Parent Organization of CIP Cultural Affiliates may also have one Project applicant or grantee that is not the activity of a Portfolio or Gateway grantee. The $25,000 parent maximum for combined Cultural Affiliates still applies.

For the FY19 grant cycle of the CIP Projects Program, the Mass Cultural Council is accepting applications from applicants with fiscal agents. Applicants considering a fiscal agent are required to consult with Mass Cultural Council staff about their chosen fiscal agent before submitting their application. Applicants must meet the Organization Eligibility detailed above, and their fiscal agents must meet the following criteria:
- The fiscal agent must be incorporated in Massachusetts, or registered as a foreign corporation, and must have 501(c)3 nonprofit status.
- Project staff must not be employees or board members of the fiscal agent organization.
- Fiscal agents may charge a percentage of anticipated income for their services, but no more than 7 percent of the
grant award.
- The grant agreement is between the Mass Cultural Council and the fiscal agent, not the applicant.
- The fiscal agent must maintain separate accounting for all fiscal agent activities.
- The fiscal agent is responsible for all Mass Cultural Council paperwork and reporting, including revised budgets,
contracts and final reports. Any correspondence about the grant must be submitted by the fiscal agent or jointly by the fiscal agent and the applicant.
- The Mass Cultural Council will not act as an arbiter for any disputes between the applicant and the fiscal agent
- An organization may have a fiscal agent agreement with more than one applicant.
- A fiscal agent may be an organization that is currently funded by the Cultural Investment Portfolio, or has submitted an application to the CIP Gateway or Projects Programs. Their role as a fiscal agent will have no influence on any grant or application. The fiscal agent must report activities for this grant as pass through funds when they complete their own CDP Survey.

Ineligible projects:
- Projects that are the complete public programmatic activity of the applicant. It is the applicant’s responsibility in the
application to make it clear that this project is not the complete programmatic activity of the organization.
- Fundraising activities, strategic planning, and capacity building activities
- Projects designed to create a surplus or profit for the organization. Applications which indicate a surplus equal to,
or greater than the grant amount will not be reviewed by the panel.
- Programming outside of Massachusetts. If aspects of the project take place outside Massachusetts, it is the applicant’s responsibility in the application to make it clear that the budget doesn’t include any activities outside Massachusetts.
- Capital expenditures: A capital expense is defined as an item, or group of items, with a life expectancy of more than three years and a total cost of more than $500. Examples include equipment, such as lighting or sound equipment, new construction or the renovation of a cultural facility, or the creation of prizes or trophies.
- Projects that are the work of an individual artist, as opposed to the work of an organization.
- Competitions where the sole purpose of the program is to adjudicate cultural work by individuals or other organizations
- Projects that present work exclusively for or by students as part of the activities of a college, university, or school. While some of the project may be student-focused, there must be a majority percentage of the project that serves the greater community outside of the school.
- Applications where the purpose is to “re-grant” or award funds using some or all of the Mass Cultural Council Project grant in the form of scholarships or other prizes. Prizes of cash, or the cash expenditure for prizes, are not eligible and should not be included in the project budget.
- Projects that are the activity of a Cultural Investment Portfolio or Gateway grantee.
- Other projects that do not meet the Mass Cultural Council’s definition of a ‘project’

Pre-proposal Conference:

Listen to a webinar on the Gateway and Projects grant programs:

This is a recording of a webinar that took place on 12.12.17, describing the Gateway and Projects grant programs of the Mass Cultural Council.

A webinar for Projects grants will be scheduled in March 2018.

Pre-Application Information:

Applicants are encouraged to call MCC staff to discuss their project.

All CIP, Gateway, and Project grants are subject to a 1:1 Match Requirement. Matching funds may include earned revenue or private funds donated to the grantee. The following may not be used as matching funds: In-kind contributions. The match for Project grants may be from the applicant’s reserves, or other operating support.

- Application posted online: February 1, 2018
- Application Due: May 1, 2018 11:59 PM EDT
- Notification to applications: September 2018
- FY 19 Contracts Due: January 31, 2019
- Projects Final Report Due: June 1, 2019, 11:59 PM EDT (Extension possible for June Projects)
- Advocacy & Credit Publication Due: June 1, 2019, 11:59 PM EDT

Contact Information:

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

Register for an information or webinar here:

Apply Online:

Sara S. Glidden, Program Manager

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts