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2019 Arts Capacity Building

Grants to New York City Small Arts Groups for
Capacity Building and Organizational Support

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The New York Community Trust

Deadline Date:

01/09/19 12:00 PM ET


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Grants starting at $50,000 to New York City small arts and cultural groups to support capacity building and strengthen organizational operations. Funding is intended to help organizations successfully navigate a critical juncture, such as facility purchase or leadership change.

Priority will be given to agencies led by African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native Americans and to groups located in neighborhoods outside of Manhattan that have historically had access to fewer resources. Grants will help groups facing a critical juncture, such as generational or leadership change, mergers, sale or purchase of a facility, or other rare but significant challenges. Grants will help groups carry out a specific capacity-building project designed to sustain the organization over the long term. Grants are expected to help groups resolve administrative challenges, increase efficiency, start a new program, or explore innovative or adaptive responses to extraordinary challenges.

These unheralded community anchors bring arts and culture into every neighborhood. Artists, audiences, parents, and children depend upon small arts and cultural groups to:
- Mount performances and exhibitions that showcase the work of emerging and master artists, traditional and cutting-edge talent, mainstream and culturally-specific work.
- Make art that entertains, transforms, and celebrates our humanity.
- Offer workspace for artists to develop, rehearse, and make new creations.
- Teach art making and appreciation to children and adults both in- and out-of-school.
- Create a pipeline of diverse artistic talent who will become tomorrow’s leaders.
- Provide a safe gathering space for a community.

Despite their important role in nurturing and sustaining a healthy arts ecosystem, small groups struggle. They may have difficulty raising adequate funds, securing high profile board members, retaining and sufficiently compensating staff, marketing their programs to ensure broad participation, systematizing operating procedures, or managing cash flow.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182545

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

This year, The New York Community Trust will make 5 - 10 grants.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants are expected to range between $50,000 and $150,000. No grant will exceed a total of $150,000 (e.g., $50,000 each year for three years or $75,000 each year for two years).

Term of Contract:

Grant periods may be for two or three years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Applicants should be arts groups with 501(c)(3) status. Unincorporated organizations may only apply using a fiscal sponsor.
- Applicants must be located within the five boroughs of New York City.
- Grantees or fiscal agents should meet the governance and financial standards of the Better Business Bureau, including a board of directors with at least five members, and no more than one paid board member.
- Applicants will have an annual cash (not including in-kind) operating budget ranging from $250,000 to $1.5 million. An audit, CPA review, or IRS 990 tax filing will confirm organizational size. If a group is working with a fiscal sponsor, the annual operating budget of the applicant (not the fiscal sponsor) will be in the $250,000 to $1.5 million range.
- An organization may submit only one project proposal through this request for proposals.
- Groups that already have open active grants with The Trust (excluding grants from funder collaboratives) that conclude after June 2019 will not be considered for this opportunity.
- Priority will be given to groups whose board and/or staff are led by African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native Americans, and to groups located outside of Manhattan.
- Proposals seeking assistance with fundraising, capital projects, equipment purchase, presentations of specific exhibitions or performances, or general operating support will not be considered.

Pre-Application Information:

- Proposal deadline receipt: Wednesday, January 9, 2019 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time; Please note this is not a postmark deadline.
- Grant Notification: June 30, 2019

Grants do not require matching funds; however, they are encouraged.

Contact Information:

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

Submit the application cover sheet online:

To submit a proposal, applicants must mail or hand-deliver a complete proposal to:
Arts Program RFP
The New York Community Trust
909 Third Avenue, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10022

Questions about the proposal process should be directed to The New York Community Trust at (212) 686-0010 x658 or

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New York City;   New York: Five boroughs of New York City