The 2019 Art & Culture Grant Program Eligibility & Guidelines

 

THE APPLICATION PERIOD HAS CLOSED  SEE GRANT CALENDAR FOR UPDATES

About the Philadelphia Cultural Fund and the Art & Culture Grant Program

The Philadelphia Cultural Fund (PCF) was established in 1991 when Philadelphia’s Mayor and City Council authorized the creation of a non-profit 501 (c) (3) corporation whose mission was to provide funds to enhance the cultural life and vitality of the City of Philadelphia and its residents. The Cultural Fund promotes arts and culture as engines of social, educational and economic development in the Philadelphia region. Grants are made from a City budget allocation to the Philadelphia Cultural Fund for operating support of Philadelphia-based arts and culture organizations dedicated to creating, preserving and/or exhibiting visual, literary and performing arts, architecture, science, history and the humanities. Grant amounts are determined through the use of a funding formula; applicant organizations do not request a specific grant amount.

Among the overall goals of the Cultural Fund are:

  • to provide general operating support funds to serve Philadelphia-based arts and cultural institutions and organizations
  • to advocate for the value of the arts in daily life and their importance to the growth and future of the community
  • to recognize the contributions of Philadelphia-based organizations, both emerging and established, that have a demonstrated track record of service, and the financial management and programming capacity to continue providing service
  • to recognize and nurture artistic quality
  • to encourage and increase opportunities for involvement and participation in arts and cultural activities by culturally diverse constituencies
  • to preserve and protect the cultural heritage of Philadelphia and encourage a sense of pride and commitment in the city

 

Eligibility Requirements

An organization must:

1. Have an articulated mission that is dedicated to arts and culture. Non-arts and culture organizations that operate an arts and culture program may be eligible to apply for a 1-year Program Grant; organizations are urged to call the Cultural Fund staff for clarification before applying. Arts and culture is defined as creating, preserving and/or exhibiting visual, literary and performing arts, architecture, science, history and the humanities.

2. Have its official place of business located in the City of Philadelphia as demonstrated by the address on latest 990 filing, Data Arts Funder Report, website, letterhead and printed public materials. The address of a staff member, board member, or volunteer, or that of a fiscal sponsor, unless the official address of the organization, will not be accepted.

3. Be incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit in good standing OR has contracted with a fiscal sponsor that has been pre-approved by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. Unincorporated organizations, such as LLCs, regardless of size, may apply using a fiscal sponsor if they can demonstrate that their organization has a mission dedicated to arts and culture and meets all other criteria.

4. Present at least 60% of its programming in the City of Philadelphia, thus demonstrating a commitment to provide arts and culture to the residents of the City of Philadelphia.

5. Have 60% of its current operating budget devoted to arts and culture. If an organization’s budget does not meet this 60% threshold the organization may be eligible to apply for a 1-year Program Grant if they have a specific arts and culture program that meets the other eligibility requirements. Those organizations are asked to call the Philadelphia Cultural Fund office for clarification before applying.

6. Have programs accessible to the public (provided for a charge or free). Example of ineligible programming: a private library collection of valuable documents not open to the public for study or research.

7. Have conducted public programming for at least one year.

8. Have a Governing body. If a 501 (c) (3) organization, has a board of directors; if contracted with a pre-approved fiscal sponsor, has an advisory group, such as an advisory council, board or committee that oversees the operations of the organization.

9. Have non-discriminatory employment and personnel practices.

10. Have three or more people that share organizational responsibilities (paid or unpaid).

11. Have at least one person responsible for ensuring programmatic and fiscal accountability.

12. Have the capacity to carry out its intended programming goals through the support of staff, board, advisors and/or volunteers (paid or unpaid).

13. Have a plan or planning process that demonstrates how the organization will achieve its stated mission and vision.

14. Be in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations including, without limitation, those of the IRS and the Commonwealth of PA.

15. Have appropriately filed financial statements that are completed within one year of filing the 990 tax return, if required (including 990-EZ). The PA Department of State’s Bureau of Corporations and Charitable Organizations requires organizations with gross annual contributions of $750,000 or more to file audited financial statements. For more detailed information about filing requirements go to: PA Department of State, Information for Charitable Organizations

16. Complete and submit a DataArts CDP Funder Report for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. All applicant organizations are required to provide a current CDP Funder Report representing the organization’s operational and program data with their application. See About the Required CDP Funder Report below for specific requirements.
 

The following are not eligible for Philadelphia Cultural Fund grants:

  • Individual artists
  • Sole proprietorships or other groups that are neither a 501 (c)(3) corporation or operating under a contract with a fiscal sponsor that has not been pre-approved by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund.
  • Religious institutions
  • Agencies and departments of city, state and federal governments
  • Elementary or secondary schools, public, charter or private
  • Colleges and universities, with some exceptions (please speak to Cultural Fund staff before applying). Example exception: an art gallery or performance venue housed within a university that has robust public arts programming, designated staff, an advisory board, discrete budgeting, etc. When eligible, only the budget for the public arts and culture programming (not the budget of the umbrella/parent institution) will be considered for grant amount purposes.
  • Organizations that are a line item allocation in the City’s 2019 General Operating Budget OR have received unrestricted monies, pledges or commitment of monies from any City department in excess of $10,000, cumulatively, between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018.


Types of Grant Applications

Organizations will complete an online application that is tailored to their situation, as described below.

Applicant organizations are:

  • either an Established organization (have operated arts and culture programs for 5 or more years) or a New & Emerging organization (have operated an art and culture program for less than 5 years).
  • either a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization or are currently contracted with a fiscal sponsor that is pre-approved by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. See How Do We Apply with a Fiscal Sponsor? in Frequently Asked Questions below.
  • applying for either General Operating Grant or Program Grant

 

Established organizations can apply for:

General Operating Grant (3-yr)

  • Applicants that apply for a 2019 General Operating Grant are automatically considered for multi-year funding that, if awarded, provides an annual general operating grant for three years (2019, 2020, 2021), on the condition that the organization continues to meet the Philadelphia Cultural Fund’s eligibility requirements, completes the annual Interim Report as required, and the Philadelphia Cultural Fund receives an allocation from the City. The grant amount will be newly calculated each year based on the score the organization received during the peer review process. Applications and site visits are not required of organizations in their interim years; an Interim Report is required.
  • Organizations may be awarded funding for one year rather than three years. In that case, the organization must reapply to be considered for future funding

 

Established organizations may apply for a 2019 grant if they were not awarded a multi-year General Operating Grant in either 2017 (for 2017, 2018, and 2019) or in 2018 (for 2018, 2019, and 2020). If uncertain of your organization’s status, please call the Philadelphia Cultural Fund staff at 267-419-7641. 

Program Grant (1-yr)

  • Organizations that do not have arts at the core of their mission but produce valuable arts programs can apply for a 1-year Program Grant. For example, a hospital that has a long-stannding exhibition program. Applications for a discreet arts and culture program within a larger non-arts focused organization will submit program budgets rather than organizational operating budgets.
  • Organizations that work on a project-by-project basis can apply annually for a 1-year Program Grant. Applications for project based work will submit program budgets rather than organizational operating budgets; the CDP Funder Report attached to the application must reflect the applicant organization’s financials and activities. Program applicants with a Funder Report representing non-arts programming and financials should speak to Cultural Fund staff before applying..
  • If awarded a Program Grant, the organization must receive approval from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund before changes to the program, or the program budget, are implemented. The grant may be withdrawn or the amount adjusted.

 

New and Emerging organizations can apply for:

General Operating Grant (1-yr)

  • Organizations that have been operating programming for less than 5 years. Applicant organizations must include the operating budgets and the CDP Funder Report in their application.

 

Program Grant (1-yr)

  • Organizations that do not have arts at the core of their mission but operate a specific arts program. For example, a hospital that has founded an exhibition program. Applications for a discreet arts and culture program within a larger non-arts focused organization will submit program budgets rather than organizational operating budgets.
  • Organizations that work on a project-by-project basis. Applications for project based work will submit project budgets rather than organizational operating budgets. Applicant organizations must attach a CDP Funder Report to the application that reflect its financials and activities.
  • If awarded a Program Grant, the organization must receive approval from the Philadelphia Cultural Fund before changes to the program, or the program budget, are implemented. The grant may be withdrawn or the amount adjusted.

 

How to Apply

Accessing the Online Application

  • All applications are completed and submitted online; no hard copies will be accepted. Applications can be worked on over time and saved after each session.
  • Former Philadelphia Cultural Fund applicants will need to register their username and password prior to starting their 2019 application. Once registered, the user can just log in using those credentials for the duration of the time they are working on the 2019 application.
  • Only one unique username is allowed per applying organization. To protect your information from being corrupted, only one person at a time should be logged in and working on the application.
  • Established organizations click here.
  • New & Emerging organizations click here.

 

Application Tools

It is recommended that you download the following PDFs and use them to guide you as you complete your application. These tools were created to reduce confusion during the application process and assist you in communicating the achievements and challenges of your organization.

1. Application Tips (PDF)
2. Criteria Rubric

 
3. Example Philadelphia Cultural Fund CDP Funder Report:

 

Application Review Process

Applications must be 100% complete, and all the correct supporting materials attached, to be eligible.

Once your application has been submitted electronically through the Wizehive application portal, it will be screened by staff to ensure the submission is complete and qualifies for a grant before being assigned to peer reviewers. Important: If your application is missing required information or the organization is found ineligible the application will be disqualified. The application will not be reviewed by the peer panel, the organization will not receive a site visit nor will it be considered for a grant. Please be certain that all the required supplemental materials (such as the current Philadelphia Cultural Fund CDP Funder Report, bios, budgets, personnel lists, planning documents, etc.) are attached and correctly formatted before submitting. 

Review by Peer Panel
Qualified applications will be assigned to and evaluated by a panel of peer reviewers that consists of artists and professionals from the region’s arts and culture community. Panels usually are composed of 8 to 15 reviewers. General Operating Grant applications are reviewed with other organizations within the same range of operating budget; Program Grant applications are reviewed together regardless of operating budget; all panels are multi-disciplinary. 

Mandatory Site Visit
Your application will be assigned to a peer reviewer who will conduct a mandatory site visit with your organization before the peer panel meets to evaluate and score applications. A site visit must involve an interview with a senior manager (or a board member if the organization has no paid staff). You may invite the panelist to attend a performance or program, but it is not required, does not take the place of the interview, and is not part of the review process. Although one panelist is specifically assigned to conduct your site visit, all panelists assigned to your peer review panel will evaluate and score your application.

Meeting with your site visitor is mandatory. It is an opportunity to present and discuss your organization and the program(s) reflected in your application in the most accurate and constructive ways possible. Your peer panelist will ask questions about your application, including the required materials (such as the CDP and financials), and may ask to see additional documentation, particularly if the documentation could clarify information in your application, ancillary materials, or the site visit.

Please make sure that you are prepared for the site visit and the Primary PCF Contact (as identified in your application) responds promptly when your site visitor reaches out to arrange the site visit. If a site visit is not conducted, your application will be disqualified and your organization will not be eligible for a grant

Panel Meeting
When the peer panel convenes, your site visitor will briefly describe for the others the experience s/he had with your organization during the site visit, and how your application aligns with the Criteria Rubric. Each panelist will then share their impressions of your application and ask clarifying questions to the site visitor.

Panelists who have a potential or actual conflict of interest with an organization will be asked to leave the room prior to the discussion and scoring. Examples of conflicts of interest are: being an employee or paid consultant or artist; being a board or committee member, or volunteer. 

Scoring
At the end of the panel discussion, each panelist will give the organization a score from 1 to 100 based on the Philadelphia Cultural Fund’s Criteria Rubric. A score of 90-100 is superior; 80-89 excellent; 70-79 good; 60-69 fair; below 60 poor. All the scores are added together then divided by the number of panelists, in order to get an average. This averaged total is the organization’s final panel score. 

Criteria Rubric categories and weight:

  • Program Merit & Strength (15%)
  • Community Impact (25%)
  • Leadership & Governance (15%)
  • Operations & Managerial Capacity (15%)
  • Integrity & Fiscal Responsibility (15%)
  • Ability to Plan & Evaluate (15%)

 

Please refer to the Criteria Rubric (provided in the Application Tools) to more fully understand each category and its meaning. 

Grant Determination
After all panels meet, the final panel scores go through a “normalization” process. Because each panel will have its own range of scores low to high, the panels are compared against each other (mathematically) and scores are adjusted up or down so that the mean score of each panel is normalized. Normalized scores are utilized to calculate grant amounts. The Philadelphia Cultural Fund’s Board of Directors will make final grant determinations, and may establish a cut-off; applicants below the cut-off may not be awarded a grant or may be awarded a conditional grant. In the event that a grant is not awarded, the Board will determine if the applicant will have an opportunity to appeal the decision and, if so, the process for any such appeal. Philadelphia Cultural Fund staff will inform all applicants of their grant status and any next steps. 

Notification of Grant Status
Applicants are notified by email regarding the outcome of their application. No dollar amount is identified at this point, just whether or not the application has been approved for funding. 

Check Distribution
Once the final list of grantees is determined, the normalized scores are put into a funding formula along with the multi-year grantees from the past two years, to calculate the amount of each grant based on the current city allocation. An award ceremony is held in the spring where grant checks are distributed and grantees have an opportunity to connect with the Mayor and members of City Council or their representatives. 

Feedback
Philadelphia Cultural Fund staff attend, record, and take notes for all panel discussions so that meaningful feedback can be provided to applicant organizations. All organizations, whether they receive a grant or not, whether they score high or low, whether they’re first time applicants or long-time grantees, are encouraged to solicit this feedback so the organization and its future applications can be strengthened. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Project Based Work (working on a project by project basis)? Some organizations don’t operate year-round. They do one project at a time, and they only present the project when they have raised sufficient funds to produce it. It’s possible that they are working on more than one project at a time (for example, one for this year and one for down the line sometime), but they still only present projects when the money has been raised or the project timeline is in motion.  

What are the Budget Size categories? The budget size categories (or ranges) apply only to Established applicant organizations seeking multi-year funding, not to New & Emerging organizations or Program applicants. The budget size categories are utilized to organize the peer review panels into groups of similarly sized applicants. An Established organization’s budget size is determined by averaging the most recent years of annual expenses as reported on the DataArts Philadelphia Cultural Fund Funder Report (CDP Funder Report). The amount will appear in the Funder Report. To determine which category your organization belongs in, first update your DataArts CDP Data Profile with your most recently completed fiscal year. Next, create a Philadelphia Cultural Fund CDP Funder Report. When you generate the Cultural Fund Funder Report you must have four columns of completed data representing the four most recently completed fiscal years. You will find your “Average Budget” on the first page of the Report. The Philadelphia Cultural Fund applications are grouped by the following budget categories:

  • Budgets under $50,000
  • Budgets $50,000 to $150,000
  • Budgets $150,000 to $400,000
  • Budgets $400,000 to $1,500,000 ($1.5 Million)
  • Budgets Over $1.5 Million

 
If yours is an organization with a non-arts mission applying for a Program Grant, please complete the CDP profile to reflect your arts programming budget and activities only.

We are not a 501 (c) (3) organization. How do we apply with a Fiscal Sponsor? All fiscal sponsors must be pre-approved by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund through an application process. If your organization currently has a fiscal sponsor, please review the list on our website or contact the Cultural Fund to determine if they are pre-approved so you can move ahead with your application. 501 (c) (3) non-profits that wish to serve as an approved fiscal sponsor for the 2019 grant cycle must submit an application by Friday, September 7, 2018 at 5:00 pm. Any questions, call 267-419-7641. The application is on our website and available here.

Should we reflect In-Kind expenses and income in our financials? PFC grants are calculated on the “Average Budget” amount (which includes In-Kind) in the CDP Funder Report, not the “Average Budget Less In-Kind”. Fully reporting In-Kind expenses and income consistently (financial statements, budgets, CDP Funder Report) may be advantageous but it’s important that you do so properly. We recommend you review these DataArts resources on how to properly account for and record In-Kind.

 
How do we complete the required CDP Funder Report? See About the Required CDP Funder Report below. 
 
 
About the Required CDP Funder Report
The Philadelphia Cultural Fund partners with DataArts, the provider of the Cultural Data Profile (CDP). The Cultural Fund, along with other funders across the nation, requires applicants to complete a Cultural Data Profile annually through the DataArts website.

DataArts provides the cultural community, including funders, with consistent, reliable, comprehensive data on arts and culture nationally, and enables organizations to view trends in their data, benchmark themselves against peer organizations, and enhance their financial management capacity.
The information you enter into the Cultural Data Profile will be used to produce the Philadelphia Cultural Fund Funder Report, which is mandatory for grant eligibility and must be attached to your online application. Please make certain you generate the “Philadelphia Cultural Fund Funder Report”! DataArts is capable of generating many kinds of reports, so read carefully. If you submit the wrong report it may negatively impact your eligibility. Example funder reports of the required PCF Funder Report can be downloaded through the online version of the 2019 Art & Culture Eligibility and Guidelines during the 2019 grant cycle. Example funder reports may also be requested from the Cultural Fund when not available on the website. 

Complete the CDP first! Do this before you begin your online grant application. The Philadelphia Cultural Fund Funder Report will provide an Average Budget for your organization. For all applicants, the Average Budget calculation can be found on the first page of the Funder Report in the top right corner. For Established applicants pursuing multi-year grants, the Report will reflect data for the last 4 years, and you will use the Average Budget to determine which budget category your organization should apply under in the grant application. 

For more information about the CDP and DataArts, please visit wwww.culturaldata.org

Instructions for New Users of the CDP

Applicants not currently enrolled in DataArts or are first time users of DataArts are encouraged to attend a training session specifically for new users. Dates and locations are available on the DataArts Training Calendar page.

Go to https://da.culturaldata.org in the log-in box, click “Create an account” which takes you a new page where you will enter Basic Information.

Create a new Cultural Data Profile. Complete a Cultural Data Profile for each of the four most recently completed fiscal years; start with the earliest year. If your organization has not been in existence for four years, then enter the data that you have for two years or three years. If you have only one year of data, please contact PCF staff at 267-419-7641.

Enter data for the most recently completed fiscal year using your board-approved audit/review or year-end financial statements; your financial data must be consistent. You must be IRS compliant. The most recent year entered into DataArts must be the most recent year for which you have filed a 990 (including 990-EZ).

If your organization is not required to be audited/reviewed, enter data based on board-approved year-end financial statements.

If you are applying for a Program Grant to support an arts program within a larger institution, enter data based on internal financial statements of the arts program for which you are requesting funding, and indicate that you have a parent organization.

DO NOT enter project budgets, budgets for future years, or data from incomplete or not-yet-approved audits, reviews or financial statements.

When you have finished entering all data, click on the button in your upper right corner that says Check and Complete. This will generate a complete list of errors so that you may address them all at once. If your organization is audited, you will be asked to input key totals directly from your audit or review at the beginning of your data entry process. You will receive an error message if at the end of a financial section if it does not match.

Address any errors or questions to DataArts Support Center at 877-707-DATA (3282) or help@culturaldata.org.

Instructions for Organizations that Have Used CDP in the Past

Enter data for the most recently completed fiscal year using your board-approved audit/review or year-end financial statements; your financial data must be consistent. You must have four years of consecutive data, unless your organization was formed three years ago or less. You must be IRS compliant. The most recent year entered into DataArts must be the most recent year for which you have filed a 990 (including 990-EZ).

If your organization is not required to be audited or reviewed, enter data based on board-approved year-end financial statements.

If you are applying for a Program Grant to support an arts program within a larger institution, enter data based on internal financial statements of the arts program and indicate that you have a parent organization.

DO NOT enter project budgets, budgets for future years, or data from incomplete or not-yet-approved audits, reviews or financial statements.

When you have finished entering all data, click on the button in your upper right corner that says Check and Complete. This will generate a complete list of errors so that you may address them all at once. If your organization is audited, you will be asked to input key totals directly from your audit or review at the beginning of your data entry process. You will receive an error message if at the end of a financial section if it does not match.

Address any errors or questions to DataArts Support Center at 877-707-DATA (3282) or help@culturaldata.org.

Instructions on How to Generate the Mandatory PCF Funder Report

To generate a Funder Report for your organization, follow this link (the content of this link is managed by DataArts): How do I run a Funder Report

No cover page is required.

Carefully review your Funder Report and look for any big percent changes from year to year. If something looks incorrect, you can make revisions to your Data Profile and generate a new Funder Report. To revise your Funder Report, click on the Surveys link from your Dashboard, select the Actions dropdown next to the Cultural Data Profile you wish to revise, and choose Revise. If you have any questions about this call the DataArts Support Center.

Direct questions concerning the CDP Data Profile to:
DataArts Support Center
P: 877-707-DATA (3282)
E: help@culturaldata.org

The Support Center is available Monday-Friday from 9:00AM- 8:00PM EST. 
 

2019 Art & Culture Grant Program Eligibility and Guidelines (PDF)

Click here for 2019 Art & Culture Grant Applicant Information Sessions