Massachusetts Cultural Council
About Us Staff Search
Cultural Investment Portfolio
Learn More About this Program
Application Instructions
>> Projects
>> Gateway
>> Portfolio
>> Full CIP
>> CDP Requirement
>> Advocacy
Funding List
Contact MCC

Program Guidelines - Gateway FY18

The CIP Gateway Program is not currently accepting applications. These program guidelines from the 2016 application cycle for Gateway FY17-FY18 grants are for reference only. The next CIP Gateway application deadline will be February, 2018. Please check back for the updated guidelines. The CIP Projects Program will be accepting applications for FY18. Select Projects from the list on the left for more information.

Organizations receiving funding in FY17 through the Gateway Program are eligible for FY18 if they continue to meet eligibility requirements, and meet all contract requirements for FY17.

Organizations that receive funding as  Cultural Investment Portfolio are not eligible for this program.

Program Description
CIP Gateway is a two-year operating support grant program, designed to be the entry, or gateway, for organizations into the Cultural Investment Portfolio. This program is for organizations not funded through the Portfolio. Gateway grantees complete the same requirements as CIP grantees, but are evaluated in a biennial panel process to determine funding and eligibility for reclassification into CIP.

Gateway grantees receive $3,000 annually for a total of $6,000 distributed over two years, subject to the total funds allocated to the Cultural Investment Portfolio by the MCC board, based on the agency’s annual legislative appropriation. Applications to the Gateway Program are accepted every other year.

The information below is a summary of the CIP Gateway Program, and is not expected or intended to be all inclusive. Please refer to the CIP FY17 Guidelines (PDF) for complete information.

Back to Top

Information Sessions
Listen to the information session recorded on March 7, 2016.

Back to Top

CIP Gateway provides unrestricted operating support to organizations and programs with public cultural programming that benefits Massachusetts residents. This support is available to the following:

  • Fully-cultural 501(c)3 organizations: The organization’s primary mission must be to promote access, excellence, diversity, or education in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences.

  • Independently-operating programs (referred to as Cultural Affiliates) under one of two types of parent organizations:
      • A Massachusetts recognized, non-fully-cultural 501(c)3 organization OR

      • Government, including federal, state, or local entity/municipality

Fully-cultural organizations must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be legally recognized as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in good standing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. See guidelines for more details.

  • Be a ‘fully-cultural’ organization (as defined above).

  • Offer public cultural programming in Massachusetts annually, including the two most recent years, and maintain year-round operations.

  • Have minimum cash expenses of $50,000 for each of the two years prior to application. Grantees must maintain minimum cash expenses of $50,000 in each year to remain in the Gateway program or to be reclassified into the Portfolio.

  • Not receive a Cultural Investment Portfolio or CIP Project grant in the same grant year

  • Be in compliance with state and federal regulations which bar discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, or sexual orientation, and which require accessibility for persons with disabilities. Specifically:

Back to Top

Review Criteria
Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

Public Value (60 points total)

  • Core programming and relevance to mission (20 points)
  • Community engagement (20 points)
  • Efforts and success in reaching out to diverse or underserved communities, such as ethnically and economically diverse, rural, elderly, veterans, and people with disabilities. (10 points)
  • Participation of Massachusetts artists, scientists, and/or humanists (10 points)

Organizational Capacity and Sustainability (40 points total)

  • Financial health of the organization (10 points)
  • Appropriate program staff to develop and implement programming (10 points)
  • Ability of the administrative staff and/or governing board to manage the organization (10 points)
  • Success in organizational planning and evaluation. (10 points)

You must complete a Cultural Data Project profile for your most recently completed fiscal year AND submit a Funder Report as part of your application. If your organization is subject to a review or audit, you should report on your most recent audited/reviewed fiscal year. You must include a balance sheet in your profile, even if your organization is not audited.  The process of completing the profile and having it approved by the Cultural Data Project staff can take several days, so make sure that you complete the data profile at least a week prior to the application deadline. This must be completed before you submit the Funder Report.

Back to Top

Grant Requirements
CIP Gateway grantees are required to enter financial data into the Massachusetts Cultural Data Profile (CDP) annually, and then generate a Massachusetts Cultural Council Funder Report based on this data. The MCC Funder Report functions as:

  • A final report for the first year of the Gateway grant (FY17)
  • An application for Gateway funding for the second grant year (FY18)

Your organization should fully complete the Cultural Data Profile requirement by Monday, June 1, 2017 (11:59PM ET) in order to receive full FY18 Gateway funding. To check or change your organization's month deadline, contact the CIP Gateway Program Manager.

All Gateway grantees are required to engage in, and report on, two advocacy activities each year. Advocacy must be completed and reported by June 1, 2017 (11:59PM ET). Learn more about Advocacy Requirements.

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, Parent Organization support, other sources of public funding (i.e.: Local Cultural Council grants, Mass Humanities grants).

Gateway grantees will receive a visit from CIP Gateway Program Manager during the two year funding cycle. Staff Visits are not evaluations or accreditations. The visit is an opportunity to build on the existing relationship with MCC, answer any questions about the Cultural Investment Portfolio, and strategize ways to address the challenges and opportunities facing the organization and the cultural community as a whole.

Grant recipients are required to credit the Massachusetts Cultural Council for funding.  Refer to Attachment D of your Contract Package or the online Credit and Publicity Kit for more details. You will be asked to confirm compliance with the MCC's Credit and Publicity Agreement when you report your advocacy activities.

The MCC and its grantees are contractually committed to abide by state and federal regulations which bar discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, gender identity, or sexual orientation, and which require accessibility for persons with disabilities. The MCC’s grantees sign a contract certifying that they will comply with ADA and Section 504. The MCC aims to help grantees understand their obligations and recognize the opportunities that increasing access can provide for both the public and the grantee.  Resources and additional information about accessibility are available on the MCC's website.

Back to Top

Contract Holds, Penalties, and Restrictions
The MCC may apply a contract hold, penalty, or restriction if the grantee is not in compliance with necessary grant requirements. Organizations that do not meet annual requirements may have cuts applied to their future grant amounts, or may have funding suspended for subsequent grant years. Please see the full guidelines for details.

Organizations suspended from Gateway funding may re-apply for future cycles if they catch up on all remaining compliance requirements, and meet all requirements prior to their next application.

Reclassification into the Cultural Investment Portfolio
To qualify for reclassification into the Portfolio, an applicant must receive Gateway funding for a total of four years out of a six year period (two cycles out of three). Applicants with Peers funding between FY13 and FY16 may count that as meeting the first two years of this requirement. Please see the complete guidelines for more information on Reclassification.

Back to Top

Application and Grant Timeline

Application Forms Online Feb. 1, 2016
Intent to Apply Due Feb. 22, 2016
Application Due Apr. 1, 2016, 11:59 PM EDT
Panel Site Visits Apr. – June 2016
Notification to applicants Sept. 2016

For FY17 Gateway grantees:

FY17 Contract Due Jan. 31, 2017
CDP Funder Report Due                   Deadline based on grantee’s fiscal year. Final Deadline is June 1, 2017, 11:59 PM EDT
CIP Gateway Annual Report Due
Includes Advocacy Reporting, Credit & Publicity Confirmation, and Check-in Questionnaire.
June 1, 2017, 11:59 PM EDT
Future Application Deadlines Spring 2018, 2020, and 2022

Back to Top

Reconsideration Policy
An applicant may request reconsideration of an MCC decision if the applicant can demonstrate that the MCC did not follow published guidelines and procedures. Dissatisfaction with the denial of an award does not constitute grounds for reconsideration. A written request must be sent to the MCC's Executive Director within 30 days of the date of notification of the decision. Such requests will be reviewed by the MCC Grants Committee and the Board.

The Cultural Investment Portfolio staff is available as a resource to answer questions about eligibility, requirements, deadlines, and compliance.

Back to Top

Support & Resources

Sara S. Glidden, Program Manager
Gateway Program, Project Program, and Cultural Affiliates: Government & non-fully cultural parent organizations

DataArts Support Center: Staff at the Support Center is employed by DataArts, not the Massachusetts Cultural Council. They cannot answer questions about CIP compliance. Contact the Support Center at 1-877-707-DATA (877-707-3282) or help@culturaldata.org, Monday-Friday, 9am-8pm.

Back to Top


     twitter icon     youtube icon     tumblr icon
© Massachusetts Cultural Council 2016