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Program Guidelines - Portfolio FY20

The Portfolio supports fully-cultural 501(c)3 organizations that have long-standing public cultural programming benefitting Massachusetts residents, and that have earned their participation in the Portfolio through a history of consistently successful applications in a competitive process.

Current Portfolio grantees reapply by continuing to meet eligibility requirements, and meeting all ongoing program requirements in compliance with annual deadlines.

All other applicants must apply for CIP funding through the CIP Gateway Program (next deadline February 1, 2020), or the CIP Projects Program (next deadline May 1 2019).

The information below is a summary of the Cultural Investment Portfolio grant program. Please refer to the CIP Guidelines (PDF) for complete information.

About the CIP Portfolio
The Cultural Investment Portfolio (CIP) provides unrestricted operating support to organizations and programs with public cultural programming that benefits Massachusetts residents. Cultural Investment Portfolio grants are formula based, as determined by an organization’s cash expenses and the total funds allocated to the Cultural Investment Portfolio by the Mass Cultural Council based on the agency’s annual legislative appropriation. This support is available to the following:

  1. 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.

  2. Independently-operating programs (referred to as Cultural Affiliates) under one of two types of parent organizations:
    • A Massachusetts recognized 501(c)3 non-fully-cultural organization OR
    • Government, including federal, state, or local entity/municipality

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Eligibility - 501(c)3 Organizations
Cultural Investment Portfolio 501(c)3 organizations must:

  • Have a 501(c)3 designation with the Internal Revenue Service which is currently active and has not been revoked.

  • In addition, any organization incorporated outside of Massachusetts must have a current certificate of registration from the Secretary of the Commonwealth to operate as foreign corporation within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

  • Be a "fully-cultural" organization.

  • Have minimum annual cash expenses of $50,000 based on a three-year average.

  • Offer public cultural programming in Massachusetts annually and maintain year-round operations.

Eligibility – Cultural Affiliates
Cultural Investment Portfolio Cultural Affiliates must:

  • Offer public cultural programming in Massachusetts annually, and maintain year-round operations.

  • Have minimum annual cash expenses of $50,000 based on a three-year average.

  • Manage its own budget.

  • Have at least one full-time (min. 30 hours per week) compensated administrative staff position dedicated solely to operation of the cultural entity.

  • Have its own advisory board that meets regularly to discuss policy, strategic direction, and resource development plans to ensure long-term sustainability.

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Applying to the CIP
Current Portfolio grantees reapply by continuing to meet eligibility requirements, and meeting all ongoing program requirements by annual deadlines. All other applicants must apply for CIP funding through the CIP Gateway Program.

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Grant Requirements
To remain compliant, Cultural Investment Portfolio grantees must fulfill the following grant requirements:

The Mass Cultural Council 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 Mass Cultural Council and its grantees are expected to be in compliance with:

Acknowledgement of Funding
Grant recipients are required to credit the Mass Cultural Council for funding.  Refer to the online Credit and Publicity Kit for more details. 

CIP grantees are required to conduct and report on advocacy activities annually.

CIP Annual Report
The CIP Annual Report serves as a confirmation of ongoing eligibility for CIP and Gateway grantees. It includes the Advocacy Reporting, Credit & Publicity Confirmation, and the Organization Overview. The Check-in is an opportunity for grantees to share concerns, or significant changes to the CIP grantee’s mission, programming, staffing, and board. It also includes a few statistical data points which the National Endowment for the Arts requires the Mass Cultural Council to collect from grantees. The deadline for submission of the CIP Annual Report is May 31, 2019, 11:59PM, EDT. Grantees that do not complete this requirement on time will receive a “Hold” on their FY20 grant.

DataArts CDP Survey
CIP grantees are required to create a DataArts CDP  Survey of their most recently completed fiscal year, generate a CIP Funder Report based on this data, and receive final Mass Cultural Council staff approval. Portfolio and Gateway grantees select a Month Deadline, based on their own financial cycle, as the month by when it will be able to complete the DataArts Requirement.

The deadline for the CIP DataArts requirement is May 31, 2019, 11:59PM, EDT.

  • Grantees that do not meet the CIP DataArts requirement by May 31, 2019 (11:59pm EDT) will have their FY19 grant amount reduced by 10 percent.

  • Grantees that do not meet the CIP DataArts requirement by June 14, 2019 (11:59pm EDT) will have their FY19 grant amount reduced by an additional 15 percent, for a total of 25 percent.

  • If a grantee remains non-compliant with the CIP DataArts requirement after June 14, 2019 (11:59pm EDT), the grantee will be suspended from the FY20 Portfolio and will not be eligible for a FY20 Cultural Investment Portfolio grant.

One-to-One Match Requirement
All CIP grants are subject to a 1:1 Match Requirement. If a grantee fails to meet the 1:1 Match Requirement, their CIP grant will be reduced to the amount that is matched by the grantee.

Site Visits
Portfolio Grantee Site Visits are not evaluations or accreditations, and are not connected to a grantees’ award amount. These visits are an opportunity to build on the existing relationship with Mass Cultural Council, and have honest conversations about the challenges and opportunities facing organizations and the cultural sector. Some organizations may also be required to send representatives as ‘peer advisors’ on the Site Visits of other grantees. CIP staff will contact you to schedule site visits.

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Contract Holds, Penalties, and Restrictions
The Mass Cultural Council may apply a contract hold, penalty, or restriction if the grantee is not in compliance with necessary grant requirements. Please see the contracts page for details.

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The Mass Cultural Council may suspend a grantee from the Portfolio if the grantee does not meet annual grant requirements. A suspended grantee will not receive a contract or a grant for the contract year. Suspension for two consecutive years will result in removal from the Portfolio. Please see the contracts page for details.

Suspended CIP grantees must continue to meet eligibility requirements and complete all annual reporting requirements to receive full funding for the following grant year. Grantees that do not meet the CIP DataArts requirement may have future grant amounts reduced, may have funding suspended for subsequent grant years, or may be removed from the Portfolio.

Grantees suspended from FY19 funding may re-enter the CIP for the FY20 grant year if they resolve all remaining compliance requirements, and meet all FY19 requirements by May 31, 2019.

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Removal from the CIP
A grantee can be removed from the Portfolio for the following reasons:

  • An organization that has been suspended for a second consecutive year must resolve the reason for the suspension and meet all annual requirements for both years by June 1 of the second suspension. A suspended CIP grantee that does not meet this requirement will be removed from the Portfolio and can only rejoin the Portfolio by re-applying through the Gateway Program and meeting program requirements.
  • Elimination of public programming
  • Changes in mission and/or programming to non-eligible activities
  • Intentional misrepresentation of finances, programming, or other eligibility requirements

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

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

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

Michael W. Ibrahim, Program Manager
Small to Mid-Sized CIP Organizations and Cultural Affiliates: Universities, colleges, and secondary schools

Kalyn C. King, Program Officer
Mid-Sized to Large CIP Organizations

Cyndy Gaviglio, Contracts Officer
Grant Contact

DataArts Support Center: Staff at the Support Center is employed by DataArts, not the Mass 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.

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