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Program Guidelines - Portfolio FY18

Applications are currently being accepted for Cultural Investment Portfolio funding in the MCC’s FY18 grant year, and are open to current CIP grantees only. For information about complying with an ongoing FY17 grant, view the CIP Contracts/Requirements page for your category. Applicants not currently funded through CIP Partners or Colleagues may apply to the CIP Gateway Program. The next application cycle for CIP Gateway is early 2018.

The information below is a summary of the Cultural Investment Portfolio grant program. Please refer to the FY18 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. 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  • Have a 501(c)3 designation with the Internal Revenue Service which is currently active and has not been revoked.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 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 and its grantees are expected to be in compliance with:

Acknowledgement of Funding
Grant recipients are required to credit the Massachusetts 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 Check-in Questionnaire. 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 MCC to collect from grantees. The deadline for submission of the CIP Annual Report is June 1, 2017, 11:59PM, EDT.  Grantees that have not completed this requirement by June 1, 2017 will receive a “Hold” on their FY17 grant.

CIP grantees are required to create a Cultural Data Profile (CDP) of their most recently completed fiscal year, generate a CDP Funder Report based on this data, and receive final MCC staff approval. Portfolio and Gateway grantees select a CDP Deadline, based on their own financial cycle, as the month by when it will be able to complete the Cultural Data Project requirement.

The deadline for the Cultural Data Project requirement is June 1, 2016, 11:59PM, EDT.

  • Grantees that do not meet the Cultural Data Project requirement by June 1, 2016 (11:59pm EDT) will have their FY17 grant amount reduced by 10 percent.

  • Grantees that do not meet the Cultural Data Project requirement by June 8, 2016 (11:59pm EDT) will have their FY17 grant amount reduced by an additional 15 percent, for a total of 25 percent.

  • If a grantee remains non-compliant with the CDP requirement after June 15, 2016 (11:59pm EDT), the grantee will be suspended from the FY17 Portfolio and will not be eligible for a FY17 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 MCC, and have honest conversations about the challenges and opportunities facing organizations and the cultural sector. MCC Staff will contact you to schedule Site Visits.

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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. Please see the full FY18 CIP Guidelines for details.

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The MCC 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 full FY18 CIP Guidelines 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 CDP 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 FY17 funding may re-enter the CIP for the FY18 grant year if they resolve all remaining FY16 compliance requirements, and meet all FY17 requirements by June 1, 2017. They will also need to be visited and reassessed by CIP Staff before May 1, 2017.

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

  • A suspended CIP grantee that has not resolved the reason for the suspension by June 1, 2017 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 MCC decision if the applicant can demonstrate that the MCC 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 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.

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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 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.

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Download the complete FY18 CIP Program Guidelines (PDF)

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