Program Guidelines - Projects FY18
Organizations that receive funding as Portfolio or Gateway grantees are not eligible for this program. Organizations that received a Project Grant in FY17 may apply again.
Project grants for FY17 have been determined. The next application deadline is May 1, 2017, for projects taking place in FY18. The application is available online.
CIP Projects grants are one year grants for specific cultural public programming, and are not for general operating support. This is a one-year grant designed to support cultural public programming, and is an option for organizations and programs that are not eligible for CIP Gateway, or those simply looking for one-year project support. Organizations receiving Portfolio or Gateway funding in FY18 are not eligible for CIP Projects grants.
Projects grantees receive a grant of $2,500 for a specific project. Applications to CIP Projects are accepted annually.
The information below is a summary of the CIP Projects Program, and is not expected or intended to be all inclusive. Please refer to the CIP FY18 Guidelines (PDF) for complete information.
Sample Application available.
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Information sessions and a webinar for the FY18 Projects Program are scheduled for February – March, 2017.
Information Session will last approximately one hour, including time for questions. Attending an Information Session is not required, but is encouraged. Register and listen to a webinar.
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CIP Projects provides restricted project support to organizations and programs with public cultural programming that benefits Massachusetts residents. This support is available to the following:
- Massachusetts recognized 501(c)3 organizations which are in good standing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (see guidelines).
- Programs under a federal, state, or local entity/municipality.
- Unincorporated associations, or organizations that are eligible to be federally tax exempt, 501(c)3 nonprofit but have not attained this status may apply using a fiscal agent. Applicants considering a fiscal agent are required to consult with MCC staff about their chosen fiscal agent before submitting their application. (See the guidelines for more detail.) Applicants must submit the Fiscal Agent form with their application.
- Download the Fiscal Agent form. (PDF Format requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.)
- Have minimum annual cultural programming cash expenses of $10,000
- Have completed a minimum of two full years of public cultural programming in Massachusetts
- Not receive a Cultural Investment Portfolio or Gateway grant in the same grant year
- Note: A Parent Organization of a CIP Cultural Affiliate may also have one Project applicant or grantee. The $25,000 parent maximum for combined Cultural Affiliates still applies.
- 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:
To be eligible, a Project must:
- Have minimum project cash expenses of $5,000.
- For FY18, projects must occur, and eligible expenses be incurred, between July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2018.
- In general, a Project grant supports a specific, connected set of activities, with a beginning and an end, explicit objectives, and a predetermined cost. For example: a distinct aspect of the organization’s cultural activities, such as a one-time event; a single production; an exhibition; an educational seminar; or series of related arts activities, such as art classes or training sessions. A Project may be a one-time activity or a program that is repeated for multiple years.
The following types of activities are not eligible for CIP Projects grants:
- Projects that are the complete public programmatic activity of the applicant.
- Fundraising activities, strategic planning, and capacity building activities.
- Projects designed to create a surplus or profit for the organization.
- Programming outside of Massachusetts.
- Capital expenditures: A capital expense is defined as an item, or group of items, with a life expectancy of more than three years and a total cost of more than $500. Examples include equipment, such as lighting or sound equipment, new construction or the renovation of a cultural facility.
- Competitions where the sole purpose of the program is to adjudicate cultural work by individuals or other organizations.
- Projects that are the work of an individual artist.
- Projects that present work exclusively for or by students as part of the activities of a college, university, or school. While some of the project may be student-focused, there must be a majority percentage of the project that serves the greater community outside of the school.
- Applications where the purpose is to “re-grant” or award funds using some or all of the MCC Project grant in the form of scholarships or other prizes.
- Other projects that do not meet the MCC’s definition of a ‘project’ (see description above).
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Project applications will be assessed according to the following criteria:
- Quality of the project
- Project description, clear plan, specific goals (15 points)
- Relevance to mission and core programming (15 points)
- Public value
- Benefit to community served, including cultural community and defined target audiences (25 points)
- Efforts and success in reaching out to diverse communities, such as ethnically and economically diverse, rural, elderly, veterans, and people with disabilities (10 points)
- Organization’s capacity to execute project
- Appropriate staff to develop and implement project (10 points)
- Financial capability (clearly defined budget, budget narrative, organization capacity) (10 points)
- Evidence of strong planning (timeline, marketing, evaluation, past success) (15 points)
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- Project Grantees must submit a Final Report
- Advocacy: All Projects grantees are required to engage in an advocacy activity each year. Advocacy must be completed and reported by June 1, 2018 (11:59PM ET). Learn more about Advocacy Requirements.
- Match: 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.
- Acknowledgement of Funding: 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.
- Accessibility: 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.
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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. Organizations that do not meet annual requirements may not be eligible in subsequent grant years. Please see the full guidelines for details.
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Application and Grant timeline
Application Forms Online
Feb. 1, 2017
May 1, 2017, 11:59 PM EDT
Notification to Applicants
For FY18 Project grantees:
FY18 Contract Due
Jan. 31, 2018
Final Report Due
June 1, 2018, 11:59 PM EDT
An exception can be made for projects taking place during June 2018.
Future Application Deadlines
Annually in the Spring
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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.
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Support & Resources
Sara S. Glidden, Program Manager
Gateway Program, Project Program, and Cultural Affiliates: Government & non-fully cultural parent organizations
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Proceed to the Online Application