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Program Overview

The Cultural Investment Portfolio (CIP) is divided into three categories – Partners, Colleagues, and Peers. An entity’s classification into one of the categories is based on several factors, including organizational mission, duration of public programming, budget size, and track record of excellence based on previous MCC grant reviews.

Partners and Colleagues no longer compete in a competitive grant process with traditional written applications and panel reviews. Instead, these organizations host comprehensive Site Visits performed by the MCC and (in the case of Partners) senior staff members from other organizations in the portfolio. Partners and Colleagues are required to submit annual financial data via the Cultural Data Project.

The Peers category includes organizations that are new to the MCC funding pool, organizations whose missions are not fully cultural, and organizations that do not meet other requirements for Partners or Colleagues.

How to Apply
An organization not currently designated a Partner or a Colleague can apply to the Cultural Investment Portfolio through the Peers category. Applications to the Peer category are accepted every other year. Future Peers Application Deadlines: May 2016, May 2018, May 2020.

For specific application and annual reporting requirements, review the Peer Guidelines.

Organizations designated as Colleagues and Partners “apply” to remain in the program by completing their annual grant requirements. For specific requirements, review the guidelines for Colleagues and Partners.

Becoming a Colleague or Partner Organization
Current Colleagues and Partners may request to be reclassified into any category for which they are eligible.

Organizations that have received Peers grants for 3 out of 4 of the most recent biannual grant cycles (this means 6 years of funding out of a possible 8 years) may request to be reclassified into any category for which they are eligible.

Please carefully review the eligibility requirements in individual Guidelines for each category before requesting reclassification. Additionally, organizations must be in good standing with all current Massachusetts Cultural Council grants.

In addition to meeting eligibility requirements, organizations requesting reclassification will need to:

  • Complete Data Profiles in the Massachusetts Cultural Data Project for their three most recently closed-out fiscal years, and generate an MCC Funder Report with this data by December 15, 2014 (11:59PM ET).
  • Contact the CIP Program Officer for the category you'd like to enter, by December 15, 2014 (11:59PM ET).
  • Host CIP program staff for an evaluative Site Visit – meetings with your staff, board, community stakeholders, and observation of core programming – before May 1, 2015.

Even if deemed eligible to be reclassified, all changes in category are dependent upon the availability of sufficient funding to allow the MCC to increase grant amounts.

Additionally, unless an organization is at the capped grant amount for Colleagues ($11,300), reclassification to Partners will not result in an increased grant amount. The formula funding is applied to organizations equally regardless of the category.

FY15 Grant Cycle Timeline
July 1, 2014- June 30, 2015

MonthlyPartners and Colleagues: Last day of month is self-selected deadline for submission of new Data Profiles and generation of Funder Reports for FY15 Final Report and FY16 re-application.
Aug. 19, 2014 All: MCC board votes to approve FY15 allocations, grant amounts announced.
Sept. 9, 2014 All: FY15 grant contract packages mailed to organizations.
Dec.15, 2014Peers and Colleagues: Deadline for eligible organizations to complete 3 years of CDP Data Profiles and contact Program Officers to request CIP category reclassification.
Jan. 30, 2015 All: Final due date for FY15 grant contract package returned to the MCC, 80% of FY15 grant disbursed upon receipt.
 Organizations with contract holds: Final due date to resolve cause for contract hold or organization will be suspended from the CIP pool and FY15 grant will be reverted.
May 1, 2015Suspended organizations: Deadline to have hosted evaluative Site Visit with MCC staff.
 Organizations requesting reclassification: Deadline to have hosted evaluative Site Visit with MCC staff.
June 1, 2015 All: FY15 advocacy report and credit confirmation due.
 Peers: FY15 Final Report due.
 Colleagues and Partners: Year-end deadline for new Data Profile & MCC Funder Report via Cultural Data Project, or 10% cut to FY16 grant.
 Suspended organizations:  Deadline to have completed all FY14 and FY15 eligibility and grant requirements, or be removed from CIP funding pool.
June 8, 2015Colleagues and Partners: Year-end deadline for new Data Profile & MCC Funder Report via Cultural Data Project, or 25% cut to FY16 grant.
June 15, 2015Colleagues and Partners: Year-end deadline for new Data Profile & MCC Funder Report via Cultural Data Project, or suspended for FY16 grant.
June 30, 2015 All: End of MCC's 2015 fiscal year, remaining 20% of FY15 grant amounts disbursed.
 
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