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Feasibility & Technical Assistance Grant Program

The FY19 Cultural Facilities Fund application is now available. The final application deadline is Friday, January 11, 2019 at 5 PM.

Goals of the Feasibility & Technical Assistance Grants Program
The planning and construction of cultural facilities can be complex. The purpose of the Feasibility & Technical Assistance Grants is to help managers and board members of cultural organizations get the objective information and analysis they need before they commit their organization's energies and financial resources to a facilities project.

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Types of Projects Funded
Organizations that are contemplating an Eligible Project may apply for funds to support pre-implementation planning - research, fact-finding and analysis that can help them make more informed decisions about their facilities development effort.

Types of planning and technical assistance may include, but are not necessarily limited to: architectural and engineering plans, business plans and market research as it relates to a new facility, capital campaign feasibility studies, comprehensive facility maintenance plans and new project feasibility studies.

Organizations can also plan for Universal Design solutions to accessibility challenges in their facilities. Organizations can work with a consultant who will identify possible solutions that meet ADA, 504, and Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (MAAP) requirements, but go beyond to provide solutions that are an improvement for all visitors.

Feasibility & Technical Assistance Grant funds are not available for non-facilities-related planning efforts (such as an overall organizational strategic planning); site acquisition; regular operating activities; ongoing staff positions; complete architectural drawings; fundraising or marketing activities; or publications.

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Review Criteria
Broad Review Criteria: As outlined in previous sections, the Cultural Facilities Fund statute establishes four threshold review criteria for all grants. All projects must provide evidence that they meet these four statutory criteria to be considered for a Cultural Facilities Fund Grant:

  • There must be a demonstrated community need for the project*.
  • The project must be able to demonstrate that it will benefit tourism in the local area**.
  • There must be a demonstrated financial need for a grant.
  • The project must be able to demonstrate local support*.

*Please address “community need” and “local support “in terms of your cultural organization and/or programming.
**Tourism is defined as: “a person traveling 50 miles or more one way to a destination or who stays overnight”.

The specific criteria by which applications will be reviewed are:

Quality of Planning:  

  • Evidence that the planning effort is linked to an overall organizational/or facilities plan.
  • Evidence that this is the logical next step in the organization's overall facilities planning efforts.
  • In cases of site acquisition, expansion, or new construction, evidence that the planning adequately addresses the impacts to the organization and its financial profile after construction is complete.

Quality of Implementation:   

  • Evidence that feasibility and planning consultants have been identified.
  • Evidence that a comprehensive and appropriate scope of services has been identified for the planning exercise.
  • Evidence that planning consultants are qualified.
  • Submission of a complete and clear planning/feasibility budget.

Impact of Grant:  

  • There is a demonstrated community need for the project.
  • The project benefits tourism in the local area.
  • There is a demonstrated financial need for the grant.
  • There is demonstrated local support for the project.

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Application Instructions

A complete application constitutes the submission of both the online application, and supplementary materials. If one of the aforementioned is not submitted by the final application deadline of January 11, 2019 5 PM, the application will be considered incomplete and not be reviewed.

I. Intent to Apply

  1. Review the eligibility requirements for the Cultural Facilities Fund as defined by the statute.

  2. Log in or create an organizational profile to be able to access the Intent to Apply and online application.

  3. Submit an Intent to Apply.

    The Intent to Apply form is the first section of the online application-- the “Project Overview” page. The information here can be changed anytime up until the final application deadline. You do not need approval from the Mass Cultural Council after submitting the Intent to Apply to continue with the full application. Mass Cultural Council staff will contact you if any eligibility issues are identified.

II. Final Application

  1. Complete the remaining online Feasibility and Technical Assistance application including any updates or changes to the organizational profile and Project Overview page.

  2. Click the "final submission" button of the online application by the deadline - 5 p.m. on January 11, 2019. The electronic component of your application will be automatically received by the Mass Cultural Council. You will receive an email confirming receipt of the online component with a pdf copy of the online narrative attached.
  3. Submit the following required supplementary materials to the Mass Cultural Council by the deadline – 5:00 PM on January 11 , 2019. 

III. Supplementary Materials:

Supplementary materials will now be submitted electronically via the Mass Cultural Council’s Box.com account. If there are materials you wish to include with your application that cannot be submitted electronically, contact Miranda Cook.

Once you have begun an application in our system, Mass Cultural Council staff will create a folder for your organization in Box.com. You will receive an email invitation to the folder where you can upload your materials.

If you do not already have an account, you will need to register. Go to Box.com and click “Sign Up” in the top right corner. Create a free account under “Individual Plans.”

Once you are logged in and can access your organization’s folder, you can upload your files. Please label each file clearly from the list of requirements below. Once your materials are uploaded, they will be considered submitted. Your files will only be viewable by you and Mass Cultural Council staff.  

All materials must be uploaded by the timestamped deadline of 5pm on Friday, January 11, 2019.

Required Materials:

  1. Planning Budget (Please list both the “Sources” and “Uses” in the planning budget and indicate if the Source funds are: "committed", "pending" or "projected". Also please indicate if the Uses are based on actual third party bids or if the costs are in-house estimates).
  2. Project Timeline
  3. Scope-of-Services for planning consultants.
  4. Financial Information:
  • Nonprofit Organizations
    • Income statements and balance sheets since your last audit, accountant’s review, or 990.
    • Audited financial or draft audit statements for the two most recent fiscal years. (If your organization's annual budget is less than $500,000 and no audited financials are available, please provide the review statement by the accountant or internally prepared income and expense statements and balance sheets for the two most recent years.) (Not required if the applicant is a municipality, but is required for all 501(c)3s including colleges and universities.)
  • Municipalities: Facility-specific financials for the last two years for the subject facility.  Audit statements are not required.

  • Colleges and Universities:
    • Audited financial statements for the two most recent fiscal years.
    • Facility-specific programmatic financials for the last two years for the subject facility.
  1. Resumes, CVs, or other summaries of qualifications for all key project personnel.
  2. Board List and affiliations (not required for municipalities)
  3. Staff List.
  4. Copy of IRS 501(c) (3) tax exemption letter (if applicable).
  5. Copy of the lease, deed, or ground lease for your facility if applicable.
  6. Letters of support (no more than six)
  7. Images of the overall site as well as specific areas of work.

Optional Materials:
Depending on your project the following list of materials may help you make the case for funding. Please submit any and all materials you think will help the review panels understand your project and its readiness to proceed.

  • Preliminary architectural plans or renderings for the project. (Summary plans are acceptable).
  • Current Strategic Plan
  • Planning and feasibility cost estimates from any third party consultants.
  • Zoning Variances, ZBA hearing dates, building permits or other evidence that regulatory approvals are in place or in process (if applicable).
  • Copies of any feasibility and planning work done to date: market studies, fundraising assessments, project and business feasibility studies, operating pro-formas, etc.
  • Press clippings, editorials, or other materials that demonstrate community need and local support for the project.
  • Other materials, as relevant.


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