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Home | Grants & Programs | Guidelines | Sustainability

 


  OAC Board Members
  Welcome Letter
  Table of Contents

  How to Use Guidelines 
  Organizations
  Artists

  Introduction to the OAC
  Overview of Appendices

  Funding for Organizations
  Funding Restrictions
  Additional Information

  Sustainability
  Arts Access
  Project Support
  OAOT--For Presenters
  Building Cultural Diversity

  Arts Learning
  Arts Partnership
  Artist in Residence: Sponsors
  Artist Express
  Big Yellow School Bus

  Funding for Artists
  Grant Process for Artists
  Individual Excellence
  Trad. Arts Apprenticeship
  Artists with Disabilities Access  
  Artist in Residence: Artists
  OAOT--For Artists

  Other OAC Programs
  Other OAC Resources

  Appendices
  A: Legal Requirements
  B: ADA Policy
  C: Cultural Participation
  D: Public Value Statement
  E: Credit and Publicity
  F: OLGA FAQ
  G: Definitions
  H: Support Materials Grid
  I:  Deadlines
  J:  Support Materials for Artists

 

SUSTAINABILITY

GENERAL OPERATING SUPPORT FOR ARTS AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS

The Sustainability program provides general operating support to arts and cultural organizations across Ohio that make important contributions to the health and vitality of our communities. Sustainability grants ensure that public support of the arts continues to play an integral role in celebrating the rich past and sustaining the vibrant future of Ohio’s cultural legacy through flexible and reliable funding for annual arts programming. A rigorous application and review process assures citizens and legislators that Sustainability grantees use public funds resourcefully and responsibly. Organizations must demonstrate excellent artistic, educational and cultural value; responsiveness to their community; credible planning and evaluation strategies; and a high level of financial and managerial accountability. When these characteristics are in balance, organizations are well-positioned to provide Ohioans with diverse opportunities to participate in the arts and enjoy their benefits throughout their lives.

Application Deadline: February 1, every fourth year only beginning 2015 (grantee off-year updates due April 1 annually; see TIMELINE below)

Click to read the September 24, 2012 memo describing changes to the Sustainability program

View a list of application questions for Sustainability.

View a list of Sustainability FAQs.

WHAT THE PROGRAM SUPPORTS

The Sustainability program provides four-year grants for organizational operating support. This program supports Ohio organizations that plan and conduct ongoing arts programs for either a full year of programming or recurring activities. Applicants fall into one of two categories, those with budgets over $1.5 million and those with budgets under $1.5 million.

Allowable Expenses
OAC funds may be used for a wide variety of expenses incurred in the general operation of an organization. Organizations often choose to dedicate Sustainability funds to artistic or administrative expenses. Other allowable expenses include marketing, program planning, education and evaluation. Please refer to the Funding Restrictions section of the OAC Guidelines for a list of activities the OAC cannot fund. In addition to these restrictions, OAC funding cannot be awarded to:
  • Organizations that are receiving operating support from the legislature through a line item in the state’s budget during the same fiscal year in which the legislative operating support is available.

Grant Awards
There are two types of Sustainability grants:

Sustainability (over $1.5 million)
Grants are determined by using a formula that takes into account a panel's evaluation of the organization (panel or criteria score) and an average of the organization’s fiscal income for the last three years. Historically, grants to these arts organizations have ranged between 1 and 2 percent of their total operating budget. These percentages are given as examples only and availability of funds will vary according to the OAC’s appropriation from the state legislature.

Sustainability (under $1.5 million)
Grants are determined by using a formula that takes into account a panel's evaluation of the organization (panel score) and the organization's most recently completed fiscal year income. Grants to arts and non-arts organizations generally range from .5 to 8 percent of their total organizational budget or submitted arts program budget. These percentages are given as examples only and availability of funds will vary according to the OAC's appropriation from the state legislature. Typically, no grant will be less than $3,000.

All Sustainability grants require a 1:1 cash match.

WHO MAY APPLY

Arts, cultural, community-based and social service organizations doing arts programming may apply to the Sustainability program. All applicants must possess nonprofit status.

Eligibility Requirements for Sustainability (over $1.5 million)
All applicants must:

  • Have received at least two OAC grants in the last four fiscal years. The previous support must have come from an OAC funding program that evaluated and scored the application through a public panel process.
  • Be nonprofit arts organizations in any discipline (e.g., community arts, literature, performing arts, folk and traditional arts, visual arts, etc.).
  • Be incorporated as a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization in Ohio.
  • Use a majority of artists who meet the definition of professional artists. (Local arts councils and centers are exempted from this provision.)
  • Produce programs of high artistic quality that are appropriate for the stated mission of the organization.
  • Have an eligible operating income base of at least $1.5 million, excluding OAC funds. The income level must have been attained in the most recently completed fiscal year as evidenced by a certified, audited statement. Restricted funds, such as endowments or capital improvements, may not be included as operating revenue and support. In-kind donations may not be included. Donated works of art cannot be included as acquisition income.
  • Have been in existence for five years, during which time the organization has been presenting regular, annual programming. A permanent, paid, professional staff—including a business manager and artistic director—must have been administering the organization's annual programming. Community arts councils, arts centers and presenting organizations need not have an artistic director, but presenting organizations must maintain a permanent, paid, professional staff whose primary function is to present professional artists in a seasonal format. The five-year criterion is measured from the date of inception of public programming to the date when funds would become available if a grant were awarded (July).
  • Serve a large audience that represents a broad cross-section of citizens, including those not regularly served by the arts, lower income groups, specific populations and other under-served populations.

Funding Restrictions for Sustainability (over $1.5 million)
Regardless of budget size, the following types of organizations are not eligible for the Sustainability (over $1.5 million) category, but may apply to the Sustainability (under $1.5 million) category:

  • Organizations whose primary mission is the awarding of academic credit, such as colleges, universities and other degree-granting institutions (including departments, divisions, centers and other sub-entities of institutions of higher education);
  • Organizations that receive operating funds from other state agencies;
  • Organizations whose main purpose is not the presentation or production of the arts;
  • Divisions or departments of larger governmental entities (e.g., divisions of parks and recreation);
  • National service organizations.

Eligibility Requirements for Sustainability (under $1.5 million)

  • All applicants must have received at least two OAC grants in the last four fiscal years. The previous support must have come from an OAC funding program that evaluated and scored the application through a public panel process.
  • All applicants' last fiscal year income must be at least $30,000. Non-arts organizations, including colleges and universities, meet this criterion based on the organization's arts programming budget, not the overall organizational budget.

Applicants may be:

  • Nonprofit arts organizations in any discipline (community arts, literature, performing arts, folk and traditional arts, visual arts, etc.); OR
  • Other nonprofit organizations that provide arts programming (government entities, social service agencies, etc.); OR
  • Educational organizations (colleges, universities, etc.) that demonstrate a commitment to arts programming in a larger community setting.

HOW TO APPLY

Please refer to the Grant Process for Organizations for a step-by-step guide on the entire process of applying for and managing an OAC grant.

Application Basics
New applicants are encouraged to contact their regional program coordinator to discuss the program's grant Guidelines, application process and mandatory participation in the Ohio Cultural Data Project (CDP)—a statewide initiative focused on gathering and analyzing financial and participation information from arts organizations across Ohio.

All applications to the Sustainability program must be submitted via the OAC's OnLine Grant Application system (OLGA) and include an up-to-date funder report from the Ohio CDP. No paper applications are accepted. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a draft application through OLGA at least 30 days before the final deadline date. To submit a draft, follow the instructions on the final page of the online application.

Applicants must submit their application electronically via OLGA by 5 p.m. on the final deadline date. If the application is not submitted electronically, it will not be accepted. Your organization will be notified via e-mail (sent through OLGA to the primary contact listed in the application) when your application is received. For assistance with OLGA, call the help desk at 614/728-4496 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, or e-mail olgahelpdesk@oac.state.oh.us.

Support Materials
To complete an application for this program, applicants must submit one set of support materials in hard copy form to the OAC. Applications that do not include support materials will not be accepted.

Each OAC grant program has specific support materials requirements. To learn which materials are required for this program, as well as other materials that are optional but may strengthen your application, refer to the Support Materials Grid for Organizations of the OAC Guidelines. You may choose to direct panelists to review some support materials online rather than sending them in hard copy form; please refer to the Online Support Material Submission form for further information and submission instructions.

The signature page and support materials must be received in the OAC office by 5 p.m. seven calendar days following the final application deadline date (regardless of postmarked date). If the signature page and support materials do not reach the OAC within this timeframe, the application will not be accepted. Your organization will be notified via e-mail (sent through OLGA to your primary contact person) when your support materials are received.

YEARS TWO, THREE & FOUR: UPDATE REPORT & FINANCIAL DOCUMENTATION
Prior to the second, third and fourth years of a Sustainability grant, applicants must submit a summary of programming for the upcoming year of their grant; an up-to-date funder report from the Ohio CDP; and required financial documentation by April 1. Your organization will receive detailed instructions via e-mail (sent through OLGA to your primary contact person) by January 1.

Depending on whether your organization falls in the Sustainability (over $1.5 million) or (under $1.5 million) category, this is what you will need:

Sustainability (over $1.5 million)

  1. Programmatic update: Applicants must submit via OLGA a narrative summary of programmatic activities that will occur during the upcoming year of the grant.
  2. CDP Funder Report for the most recently completed fiscal year
  3. Required financial documentation:
    • Certified independent audit
    • Financial Form M
    • Independent audit letter

Failure to submit the required financial documentation by April 1 will result in a penalty deduction of $1,000 per day in the grant award. Failure to submit the programmatic update or CDP Funder Report may result in the grant being deemed ineligible.

Sustainability (under $1.5 million)

  1. Programmatic update: Applicants must submit via OLGA a narrative summary of programmatic activities that will occur during the upcoming year of the grant.
  2. CDP Funder Report for the most recently completed fiscal year
  3. Required financial documentation:
    • Certified independent audit OR
    • Independent certified financial review OR
    • Copy of organization's last fiscal year IRS Form 990

Timeline
The timeline below presents a general outline of the grant application process for the Sustainability program. Please note that if a deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or state holiday, the deadline will be extended to the next business day.

YEAR ONE: For New FY14/15 Applicants Only
Application available in OLGA November 1, 2012
Create CDP profile or
update financial figures from the most
recently completed fiscal year at
http://www.ohculturaldata.org/home.aspx

November 1-
February 1

Draft application deadline January 2, 2013
Final application deadline February 1, 2013
Support material deadline February 8, 2013
Required financial documentation deadline April 1, 2013
Panel meeting (under $1.5 million) March
Panel meeting (over $1.5 million) April
Grant award announcement July
Signed grant agreement deadline August 30
Year 1 Grant period July 1 - June 30
Year 1 Final report deadline July 30

YEAR TWO: For New FY14-15 Grantees
YEARS THREE & FOUR: For FY12-15 Grantees
Off-year application available in OLGA November 1
Off-year update CDP funder report and
financial documentation deadline
April 1
Off-year grant award announcement July
Off-year signed grant agreement deadline August 30
Grant period July 1 - June 30
Final report deadline July 30

EVALUATION AND SCORING

A panel of arts and cultural professionals, educators, Ohio artists and other community members evaluate and score Sustainability grant applications and support materials. Panel meetings are open to the public and representatives from your organization are encouraged to attend to hear the panel's comments about your application. Many panel meetings are streamed live on the Internet to make them more accessible to applicants and the general public; contact your program coordinator or visit the Deadlines and Panel Meetings page for details and instructions for participating.

At the panel meeting, an evaluative discussion will occur for each application. Following the discussion, a vote will be taken to determine whether the application advances to the scoring round. If an application moves to the scoring round, it will be scored based on how well it meets the review criteria. After the panel meeting, this score and the organization's past income will be used in a formula to calculate the funding award recommendation. Funding recommendations must be approved by the OAC board, the only body authorized to make final funding decisions.

The review process is competitive; not all applications are funded. Applicants not voted into the scoring round will not be funded. A utoff point in the scores will be determined so that applications below a certain score are not funded.

Review Criteria
Applicants will be given a numerical score based on how well their application meets the criteria in the following evaluation categories: 1) Artistic/Educational/Cultural Value; 2) Community Participation and Accessibility; 3) Planning, Evaluation and Documentation; and 4) Organizational and Financial Management. Evidence of meeting the criteria will be found in the application's narrative, budget information, support materials and website. There is a maximum of 100 points across the four categories:

Evaluation Criteria
Artistic/Educational/Cultural Value
The highest score for this category is 25 points.

  • Applicant's activities demonstrate artistic, educational and cultural value for the community being served;
  • Applicant's artistic, educational and cultural activities advance the organization's mission;
  • Applicant's artistic, educational and cultural activities are strengthened by qualified personnel;
  • Applicant's artistic, educational and cultural programming satisfies a unique need in the community;
  • Applicant's artistic programming continues to evolve creatively;
  • Applicant's educational and cultural programming meets or exceeds the organization's vision of success in those areas;
  • Applicant's K-12 in-school educational programming must address the new Ohio Fine Arts Academic Content Standards.
Community Participation and Accessibility
The highest score for this category is 25 points.
  • Applicant understands and is responsive to the diverse needs and interests of the community;
  • Applicant has clearly described steps to increase cultural participation in its programs/activities;
  • Applicant has identified and minimized barriers to cultural participation, including but not limited to barriers that prevent participation by people with disabilities;
  • Applicant is recognized for the public value of its work and for the contributions it makes to the economic, educational and/or cultural well-being of the community;
  • Applicant's relationships within the community strengthen its ability to fulfill its mission;
  • Applicant effectively promotes its activities to the community it serves.
Planning and Evaluation
The highest score for this category is 25 points.
  • Applicant engages in long-range or strategic planning and has developed clearly defined goals and strategies;
  • Applicant's day-to-day planning procedures are comprehensive and clearly described;
  • Applicant involves community members, volunteers and artists in planning and evaluation;
  • Applicant evaluates the impact of its activities on the community;
  • Applicant's evaluation strategies are appropriate for participants and activities;
  • Applicant's evaluation results are used in planning and programming.
Organizational and Financial Management
The highest score for this category is 25 points.
  • Applicant demonstrates ability to manage resources and other assets appropriately;
  • Applicant demonstrates awareness of internal/external strengths and challenges and works to build upon or overcome them;
  • Applicant's staff, board and/or volunteers are qualified and demonstrate capacity to complete the proposed project or programming;
  • Applicant's budget reflects a broad base of revenue and support from earned, unearned and in-kind sources;
  • If applicable, applicant has a viable plan to reduce any accumulated deficit.

 

This section of Guidelines is available as a PDF for you to download and print out if you prefer to read it offline.
You must also read Appendix A: Legal Requirements if you plan to apply for OAC funding.
A PDF of the complete version of the Guidelines is available in the Introduction.

PDF of Sustainability Program
PDF of Legal Requirements and OAC Rules
PDF of Appendix E: Credit and Publicity Responsibilities

PDF of Regional Map with county breakdown and staff contact information
Right Click the file and choose Save Target As: to download the file.


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