Guide to Funding: Grant for Organizations (DRAFT)

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Guide to Funding: Arts Project Grant for Organizations (DRAFT)
Detailed Description Of Grant Program


The purpose of the grant is to stimulate organizations to facilitate new, engaging and/or expand existing arts projects. Art projects funded will foster the presentation of a specific artistic work to audiences in the City of Alexandra, such as the presentation of an exhibition or production, or the development of a new work of art that is created, exhibited, and premiered in Alexandria. The grant seeks to:

  • Increase the diversity and accessibility of art in the City of Alexandria;
  • Enable arts organizations to sponsor a program which may serve as prototypes for subsequent events;
  • Increase the capacity of non-Alexandria-based arts organizations to serve the needs of the citizens of Alexandria.


These grants support a wide variety of arts activities which are performed or presented to benefit the citizens of Alexandria.

Funding Requirements:

  • The art project to be supported by the grant must take place within the City of Alexandria.
  • Grant funding cannot exceed 50% of the total project budget.
  • Funding from this source must be matched dollar for dollar by other cash income. In-kind services may not be used to satisfy the matching requirement. The cash match must be met prior to submitting a Final Report, but no later than June 15, 2015. Funding from the City of Alexandria from other Departments, including Alexandria City Public Schools, cannot be used for the cash match.
  • Maximum grant award not to exceed $10,000.
  • General operating support or annual programs for established organizations are not considered projects and are ineligible.
  • Organizations applying for a Project grant cannot apply for an Operating Support grant in the same grant cycle.
  • Organizations may not apply for more than one Project grant during the same grant cycle.


In addition to the general eligibility requirements noted in this Guide to Funding, Project grant applicants:

  • Must have been in existence as an incorporated 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization for one year prior to applying for a grant, or have provided evidence that the organization has applied for a 501(c)(3)  nonprofit status .
  • Must be able to provide (as part of the application) a minimum of one full year of financial history completed prior to the grant deadline.
  • If the organization's mission does not include the advancement and support of the arts, then the organization must have presented arts activities in the City of Alexandria as a significant part of their overall program within the immediate past two years.
  • Same or similar art projects will not be funded in consecutive grant cycles.
  • Are not required to qualify as an Alexandria-based organization.
  • Special consideration will be given to arts organizations whose primary offices and artistic activities are in the City of Alexandria.

Additional Eligibility Criteria for Non-Alexandria-based Organizations:

  • Potential grant funding, for matching purposes, is limited to the portion of the total budget expended on activities in the City of Alexandria.
  • Particular emphasis will be placed upon the potential public benefit to the City of Alexandria in terms of outreach and numbers of citizens served.
  • The Commission will consider the extent to which a non-Alexandria-based arts organization brings to the City of Alexandria arts experiences not already adequately provided by City-based organizations.
  • The Commission will consider the extent to which non-Alexandria-based organizations are supported by their home venues and/or governments.
  • The Commission will consider programs which provide a public benefit to citizens of Alexandria and the visibility of the Alexandria arts community.

Project Grant for Organizations Online Outline:

The Project Grant's for organizations online application follows the outline below.  The outline acts as a guide for writing the grant and articulates grant specific attachments.  When submitting the hard copy of the grant packet, collate the grant packet in the exact order of the grant outline.

  1. Organizational Background

    1. State the mission of the organization.
    2. Describe the target audience(s) served by the organization. The description of audiences should include their general geographic, racial/ethnic, economic, age, and gender makeup, and/or any special needs their members have.
    3. Describe the key strategies/activities used by the organization to advance its mission and serve its target audience(s).
    4. Provide a brief history of the organization.

  2. Planned Project

    1. Describe the specific goals for this project/program. Ensure that SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) goals are presented. Describe the project, highlighting how the project advances the organizational mission, contributes to the accomplishment of the annual goals, and serves the target audience(s).
    2. Provide a planning, management and implementation timeline.
    3. Complete the Program Calendar included in the online application (If applicable).
    4. Describe if this a new (never-done-before) project.  If new, is it a one-time-only project?  Is it a pilot for a future program?  If not new, how does the proposal represent an expansion over the project's previous size?  If it is a continuation or expansion of a previously funded project, what were the results of the project?

  3. Public Benefit to the City of Alexandria

    1. Describe how the project will enhance the artistic experiences and public benefit to the City's residents.
    2. Describe the organization's plan for community engagement of this project to outreach to, and participation by, a diverse audience  (e.g., through free or reduced ticket, audience talks or other opportunities provided to the City's residents).
    3. Describe how the project will provide an opportunity to develop local or regional talent.
    4. Describe how the project will attract audiences from outside Alexandria.
    5. Describe how the project will make a positive economic impact on Alexandria .

  4. Artistic Excellence

    1. Describe the background of key artistic personnel and their roles.  Explain what qualifies them to lead this project, highlighting their education, artistic accomplishments, and their success in engaging the public with the arts. Include  short biographies for key artistic personnel. Include short biographies for key artistic personnel.
    2. Provide evidence of the artistic excellence of the organization's past arts activities, which may include, but is not limited to, published reviews, work samples, supporting materials, and independent evaluations. Please include links as available to online work samples (e.g., performance videos, online exhibitions).
    3. Describe how the organization's programs and long-range plans provide the opportunity for continued artistic development and innovation.
    4. Describe if this is a new (never-done-before) project. If new, is it a one-time-only project? Is it a pilot for a future program? If not new, how does the proposal represent an expansion over the project's previous size? If it is a continuation or expansion of a previously funded project, what were the results of the project?

  5. Planning, Management and Implementation (include a list of course and professional organization lists)

    1. Describe the organization's capability to plan, implement, and evaluate previous projects of comparable scope and complexity.
    2. Describe the background of key management personnel that qualify them for their positions, highlighting their education, accomplishments, and their success in engaging the public with the arts.
    3. Describe the Board's Committee structure and identify the authorized number of Board Members.
    4. Identify the number of full-time and part-time paid employees/volunteers.
    5. Provide a timeline of key implementation steps/tasks required to accomplish the planned project. Steps should include major milestones in planning and implementing the annual program, including deadline for finalizing project plan, release dates for project marketing, and dates for major events. If dates have not been confirmed, please mark dates as tentative.
    6. Describe the organization's methods for evaluating the accomplishment of project goals. This section must include a description of the method used to track participation in arts activities and documenting the impact of arts activities on participants (e.g., through audience surveys or other methods).

  6. Finances

    1. Complete budget pages included in the online application. Budget Narrative. The Budget Narrative gives the applicant the opportunity to explain the Budget.
    2. If the Budget includes "Other" expenses that are greater than $1,000, the Budget Narrative should explain those expenses.
    3. The Budget Narrative should also be used to describe how the organization will secure the financial resources necessary to meet the 1:1 "cash match" requirement.

  7. Marketing/Fund-raising (include list of contributors)

    1. Provide a marketing plan with a variety of marketing methods for promoting the project (i.e., newsletter, advertisements, mailing, web site, etc.). The plan should include a discussion of social media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube) as an integral part of the organization's marketing strategy.
    2. Provide a fund-raising plan which addresses how the organization will attract diverse funding sources (including in-kind support) for this project.
    3. Provide a current list of contributors to this project.