The Capacity Building Grant provides general operating support to arts and cultural organizations with annual operating expenses between $10,000 and $150,000 that demonstrate an exemplary record of cultural and managerial excellence and community service on a continuing basis to the citizens of Iowa.
Funding for the Capacity Building Grant is made possible by an annual appropriation from the Iowa Legislature to the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Applicants must adhere to the funding policies of the Iowa Arts Council.
Fiscal Year 2021 Application Deadline
Extended from May 1, 2020 to June 1, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. for the funding period of July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021.
Applicants will be notified of funding decisions within 8 weeks of the application deadline.
Final Report Deadline
Grant recipients are required to complete a final report by August 1, 2021.
Grant Request Amount
Grant recipients will be awarded $5,000 to support operating expenses that are incurred within the eligible funding period.
Grant funds must be used for expenses incurred within the eligible funding period of July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021.
Eligible Use of Funds
The Capacity Building Grant Program provides general operating support. Funds are provided to support the mission of a nonprofit rather than to support specific projects or programs. Funds may be used to fulfill that mission at the discretion of the grant recipient, but must support strategic goals or objectives outlined by the organization and its leadership.
Ineligible Use of Funds
Funds may be used at the discretion of the grant recipient; however, the following expenses cannot be covered using operating support:
- Budget shortfalls
- Capital expenditures, including equipment over a total of $5,000 per unit
- Deficit or debt reduction, including loan, line-of-credit, or mortgage payments
- Donations or contributions to other organizations
- Expenses incurred prior to or after the funding period
- Foreign travel
- Fundraising or benefit
- Lobbying activity
- Prizes and awards
- Religious activity
Applicants must meet all of the following eligibility requirements. Entities who do not meet these requirements are not eligible to apply.
1. Organizational Eligibility
Applicants must identify as an Arts Organization or a Cultural Organization, and have been in existence for more than 3 years.
- Arts Organizations: primary mission and purpose must be the arts*
- Cultural Organizations: primary mission and purpose must be cultural*
*Definitions for “arts” and “cultural” can be found in the glossary.
2. Type of Entity
Applicants must be legally organized as one of the following types of organizations:
- Organization that is incorporated in Iowa under the Iowa Nonprofit Corporation Act and holds federal 501(c)3 tax-exempt status.
- Arts or cultural department or division of a municipal government that is also incorporated in Iowa under the Iowa Nonprofit Corporation Act (does not include libraries, parks or recreation departments).
3. Operational Standards
- Organization has operating expenses, exclusive of Iowa Arts Council/Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs general operating support, of $10,000 to $150,000 per year.
- Organization’s facilities, programs and/or services are publicly accessible to Iowans.
- Organization has a minimum of one dedicated staff or volunteer position that works for the organization year round and is responsible for oversight and management of the organization.
- Organization has been in existence since May 1, 2017.
- Organization located in a border community may be eligible under the Border State Policy.
4. Accessibility - Americans with Disabilities Act
Organization must demonstrate that it is in compliance or actively working to be in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). These laws prohibit discrimination against individuals with physical and/or mental disabilities. Both programmatic and structural accessibility must be addressed.
5. Strategic Plan
Organization must have a current comprehensive, multi-year strategic plan or be in the process of renewing an existing plan. Strategic plan is defined as a document developed and used by the organization to align its organization and budget structure with organizational priorities, mission, goals and objectives.
The following types of entities are not eligible to apply:
- Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs grantees with an outstanding final report or who have been placed on a department funding moratorium
- Iowa Arts Council administered grantees who have already received a grant from the department for the current application funding period. Cultural Leadership Partners and Iowa Great Places with an active grant contract are not eligible to apply.
- Organization that uses a fiscal agent or the Iowa nonprofit or federal tax-exempt status of another organization
- For-profit corporation or business, religious organization, political party or national service/professional organization
- Auditorium, convention center or similar type of venue
- Educational institution, organization or pre-K through 12 school, whose primary orientation, mission and purpose is education and the awarding of academic credits
Iowa Arts Council Administered Grant Program Eligibility
Applicants may not submit more than one application during a single grant deadline or cycle regardless of grant program
Online Application Submission
Applicants must submit applications via the Iowa Arts Council’s SlideRoom, an online application portal. Applications will not be accepted in any other format. Late, incomplete or ineligible applications will not be accepted. Applicants can access the current online application requirements at iowaartscouncil.slideroom.com. Applicants must create a login to view the full application requirements for the program. Applicants can visit help.liaisonedu.com for SlideRoom assistance related to the online submission.
Department Eligibility Review
Submitted applications are reviewed by staff for completion, eligibility and adherence to published funding priorities and guidelines. Applications are reviewed as submitted. New application information or subsequent application clarification submitted after a program deadline is not considered. Staff will also review an applicant’s record of compliance and good standing with the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, State and Federal government. Applications or applicants determined by staff to be ineligible or incomplete will not move forward to panel review and are specifically denied any appeals process.
Competitive Panel Review
Eligible applications will be referred to a competitive review by a volunteer citizen panel of Iowa arts and culture professionals with appropriate expertise commensurate to the purpose of the grant program. Applications will be scored and ranked based on the published scoring rubric. Panel ranking and recommendations are submitted to the Administrator of the Iowa Arts Council and Director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs for consideration and funding approval. Applications will be awarded funding based on the ranked list and available funding. All funding decisions are final and may not be appealed due to dissatisfaction. Applicants may review the department appeals policy for information on grounds for appeal and the appeal process.