Operating Support

Operating Support grant workshop will be held at GCAC, 8:30am – 11:00am, Wednesday, February 1, 2017.  RSVP to tjackson@gcac.org.

Operating Support submission deadline is March 6, 2017, 5:00pm.

Operating Support funding through the Arts Council provides a stable source of financial support for core arts organizations that are well-managed, firmly established, have significant impact and broad community engagement. These organizations are placed in two categories: Organizations with budgets under $5 million and organizations with budgets over $5 million.

Read the 2017 Grant Guidelines for complete information about this program, support materials and application and review criteria.

What the Program Supports

The Operating Support program provides an unrestricted investment in the general operations, administration and programs of eligible arts and cultural organizations in all disciplines. This support is intended to supplement other revenue; both earned and contributed, generated by the recipient. Most of the larger arts organizations in the city are funded through this program; however, there is no minimum budget size required to apply for funding so long as the eligibility requirements are met.

Not every organization that applies will receive funding in this program. Once selected for funding, Operating Support grant recipients usually continue to receive funding through this program; however, organizations are evaluated annually and are expected to maintain eligibility by continuing to meet the requirements.

Future funding levels are not guaranteed and may change depending on circumstances and are contingent upon receipt of funds from the city of Columbus.

Application Deadline

Applications with accompanying support materials are due by 5:00 p.m. on the date listed below:

First Monday of March

If the deadline falls on a holiday, the deadline is extended to the next business day.

Upon request, the Grants & Services staff will review and evaluate draft applications up to two (2) weeks before the grant application deadline. Requests must be received by 5:00 p.m., no later than two (2) weeks before the grant application deadline.

Who May Apply

Applicants are required to be independent organizations that have held their 501(c) 3 status and demonstrated annual artistic programming for at least three (3) consecutive years prior to the date of application.

Established arts organizations most likely to receive Operating Support will:

  • Offer annual programming;
  • Demonstrate exemplary artistic achievement;
  • Demonstrate stable artistic and administrative staffing;
  • Engage and compensate professional artists;
  • Maintain healthy financial structures; and
  • Demonstrate significant impact on the city’s economy and tourism.

First time applicants will also be required to submit:

  • Proof of 501(c)3 status;
  • Samples of work demonstrating annual programming;
  • Organizational history;
  • Strategic plan;
  • Audited financial statements* for the previous two (2) completed fiscal years; and
  • Ohio Cultural Data Project: GCAC Funder Report (See Section 6 – Ohio Cultural Data Project and Appendix 4 – OCDP FAQ for more information).

Interested first-time applicants are encouraged to meet with Grants & Services staff and submit a draft application for review. This ensures the application is well-developed to increase the applicant’s chance of receiving funding.

*See Glossary for more information.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted through GoArts, GCAC’s online application system. No paper applications will be accepted.  The application opens approximately sixty (60) days before the deadline.

Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Upon request, the Grants & Services staff will review and evaluate draft applications up to two (2) weeks before the grant application deadline. Requests must be received by 5:00 p.m., no later than two (2) weeks before the grant application deadline.

Organizations must apply annually and demonstrate the following:

  • Primary focus and actual operations are artistic or cultural in nature;
  • A commitment to quality artistic programming;
  • A wide-ranging impact on the city of Columbus;
  • Operate with a community-based board of trustees charged with legal and fiduciary responsibilities, including the hiring of the chief artistic and/or executive directors;
  • Operate with a clearly articulated, realistic, and board approved artistic and financial plan;
  • Operate with professional management and artistic staff as well as compensate participating artists;
  • Demonstrate artistic planning, fiscal accountability, and produce annual audited financial statements;
  • Maintain an OCDP Data Profile with “REVIEW COMPLETE” status for prior fiscal year(s);
  • Present a diverse revenue and support stream; and
  • Demonstrate dollar-for-dollar match of GCAC funding.

Organizations that have a management agreement with another organization must meet basic eligibility, provide the necessary application components, and provide additional documentation as set forth in Appendix 3 – Orgs W Mgmt Agreements.  Contact the Grants & Services office to determine if this situation applies to your organization.

2017 Grantees