FAQs

Eligibility

Does my organization need to have 501(c)(3) status to apply?
To be considered for Foundation funding, an organization must be a 501(c)(3) OR fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3).

For how many years must my organization’s operating revenue budget exceed $250,000 in order to be eligible?
In order to meet our eligibility criteria, your organization’s last completed fiscal year and current fiscal year must show operating revenue that exceeds $250,000. Operating revenue projections for the fiscal year of your proposed activity must also exceed $250,000.

What if my organization is not required to have an annual audit?
If your organization is not required to have audited financial statements, you can submit an Independent Accountants’ Review (IAR) or your organization’s most recent 990. If your organization is not required to have an IAR or 990, you must submit professionally generated financial statements.

Fiscally Sponsored Organizations

Are there any special requirements for fiscally sponsored organizations?
Organizations using fiscal sponsors should maintain their own professionally generated financial records or have their fiscal agent maintain financial records for them. Fiscally sponsored organizations must also have their own Board of Directors or Advisory Board.

If my organization is sponsored by a fiscal agent, whose information should be presented in the LOI, Intent to Apply, and/or Application?
Fiscally sponsored organizations should include their own financial, board, and contact information on the LOI, Intent to Apply, and/or Application. The fiscal sponsor’s name should be entered where noted. Organizations without their own EIN should enter the EIN of their fiscal agent. If awarded a grant, grant contracts will be signed by the fiscal agent and grant checks will be made out to the fiscal agent, with copies of both sent to the applicant organization.

Timing & Cycles

When should my organization apply?
For project support, the Foundation prefers to fund in advance of the project, so your request should be submitted with enough time to receive funding prior to the start of the proposed activity.

For general operating support, we recommend that organizations with a fiscal year end date of 12/31 apply in Cycle 1, organizations with a fiscal year end date of 6/30 apply in Cycle 2 or 3, and organizations with a fiscal year end date that falls between 6/30 and 11/30 apply in Cycle 3.

What time of day are the Letters of Inquiry (LOI), Intent to Apply (ITA), and Applications due?
LOIs and applications should be submitted by 11:59 PM. All deadlines are listed on our Dates and Deadlines page.

My LOI was declined. How soon can I submit a new one?
An organization may submit one LOI per calendar year. If you would like advice about submitting a new LOI, please contact the program officer noted in your declination email.

How often can my organization receive funding from the Foundation?
Organizations are eligible for funding once per calendar year and once within their own fiscal year.

Funding Priorities

Is my organization a good fit for the Howard Gilman Foundation?
The Foundation’s priority at this time is to fund dance, music, theatre, and multidisciplinary professional performing arts organizations. The Foundation also supports service organizations that support these disciplines. If you have questions about whether your organization might fit within the Foundation’s priorities, please email Grants Manager Kimberleigh Costanzo or call her at 212.408.0400 ext 5.

Does the Foundation fund arts education?
The Foundation does not support in-school educational activity or arts education programming at this time.

Does the Foundation fund professional training programs?
The Foundation may fund professional development efforts for working artists but does not support skills-based training, tuition-based training, or degree-granting programs at this time.

Request Amounts and Types of Funding

Should my organization apply for general operating support or project support?
You are welcome to apply for whichever type of support best furthers the mission of your organization. Project support requests should be for distinct work within specific timeframes, and they may cross fiscal years. Note that projects are not funded retroactively. General operating support requests are for core programming and operations and should encompass the majority of one fiscal year.

How much should my organization apply for?
When considering applying for Foundation funding, please note that the majority of our grants range between $10,000 and $100,000. There is no set formula for determining a request amount; rather, we ask that you consider your organization’s needs in the context of your overall financial health. Note that the request amount presented in your Letter of Inquiry or Intent to Apply is not considered final. If invited to complete a full Application, Foundation staff may ask you to amend the amount of your request. Request amounts are never an indication of potential funding at that specific level. All award decisions are recommended by the staff and approved by the Board of Trustees.

My organization would like to be considered for a capital, cash reserve, or multi-year grant. How do we apply for this type of request?
Requests for capital projects, cash reserves, or multi-year funding are by invitation only.

New Applicants vs. Current Grantees

Is my organization a New Applicant or a Current Grantee?
Current Grantees are organizations that have been awarded Howard Gilman Foundation funding during or after calendar year 2015. New Applicants are organizations that have never applied before, or that have NOT been awarded Foundation funding during or after calendar year 2015. If your organization was awarded funding during or after calendar year 2015, and then subsequently declined for funding, it is considered a New Applicant.

If my organization received funding last year, do I need to fill out an LOI in order to reapply?
If you are a current grantee (a current grantee is defined as an organization that was awarded funding during the previous calendar year), you should fill out an Intent to Apply in place of an LOI. You can find more information about the Intent to Apply on our Application Preview page.

Is my organization still a New Applicant even if it was previously invited to apply?
If your organization applied for funding but was NOT awarded funding, it is still considered a New Applicant.

Application Forms and Questions

How does the Application differ from the LOI and the Intent to Apply?
The Application features many of the same questions as the LOI and the Intent to Apply. Please note that all of the answers you provide in your LOI or your Intent to Apply will automatically transfer to your Application where you are welcome to edit and update any answers you wish; we appreciate information that is as current as possible. There are also several additional questions on the Application that are not found on the LOI or Intent to Apply. All required questions for the LOI, the Intent to Apply, and the Application are listed on our Application Preview page.

How long should the answers be for the LOI, Intent to Apply, and/or Application?
We provide suggested answer lengths (ranging from a few sentences to a few paragraphs) for all of the narrative questions on the LOI, Intent to Apply, and Application. Please keep these suggested lengths in mind as you craft your answers; we would prefer that you adhere to our suggested lengths than try to reach the maximum character count.

What is a DataArts profile?
DataArts, formerly the Cultural Data Project (CDP), is an independent organization that tracks data about cultural organizations. If you do not have a DataArts account or have any questions about this tool, please contact DataArts directly at 877-707-DATA (877-707-3282) or help@culturaldata.org.

What DataArts (or CDP) data is required, and what is it used for?
You do not need to submit a DataArts Funder Report as a part of the Application, but you will need to grant the Foundation access to your most recent DataArts profile data by checking “Allow” in the Application when prompted, “My organization agrees to allow the Howard Gilman Foundation to access its DataArts profile.” The data accessed will be used to compile an end-of-year report on Foundation grantees and applicants. This report is presented to the Foundation’s board and is used to inform strategic decision making.

Do I need to have my DataArts profile completed by the date I submit my application?
Because DataArts profile information is used in our end-of-year report, your most recently audited fiscal year data needs to be submitted by September of the calendar year in which your organization applies. This September deadline may or may not coincide with your organization’s Application deadline.

Funding Decisions

The decision notification date has passed, and my organization hasn’t yet received an email. What should I do?
All official decision notifications are emailed through the Foundation’s online grants management system. These emails are sent to the Grant Contact that your organization chose for its LOI, Intent to Apply, and/or Application. If your organization’s Grant Contact has not received an email and the notification date has passed, it is likely that the email went to a junk or spam folder. Please have your Grant Contact log on to the online system and click “Contact Email History” near the top of the Applicant Dashboard page. This option will provide a list of all emails that have been sent from this system. To ensure that your organization receives all future emails, it is helpful to white-list the address administrator@grantinterface.com.

My organization was not funded, or was not funded at a level awarded to comparable organizations. Why not?
All applications are reviewed annually through a rigorous, multi-step process that looks holistically at field-wide challenges, the competitive application pool, and the unique needs of individual organizations. Our funding recommendations are made based on the results of that comprehensive evaluation process. Our funding is not uniform across budget sizes or disciplines, or made according to other prescriptive rules.

Reporting

Where do I submit my organization’s Final Report?
Reporting questions are included in the following year’s application for Foundation funding. There is no need to submit a separate report. If your organization chooses not to reapply for funding in the following calendar year, please contact Kimberleigh Costanzo at 212.408.0400 ext. 5, and she will send the reporting questions via email.

Meetings and Invitations

How can we invite members of the Foundation staff and board to upcoming performances and events?
If you are a Current Grantee, you were provided with a contact sheet with your award letter that lists the most up to date contact information for Foundation staff and board. If you need a copy of this contact list, please contact Kimberleigh Costanzo at kcostanzo@howardgilmanfoundation.org. Please feel free to add the staff to your mailing lists and send event or opening invitations to the members of our Board.

All applicants will be asked to list upcoming performance dates in your LOI, Intent to Apply, and Application. Invitations to specific performances or events can be sent via hard copy to the Foundation’s address or via email to the Program Officer listed in your advancement email.

How can we request an in-person meeting?
Staff prefers to have in-person meetings during the application review period. Staff members will reach out to your organization’s grant contact to set up a time to discuss a pending Application. Current grantees are encouraged to keep Foundation staff abreast of other organizational updates via email over the course of the year.