Applying for First-Time Funding
The Howard Gilman Foundation seeks to build meaningful, long-term partnerships with a diverse array of performing arts organizations in New York City. We invest in grantee organizations’ overall fiscal health and wellbeing by providing annual general operating support and targeted project support grants, and we add a small number of new organizations to our roster each year.
When it comes to adding new grantees to our roster, the Gilman team is currently prioritizing organizations that are:
- Led by and making work for and about communities of color;
- Located in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island; and/or
- Offering free, low-cost, and/or accessible programming.
In order to be considered for funding, your organization must:
- Have a mission and programming that is devoted to the performing arts;
- Be a 501(c)(3) incorporated in New York City or be fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) and operate in New York City;
- Have an operating budget (revenue and expenses) over $250K for your last completed fiscal year, your current fiscal year, and the next projected fiscal year; and
- Be able to provide either a full audit, an accountants’ review, or a copy of the federal tax form 990.
Note that the Foundation does NOT fund:
- Tuition-based programs
- In-school or after-school arts education programs
- Visual arts museums and galleries
The Funding Process
If your organization meets our eligibility criteria, you are welcome to fill out an application for funding. As a first step, we encourage you to contact our Grants Team. They will be able to direct you to a dedicated Program Officer who can help answer questions and offer additional guidance.
Choose the right time to apply.
Organizations with 12/31 fiscal year end should apply in Cycle 1.
Organizations with 6/30 fiscal year end should apply in Cycle 2.
Organizations with a fiscal year end date that falls between 7/31 and 11/30 should apply in Cycle 3.
Questions about which Cycle is best for you?
There may be exceptions to this timing, and a Program Officer can help you select the Cycle that’s best for your organization. Email our Grants Team, and they’ll direct you to someone who can help.Email Grants Team
Register and create an account in our portal.
First, you’ll need to Create an Account for your organization in our database. It will take our staff up to two days to process the registration. Once you get word that registration is complete, you will need to fill out your organizational profile and add your organization’s key contacts. Here is a Step-by-Step Guide.
Already have an account?
If you have applied to the Howard Gilman Foundation before, you can skip this step! Not sure? Email our Grants Team to find out.Email Grants Team
Fill out and submit your application.
Now that you’ve registered and completed your profile, you can log on anytime. Be sure to note the Date the applications go live for each Cycle as well as the Deadlines for submission. Gilman staff will read and discuss all submitted applications and will be in touch with questions and decisions via email.
Want to get a head start?
You don’t have to wait for the application form to open to check out the questions. Click below for a preview of what the application will entail.Application Preview
Don’t meet our Priorities or Eligibility at this time?
Visit our Regranting Page to learn more about opportunities that may be better suited to your organization!
Is my organization a New Applicant?
In general, your organization is considered a New Applicant if:
- you have never applied,
- you have applied in the past but were not awarded funding,
- you haven’t received funding in any grant cycle in the past calendar year, or
- you have received only discretionary support or regranting funds from a Gilman-funded regranting partner.
Where can I find the eligibility requirements for New Applicants?
Please visit the New Applicants page for our detailed eligibility requirements for direct funding.
Does my organization need to have 501(c)(3) status to apply?
No! We know that not every great performing arts organization has 501(c)(3) status, nor should they. As long as your organization’s budget is over $250,000, we accept applications from both 501(c)(3)s AND fiscally sponsored organizations.
For how many years must my organization’s operating 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 and expenses that exceed $250,000. The next year’s operating revenue and expense projections must also exceed $250,000.
What if my organization’s budget is below $250,000?
Because Gilman requires a minimum budget of $250,000, we partner with local organizations that are able to and have a history of funding applicants with budgets below $250,000. We call these organizations our regranting partners. We provide each with funding to distribute via localized or discipline-specific grant programs. We encourage you to visit our regranting page to learn more about those funding opportunities.
What if my organization is not required to have an annual audit?
All organizations with budgets over $1M need to provide an audit. Organizations with budgets between $250K and $1M should provide a financial report with an independent CPA’s review. If you just reached $250K and have not yet completed an audit or a review, you should submit your organization’s most recent 990.
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 specifically 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 application?
Fiscally sponsored organizations should include their own organization’s operating budget, board, and contact information, as well as their own EIN if applicable, on the application.
The application will also ask for your fiscal sponsor’s name and the fiscal sponsor’s audit, as well as the fiscal agent’s EIN if your organization doesn’t have one.
If you are awarded a grant, congratulations! The grant agreement will be signed by the fiscal agent and the grant check will also be made out to the fiscal agent. We will send a copy of the grant agreement to your organization for your records.
When should my organization apply?
For project support, your application should be submitted during a cycle that has an award notification date before the start of the proposed activity. For example, if your project begins in August, submit in Cycle 1 (award notification: March) or Cycle 2 (award notification: July).
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 7/31 and 11/30 apply in Cycle 3. You can find more information about timing on our Dates and Deadlines page.
My application was declined. How soon can I submit a new one?
We know that getting declined for a grant is painful. We also know that you might want to try again. While we welcome applications one time per calendar year per organization, we also highly encourage you to reach out to staff to discuss whether there is a potential future fit. We don’t want to waste a second of your time, so we’ll try to provide the best advice possible. Note that every declination email includes a Program Officer for you to contact with questions. Feel free to reach out to that person anytime.
How can we invite Gilman team members to upcoming performances and events?
All applicants will be asked to list upcoming performance dates in their application. Invitations to specific performances or events can be sent via email to the Program Officer listed in your application decision notification email. You’re also welcome to send a single hard copy to Gilman’s office address. We’ll be sure to share it will the full team. We’re excited to see your latest creations!
How can we request a meeting?
Typically, after your application is submitted, a Program Officer will reach out to the organization’s grants contact you’ve designated in the grants portal to set up a time to discuss a pending application. You are also welcome to contact any Program Officer at any time via email. If available on their respective staff bio page, you can also schedule a time to speak by clicking the calendar icon.
Is my organization a good fit for the Howard Gilman Foundation?
Gilman’s focus at this time is to fund dance, music, theatre, and multidisciplinary professional performing arts organizations. Gilman also supports service organizations that support these disciplines.
Does Gilman fund arts education?
Gilman does not support in-school educational activity or after-school arts education programming at this time. We also do not support tuition-based skills training or degree-granting programs.
How much funding should my organization expect to receive?
The majority of our first-time grants range between $10,000 and $20,000. There is no set formula for determining a request amount; rather, Program Officers will evaluate your request in the context of many factors, including programming, budget size, and current organizational needs. Ultimately, all award amounts and decisions are recommended by Program Officers and approved by our Board of Trustees.
Should my organization apply for general operating support or project support?
The majority of Gilman grantees apply for and receive general operating support. However, you are welcome to apply for either general operating or project support based on the needs of your organization. In conversation with the Gilman team, the focus of your request may shift over the course of the review cycle. 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.
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?
We appreciate that you are thinking about capitalization and fiscal health. At this time, we do not have a separate application process for those needs. Once an organization becomes an annual grantee, we can talk more about additional ways that Gilman might be able to help!
What is one-time initiative funding?
In response to COVID19, Gilman provided one-time support to emergency regrant/response programs and initiatives, as well as general operating support grants to Mosaic Network & Fund members.
The first step of submitting an application is to register an account in the grants portal. For a step-by-step guide to completing registration, click here.
How long should the answers be for application questions?
We know applications can feel daunting, so for each question we provide suggested answer lengths (ranging from a few sentences to a few paragraphs) for all narrative questions. While we ask that you keep these suggested lengths in mind as you craft your answers, at the end of the day we want to hear about the real story, passion, and artistry behind your work. If that’s conveyed best in three words or three paragraphs, we’re excited to read it.
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 Gilman’s grants portal. These emails are sent to the Grant Contact and Executive Leader Contact that your organization designated in your application. If your organization’s Grant Contact and Executive Leader Contact have not received an email and the notification date has passed, it is likely that the email went to a junk or spam folder. Please reach out to your Program Officer to confirm the application decision. To ensure that your organization receives all future emails, it is helpful to white-list the address email@example.com via amazonses.com.
My organization was not funded or was not funded at a level awarded to organizations we consider comparable to ours. Why not?
Each cycle, all applications are reviewed