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FAQs | Grants for Organizations

1. How and when do I apply for a grant for my organization?
The Arts Council of Indianapolis' guidelines and application materials are usually available in the fall of each year. Downloadable applications are available from the Arts Council's website. First time applicants should contact the Arts Council for the appropriate category and application materials prior to submitting the application. We do not accept unsolicited grant requests - all grant requests to the Arts Council must be made through one of our funding programs.

2. I will not be able to get our application to your office by the deadline date. Can we turn it in late?
The Arts Council of Indianapolis does NOT accept late applications. All applications are to be submitted online by the listed deadline. Additionally, the Arts Council does not accept written applications, incomplete applications, e-mailed or faxed applications, or those not completed using the online grant software.

3. My organization is not a 501(c)(3). Can I still apply for a grant?
For funding through the Arts Council's annual grant and project grant programs, organizations MUST be a 501(c)3. Each applicant organization must have an official IRS letter of determination.

4. My organization is not headquartered in Marion County. Can I still get a grant?
Arts Council annual grant funds are awarded to organizations within Marion County only. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate a clear, significant, and direct benefit to Marion County residents.

5. I'm having trouble with the GoSmart online grant system. What can I do?
It is essential that as soon as the application becomes available, open it to ascertain its functionality on your computer. Do not wait until the day before the application is due to discover that the grant system does not work on your computer! If the website does not work on your computer, it is usually an instance of outdated software. Each application is thoroughly tested on multiple computers prior to release to insure compatibility. If you experience problems accessing the online system or operating the application, please contact the Grant Services department to troubleshoot.

6. Does the Arts Council of Indianapolis offer any technical assistance on grant writing or grant seeking?
The Arts Council offers numerous workshop opportunities that are free and open to the public. Most workshops are scheduled in conjunction with the release of guidelines and application materials. Check this site for up-to-date information on workshop schedules and availability.

7. Do I have to attend a grant workshop?
If your organization did not receive funding in 2018 OR did not apply for funding in 2018 from the Annual Grant Program or the Project Grant Program, a representative of your organization MUST attend one of the workshops offered in December 2018. If you organization did receive funding from the 2018 Annual Grant Program or the 2018 Project Grant Program, you are encouraged to attend a grant workshop but it is not required.

8. Where do the funds come from that are granted through the Arts Council of Indianapolis to arts organizations?
Funds for the Arts Council's grant programs come through an allocation from the City of Indianapolis and the Capital Improvement Board. The Arts Council is grateful for the City's continued support of the arts and cultural community in Indianapolis.

9. Is it possible to have Arts Council staff assist me with my proposal?
Yes! The Arts Council staff is available to review your application, assist you in developing your application, and answer any questions you might have. However, be sure to contact the Arts Council well in advance of the application deadline. As the deadline date approaches, the availability of staff becomes limited. So, plan accordingly.

10. Should I attend the Arts Council's public grant review sessions?
Attending an Arts Council public grant review session (if one is available for your grant application category) is perhaps one of the best sources of technical assistance available. Our out-of-state, conflict-free panelists represent some of the best minds in the industry and provide insight, suggestions, and advice to all applicants.

It is strongly recommended to attend not only your organization's review, but also the review of other applicants in your category. Plan to stay as long as your schedule will allow. The Arts Council encourages staff and board participation on all levels. The panel review sessions are an excellent source of grant writing tips and a great source of information about arts happenings in Indianapolis.

11. What sort of reporting schedule do you require for grant recipients?
All grant recipients are required to provide the Arts Council with documentation and evaluation of arts projects and programs through a final grant report. Final payments of grant awards are not made without submission of a final grant report.

12. How are funding decisions made?
The Arts Council relies on a public process and a panel made up of national arts professionals to adjudicate funding requests through the annual grant and project grant program. Following the adjudication process, the Arts Council employs a funding formula to derive allocation amounts.

13. What documentation will I need to submit with my Annual Grant application?
The submission requirements and documentation requirements vary from program to program. Annual grant applicants must supply a summary of the current strategic plan, a board of directors list, financial statements in the required format for the two most-recently completed fiscal years, and additional documentation. Specific requirements are found in the grant guidelines for each of the funding opportunities.

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