Grantmaking Best Practices

As the designated local arts agency for Montgomery County and funded by the Montgomery County Government, AHCMC is committed to best practices in grantmaking. AHCMC adheres to best practices that are applied at the federal, state, and local levels and are highly regarded among private sector philanthropic professionals as essential to meeting stakeholders’ needs.

Grantmaking best practices include:

  • Providing grant dollars for general operating support to organizations.
  • Providing grant dollars for individuals; scholars and artists who are entrepreneurs, innovators, educators, and creatives broadly defined, who may also pass on cultural traditions from one generation to the next.
  • Providing grant dollars for lifelong learning in the arts and humanities by supporting education in schools, addressing core academic standards, promoting critical thinking and creativity skills for all age groups; early childhood, youth, adults and seniors, and supporting after-school/out-of-school programs.
  • Providing grant dollars for organizations and projects that benefit marginalized groups and underserved communities broadly defined.
  • Providing grant dollars for advocacy and/or organizing and civic engagement to promote equity, opportunity, and justice in our society.
  • Conducting open panel review, ensuring all applications are reviewed by a diverse group of experts with broad knowledge of the specific types of projects, individuals, and organizations that are qualified to receive funding.
  • Evaluating risk posed by the applicant prior to making awards, including attention to past performance on grants, meeting reporting deadlines, compliance with terms and conditions, audit findings, etc.
  • Offering applicants assistance by both providing guidance on how to navigate the application process and feedback on declined applications.
  • Ensuring that the time to apply for and report on the grant is commensurate with grant size.
  • Maintaining engaged staff and board who include among them a diversity of perspectives and expertise.
  • Maintaining policies and practices that support ethical behavior.
  • Disclosing information freely to the public.