Advancement Grants

Advancement Grants (AG) are available to non-profit arts and/or humanities organizations located in Montgomery County, MD that have had both allowable annual cash revenue and expenses of at least $50,000 for the last three completed fiscal years. Grant awards support capacity-building projects for organizations that work in a wide array of arts and humanities disciplines including performing arts, media arts, visual arts, literary arts, and folk and traditional arts, history, and philosophy. Grants for FY22 will be awarded for activities occurring between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.

Award amounts range from at least $10,000 up to $100,000. Requests over $25,000 require the applicant to submit an audit or financial review for the most recently completed fiscal year. Requests over $50,000 require the applicant to submit an audit for the most recently completed fiscal year.

By awarding Advancement Grants, the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) seeks to:

  • Assist arts and humanities organizations in maintaining fiscal stability and long-term viability;
  • Support arts and humanities organizations in their long-term planning, planning for capital improvement projects, and/or technology improvements critical to their mission; and
  • Encourage the use of intentional strategies for achieving Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA) in the field.

We are no longer accepting applications for FY22 AG. Sign up for the Grants Newsletter below to receive updates about the FY23 grants cycle, other grant opportunities, deadlines, and webinars!

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      Important Dates

      Application Deadline
      Friday, February 26, 2021 - 11:59 pm


      Karen Judson
      Grants Program Manager
      (301) 565-3804
      Ana-Alicia Feng
      Grants Program Assistant Manager
      (301) 565-3805 x21
      Takenya LaViscount
      Grants Director
      (240) 839-4519
      Dates + Deadlines

      FY22 Important Dates

      • Guidelines Published – Wednesday, December 23, 2020
      • Application Deadline – Friday, February 26, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.
      • This deadline has passed.

      First-time applicants are highly encouraged to contact AHCMC grants staff. All applications and relevant materials must be submitted online through AHCMC’s grants portal, SurveyMonkey Apply (SM Apply).

      Late applications and relevant materials will not be accepted.

      Additional Dates Post-Application

      • Panel Review (virtual) – 2 dates in April 2021 in conjunction with the GOS I panel review
      • Award Announcement – late June 2021
      • FY22 Mid-Year Report Due – January 2022
      • FY22 Final Report Due – July 31, 2022
      Workshops + Webinars


      • Friday, January 29, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
      • Tuesday, February 2, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
      • These events have passed.

          All AHCMC webinars will be hosted through the Zoom platform. Go to our Workshops & Webinars page to see upcoming workshops and webinars for all open grant categories.

          Webinars allow grant-seekers to ask AHCMC grants staff specific questions about the grant guidelines, application, and online grants portal.

          At every webinar, grants staff will review major eligibility requirements, present an overview of the grant category, and offer technical assistance for both the application process and the online grants portal.

          Guidelines + Eligibility


          Required Application Materials:

          1. Completed Narrative
          2. Organizational Support Materials
            • IRS Letter of Determination;
            • List of Board of Directors;
            • Bios of key staff and volunteers;
            • Current Strategic plan, if available; and
            • Organizational Chart, if available.
          3. Project Support Materials
          4. Financial Support Materials
            • FY20 990 or letter of extension (must be received by AHCMC no later than June 1, 2021);
            • FY20 audit or financial review, or letter of extension, if applicable (audit/financial review must be received by AHCMC no later than June 1, 2021);
            • Profit & Loss Statement for the most recently completed fiscal year;
            • Balance Sheet for the most recently completed fiscal year;
            • Current fiscal year operating budget with actuals year-to-date
            • AHCMC Budget Worksheet;
            • Documentation of pledges of financial support;
            • Projected FY22 budget, if available.
          5. Programming Support Materials
          6. Work Sample(s)

          Information about Audits and Financial Reviews

          An audit is conducted by an independent Certified Public Accountant (CPA) not employed by the organization and provides an unbiased opinion regarding the organization’s financial statements. The auditor conducts their examination in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). An audit requires a much higher level of scrutiny and analysis as compared to a financial review.

          A financial review is also conducted by an independent CPA and provides assurance that the organization’s financial statements are materially accurate. However, as a financial review is more limited in scope than an audit, the assurance is more limited.

            Eligibility Requirements

            Read the guidelines for full eligibility requirements. An organization eligible to apply  has to have met ALL the following criteria for at least the last three completed fiscal years immediately prior to the Letter of Intent deadline:

            • Has its primary mission as the exhibition, presentation, production and/or performance of, and/or education in, an arts and/or humanities discipline, and/or provides support services to artists and/or scholars and/or arts and/or humanities organizations;
            • Has its primary office in Montgomery County, MD, as demonstrated by the address included in the IRS Letter of Determination;
            • Has a balanced budget and documented allowable annual cash operating revenue and expenses of no less than $50,000;
            • Has a balanced budget and annual documented cash operating expenses/income of no less than $50,000;
            • Demonstrates 501(c)(3) status as described on page 5 of the FY22 GOS I guidelines;
            • Is governed by an independent, legally liable board of directors operating under a mission statement for the organization and an operating budget specific to the organization;
            • At least 40% of its board members reside and/or work in Montgomery County, MD;
            • At least one paid employee (not contracted staff) works a minimum of 5 hours a week (or 20 hours a week for grant requests over $25,000) to support the organization’s board, comply with the grant requirements, and maintain ongoing programming;
            • Offers at least 51% of its programs and services in Montgomery County, MD, as demonstrated by previous, current, and projected activities and programming. Activities may be open to the public, with or without an admission fee, in person or virtually. If in person, activities should follow current COVID-19 guidelines for in-person events as required by the Montgomery County Health Department; and
            • Has met all outstanding requirements for any grant(s) received from the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County in prior years.

            Proposal Eligibility Requirements

            Eligible activities must:

            • Take place between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022;
            • Take place in Montgomery County, MD;
            • Contribute to the applicant’s fiscal stability and/or long-term viability;
            • Address long-term planning, planning for capital improvement projects, and/or technology improvements critical to an applicant’s arts or humanities mission; and
            • Heighten the applicant’s ability to provide services that directly benefit Montgomery County constituents.
            Application + Templates

            This application deadline has passed.

            Need to review or download your application? Access SurveyMonkey Apply (SM Apply) here:

            FY22 AG Templates:

            *Know that these are templates for your reference only – all applications and relevant materials must be submitted online through SM Apply.*

            Previous Grants Awarded

            FY21 Advancement Grants (AG)

            $265,711 awarded for July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021

            Advancement Grants assist arts and humanities organizations in attaining fiscal stability and long-term viability. Grants support long-term planning and technology improvements critical to an organization’s arts/humanities mission. Seven organizations were awarded in FY21.

            Click here to review grants awarded for Advancement Grants from previous fiscal years, and all grants awarded from our other grants categories.

            Arts for the Aging, Inc.

            Rockville, Maryland ($15,073)

            Arts for the Aging (AFTA) engages older adults
            and their caregivers in health improvement and life enhancement through regular participation in multidisciplinary arts. AFTA stimulates minds, bodies, spirits and imaginations. A pioneer in arts programming
            for older adults, AFTA is a model for excellence in life-long learning and creative aging.

            Arts on the Block

            Silver Spring, Maryland ($75,000)

            Arts on the Block (AOB) empowers creative youth to imagine and shape fulfilling futures, join the creative workforce, and contribute to the quality of life in their communities. AOB achieves provides real-world experiences in the arts and entrepreneurial training geared toward opening new pathways to learning, self-discovery, and achievement.

            ClancyWorks Dance Company

            Silver Spring, Maryland ($45,000)

            ClancyWorks Dance Company
            increases the public appetite for and understanding of the arts by presenting high-quality dance performance and educational programs to expand the relevance of dance in people’s lives. ClancyWorks demonstrates that creative movement can be used to solve conflicts, develop community cohesion, improve academic achievement, and promote civic responsibility, as well as nurture leadership skills and artistic excellence in emerging artists.

            Peerless Rockville Historic Preservation, Ltd.

            Rockville, Maryland ($12,800)

            Peerless Rockville Historic Preservation, Ltd. is an award-winning nonprofit, community-based organization founded in 1974 to preserve buildings, objects, and information important to Rockville’s heritage. Peerless Rockville advances its goals through education, example, advocacy, and community involvement.

            The Writer’s Center

            Bethesda, Maryland ($11,700)

            The Writer’s Center empowers writers and those who aspire to write through workshops, events, and creative collaboration. The Writer’s Center also supports and celebrates those who publish.

            Strathmore Hall Foundation, Inc.

            North Bethesda, Maryland ($89,600)

            Strathmore presents and produces exemplary visual and performing arts programs for diverse audiences; creates dynamic arts education experiences; and nurtures creative ideas and conversations that advance the future of the arts.

            Young Artists of America at Strathmore

            North Bethesda, Maryland ($16,538)

            Young Artists of America at Strathmore (YAA) is an educational organization offering excellent training to gifted and committed young performing artists in a professional and nurturing environment. Through mentorship
            and individualized instruction from renowned artists, students work collaboratively to perform fully orchestrated works of music-theatre in state-of-the-art venues such as the Music Center at Strathmore, where YAA resides as the arts center’s first Affiliate.

            FY21 Grantees

            Information for FY21 Grantees

            Additional Dates Post-Application

            • Mid-Year Report Deadline – February 22, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.
              • DEADLINE EXTENDED: March 12, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.
            • Final Report Deadline – July 31, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.

            All reports must be submitted online through SM Apply: