Advancement Grants

Advancement Grants (AG) are available to non-profit arts and humanities organizations located in Montgomery County, MD, that have annual cash expenses of at least $50,000 for the most recently completed fiscal year. Advancement Grants for FY21 cover activities occurring from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

The award amounts for Advancement Grants range from $10,000 to $100,000. Organizations applying for $25,000 to $50,000 MUST submit an FY19 audit, or a review of FY19 financial statements if an audit is not available. Requests for over $50,000 require an FY19 audit.

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 equity, diversity, inclusion and access in the field

*Please note that to check eligibility, organizations will be required to submit a budget worksheet provided by AHCMC indicating allowable and non-allowable income and expenses. The worksheet should be completed based on the organization’s FY19 financial statements. This form will be available in FluidReview and below under the “Application” tab.

We are no longer accepting applications for FY21 Advancement Grants. Sign up for the Grants Newsletter below to receive updates about the FY22 grants cycle!

Back to Grants Homepage

Important Dates

Application Deadline
Friday, February 21, 2020 - 11:59 pm


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

FY21 Submission Important Dates

  • Guidelines Published – Monday, December 23, 2019
  • Application Deadline – Friday, February 21, 2020 – 11:59 p.m.
  • The FY21 submission deadline has passed

First-time applicants are highly encouraged to contact Grants Program staff. Applications and all relevant materials must be submitted online. Late applications and relevant materials will not be accepted.

Applications will be accepted for activities occurring from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

Additional Dates Post-Application

  • Panel Review (conference call)
    • Friday, April, 17, 2020 (GOS I) 9:30 p.m. – 1:05 p.m.
    • Friday, April, 24, 2020 (GOS II) 3:00 p.m. – 3:40 p.m.
  • Award Announcement – late June 2020
  • FY21 Mid-Year Report Due – January 2021
  • FY21 Final Report Due – July 31, 2021
Workshops + Webinars

Workshops at AHCMC

  • Monday January 27, 2020 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
  • This event has passed


  • Friday January 24, 2020 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • This event has passed

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


    Workshops and webinars allow grant-seekers to ask AHCMC grants staff specific questions about the grant guidelines, application, and FluidReview online grant portal. At each workshop and webinar, grants staff will review major eligibility requirements, present an overview of the grant category, and offer technical assistance for the application process and use of the FluidReview online grant portal.

    Guidelines + Eligibility


    Click here to view the full FY21 AG Guidelines

    Proposal Eligibility Requirements

    To be eligible, the Advancement Grant proposal must meet the following requirements:

    • Contributes to the organization’s fiscal stability and long-term viability
    • Addresses long-term planning, planning for capital improvement projects, or technology improvements critical to an organization’s arts or humanities mission
    • Heightens the applicant’s ability to provide services that directly benefit Montgomery County constituents

    Required Application Materials:

    1. Completed Narrative
    2. Organizational Support Materials
      • IRS Letter
      • List of Board of Directors
      • List of key staff
      • Strategic plan (if available)
    3. Project Support Materials
    4. Financial Support Materials
      • FY19 990 (must be received by AHCMC no later than June 1, 2020)
      • FY19 audit (must be received by AHCMC no later than June 1, 2020)
      • Financial statements (Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet) for the most recently completed fiscal year
      • Current fiscal year operating budget with actuals year-to-date
      • Budget worksheet provided by AHCMC
      • Documentation of pledges of financial support
      • Projected FY21 budget (if available)
    5. Programming Support Materials
    6. Work Sample(s)

      Eligibility Requirements

      Read the guidelines for full eligibility requirements. An organization has to have met ALL the following criteria for at least the previous three consecutive fiscal years immediately prior to the application deadline:

      • Has its primary mission the exhibition, presentation, production or performance of, and/or education in, an arts and/or humanities discipline; and/or provides support services for artists and/or scholars and for arts and/or humanities organizations;
      • Has a balanced budget and annual documented cash operating expenses/income of no less than $50,000;
      • Demonstrates 501 (c)(3) status through one of the ways stated in the guidelines on page 4;
      • Has its primary office in Montgomery County, as demonstrated by the IRS Letter of Determination;
      • Is governed by an independent, legally liable Board operating under a mission statement for the organization;
      • At least 40% of the applicant’s board members reside and/or work in Montgomery County as of the grant application deadline;
      • Has at least one paid staff person working a minimum of 5 hours a week to support the organization’s Board, comply with the grant requirements, and maintain ongoing programming. Requests over $25,000 require at least one paid staff person working a minimum of 20 hours a week 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, as demonstrated by previous, current, and projected years’ activities/programming

      Information about Audits and Financial Reviews

      Obtaining an independent audit means a certified public accountant (CPA), not employed by the organization, conducted an examination and provided an unbiased opinion regarding the nonprofit’s financial statements. The auditor conducts his or her 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, however as a financial review is more limited in scope than an audit, the assurance is more limited. A financial review provides assurance that the organization’s financial statements have been reviewed by a CPA and are materially accurate.


      The application deadline has passed.

      We are no longer accepting submissions for FY21.

      If you are a grantee, all grant agreements and final reports must be completed on the FluidReview portal. Access FluidReview by clicking here.

      Guides for FluidReview:

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

      Previous Grants Awarded

      FY21 Advancement Grants

      $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.