General Operating Support I (GOS I) Grants, formerly known as General Operating Support Grants for Mid-size Arts and Humanities Organizations, are available to nonprofit arts and humanities organizations that had both cash operating expenses and cash operating income of more than $50,000 during its most recently completed fiscal year. Grants for FY21 will be awarded for activities occurring from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.
The grant request may not exceed 35% of the organization’s most recently completed fiscal year’s cash operating expenses/income or $50,000, whichever is lower. Requests over $25,000 require the applicant to submit an FY19 audit, or a review of their FY19 financial statements if an audit is not available.
By awarding GOS I Grants, the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) seeks to:
- Encourage organizations to maintain an active, two-way, ongoing relationship between the organization and the community in the planning, participation, and evaluation of public activity/activities, which include intentional strategies for diversity, equity, access, and inclusion;
- Promote stability in arts and humanities organizations by providing a base of funding to support operating budgets;
- Help ensure diverse arts and humanities experiences for constituents of Montgomery County;
- Stimulate local support and involvement in the arts and humanities, including volunteer participation, audience development, and financial contributions;
- Strengthen the scholarly and artistic capabilities of arts and humanities organizations;
- Improve and/or stabilize the management infrastructure and effectiveness of arts and humanities organizations.
*Please note that in FY21, 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.
AHCMC Grants Team
FY21 Submission Deadlines
- Guidelines Released – Monday, December 23, 2019 – 11:59 p.m.
- Letter of Intent – Friday, February 14, 2020 – 11:59 p.m. This submission deadline has passed
- Application – Friday, March 13, 2020 – 11:59 p.m.
First-time applicants are highly encouraged to contact Grants Program staff. Letters of intent, applications, and all relevant materials must be submitted online. Late letters of intent, 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 – April/May 2020
- Award Announcement – late June 2020
- FY21 Mid-Year Report Due – January 2021
- FY21 Final Report Due – July 2021
Workshops at AHCMC
- Monday, February 3, 2020 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m.
- This event has passed
- Friday, January 31, 2020 from 2:00 – 3:00 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 every workshop or 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.
Click here to view the full FY21 GOS I Guidelines
Required Application Materials:
- Completed Narrative
- Organizational Support Materials
- IRS Letter
- List of Board of Directors
- List of key staff
- Strategic plan (if available)
- Financial Support Materials
- FY19 990 (must be received by AHCMC no later than June 1, 2020)
- FY19 audit, if applicable (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
- Projected FY21 budget (if available)
- Programming Support Materials
- Work Sample(s)
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.
How does an organization figure out whether it makes more sense to apply for GOS II funding or a GOS I grant to get the largest potential grant?
GOS II is a highly competitive and rigorous category. Rather than simply focusing on the grant award, applicants are encouraged to consider organizational capacity, financial stability, and right-sizing. When determining which funding opportunity is the most appropriate fit, applicants should also consider which category will allow the organization to grow their organizations in a healthy, protracted manner, strengthen sustainability and create strong partnerships in the community. Applicants are always encouraged to contact AHCMC staff for guidance before the application deadline if it is unclear which grant category represents the best fit.
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
The FY21 Letter of Intent deadline has passed.
If your organization’s Letter of Intent was moved forward, login to the FluidReview application portal HERE to access the full application.