Organizations must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible to apply for funding consideration:
- Received at least one grant through ArtsMemphis since July 2020. This is to ensure your organization is familiar with the application process and ready to submit a competitive application.
- Includes any of the following grant programs:
- Arts Build Communities
- Operating Support
- Organizations that have received at least one ArtsMemphis grant since July 2020 but have not received an operating support grant previously, must contact ArtsMemphis staff by February 14, 2023 to discuss eligibility and application readiness. This is to ensure efficient use of your time before starting an application.
- Have a current 501(c)(3) federal tax-exempt status, with a primary place of business in Shelby County.
- 501c3 organizations that are not registered in Shelby County must demonstrate a permanent location in Shelby County and a history of minimally three years of providing programming in Shelby County.
- Organization’s primary focus is arts-based.
- The organization creates, exhibits, and/or performs works in any of the following fine, performing, applied or literary art forms as a primary public function.
- Literary Arts
- Media Arts
- Performing Arts
- Visual Art
- The arts should be referenced in the organization’s mission and/or vision statement, strategic planning documents and/or other foundational materials.
- Offer programs that are accessible to all Shelby County citizens regardless of race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or any characteristic protected by law.
- Have a history of offering programs for no less than three years and offer programs consistently throughout the calendar year, minimally 9 out of 12 months per year.
- Have a three-year expense average of no less than $30,000.
- Have an active and financially (including in-kind) supportive Board of Directors.
- Have proof of compliance with all local, state, and federal laws or requirements (i.e., IRS form 990, state auditor forms, TN solicitation license, etc.).
- If a grant is awarded and your organization engages or serves youth under age 18, a Board-approved Child Protection Policy is required before funds will be distributed. Organizations should use resources provided by the Memphis Child Advocacy Center. ArtsMemphis staff can provide sample policies if needed.
The following entities are not eligible for a FY23 Operating Support Grant but may be eligible for other grant opportunities through ArtsMemphis.
- Organizations with a mission that is not arts-based.
- Organizations that have not received a grant through the Arts Build Communities, ArtsFirst, ArtsZone, or Operating Support programs since July 2020.
- Organizations with a three-year expense average of less than $30,000.
- K-12 schools, institutions of higher education or individual departments of colleges and universities.
- Religious organizations, churches or church-affiliated programs, and programs that have implicit religious content, express a particular religious view, or advance a religious purpose.
- Governmental institutions, i.e., public libraries, park and recreational facilities, schools, etc.
- Arts-missioned programs or projects operating under a fiscal agent that does not have an arts-based mission.
- Arts-missioned organizations with less than three years of programming history or that provide programs less than 9 months per year.
If you are not eligible for this operating support grant, please review our other grant opportunities and contact Bryce Goodloe ([email protected]) or Tracy Lauritzen Wright ([email protected]) for assistance.
By January 30, 2023
February 1, 2023
February 14, 2023
Deadline: Organizations not funded through this program since July 2020 must contact ArtsMemphis staff to review eligibility.
Help Sessions Schedule
Office Hours, to register for a time please email,
Bryce Goodloe, Programs & Operations Manager [email protected]
March 6, 2023
Application Deadline at 5:00 p.m.
Complete applications include the following:
- Organization’s LIVEGIVEmidsouth profile is fully updated.
- LOI (Organizational Profile) must be submitted first to open access to application.
April 3 - 14, 2023
Site Visits or Zoom meetings with select organizations.
Organizations notified of grant award decisions.
First payments issued.
Winter 2023 - 24
Semi-annual interviews with grantees scheduled in
lieu of grant reports.
- You are encouraged to contact Tracy Lauritzen Wright or Bryce Goodloe in advance of the deadline with any questions, to seek guidance in using the online application or in compiling your application:
- All grant applications must be submitted using the online grant application platform.
- This grant provides unrestricted funding, and therefore, the application process includes a comprehensive and thorough review of information about your organization’s operations.
- Data and information provided by organizations during grant application processes is utilized by ArtsMemphis to advocate and secure funding for the local arts sector, including this grant program.
- Grant award decisions are competitive, and awards are based on an organization’s documentation of progress and success against the stated criteria.
- Submission of an application for funding does not guarantee that funding will be awarded. Award of funding one year does not guarantee funding the following year.
- Grant awards may not be used for regranting funds to other organizations.
- ArtsMemphis encourages grantee organizations to be organizational partners of Momentum Nonprofit Partners in order to take advantage of their resources, forums, and learning opportunities to ensure utilization of best practices and implementation of current trends in nonprofit administration.
- ArtsMemphis encourages grantee organizations to be members of Tennesseans for the Arts to advocate for state arts funding.
- ArtsMemphis expects that all applicant and grantee organizations maintain an up-to-date profile on LIVEGIVEmidsouth.org. If you need to create or update your profile, contact Nur Abdalla, LIVEGIVEmidsouth Program Associate, [email protected], 901-722-0020.
- If you do not have a profile, you may still apply for this grant.
In fairness to others, no deadline extensions are granted, and we will not accept incomplete applications. An application may be deemed incomplete and ineligible if information is not provided in the appropriate format by the deadline.
For review process logistics, organizations are grouped into two budget groups.
Group A: Budgets under $500,000
Group B: Budgets over $500,000
- A 3-year expense average is used to identify group designations, calculated by averaging expenses as reported on Form 990 for the past three completed fiscal years.
- ArtsMemphis will obtain your 990 Expenses for the last three years through your LIVEGIVEmidsouth profile.
- Your profile must be up to date by March 6, 2023. Please make sure your most recent Form 990 is uploaded to your profile.
- If you do not have a profile, you may upload your Form 990s for the past three fiscal years in the grant application.
- If you file a Form 990-N, you will enter the expense totals for the last three completed fiscal years.
- Review panels are comprised of ArtsMemphis board members and community volunteers, with attention to ensuring diverse and inclusive representation on each panel.
- A dedicated committee will review and evaluate the financial information submitted by all applicants.
- An organization’s review may include a site visit, interview, or meeting with staff and/or review panel members.
- Not all applicants will be visited or have an interview or meeting. Therefore, all critical information must be included in the grant application.
- If your organizations is scheduled for a site visit, it is recommended you have a board member present for the meeting.
- Grant awards are determined through an administrative process following review by panelists.
- Our goal is for the minimum grant award to be no less than $5000.
- Typically, grant awards will not exceed the following:
- Group A: 10% of FY24 budgeted expenses
- Group B: 5% of FY24 budgeted expenses
- ArtsMemphis will strive to exceed the Midsouth Philanthropy Network’s Equity Audit Task Force recommendation to provide minimally 35% of funds available to BIPOC-led and -serving organizations (see explanation in Criteria for Evaluation tab).
- Award amounts will be determined by the following three components:
- A base award determined by an organization’s budget size.
- A possible additional award for organizations that the panel agrees demonstrate exceptional merit.
- A possible Equity Investment based on the demographics of the organization’s leadership and participants.
The following criteria will be considered in reviewing application data and information. Organizations receiving an average score of 24 or less will not be recommended for funding.
Mission, Capacity, and Impact (60%)
Mission (5 points)
- Does the organization demonstrate progress against their stated mission and goals?
- Do the organization’s goals align with ArtsMemphis’ mission and vision?
- Does the organization demonstrate artistic excellence and artistic merit?
Capacity (5 points)
- Is there stability within the organization and its leadership? Does the organization have the administrative capacity to carry out its goals today and plan for tomorrow?
- Does the organization have the artistic capacity to carry out its goals?
Impact (20 points)
- Does a program(s) or initiative noted in the application engage underserved populations?
- As defined by the National Endowment for the Arts, underserved refers to those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability. Age alone (e.g., youth, seniors) does not qualify a group as underserved.
- Does the organization have existing relationships/partnerships to advance inclusion in their programming, and/or to leverage assets and capacities with other organizations to expand impact, access, and sustainability?
- Does the organization present programs that increase relevance and/or inclusive representation of all members of the community or use art to tell stories that are inclusive and representative of all members of the community?
Governance and Fiscal Accountability (40%)
Governance (10 points)
- Does the Board financially (including in-kind) support the organization and is it actively involved in the organization?
Fiscal Health & Accountability (10 points)
- Organization demonstrates responsible financial stewardship, diverse revenue streams, and efforts to improve efficiency of operations and control expenses.
- If the organization is operating at a deficit, does it have a reasonable plan for reversing this trend?
- Does the organization have reserve funds available? Are there controls in place to maintain a reserve?
ArtsMemphis also considers if an organization is Black, Indigenous or Person of Color (BIPOC)-led and/or BIPOC-serving:
- BIPOC-led = CEO and majority of board members are BIPOC individuals.
- BIPOC-serving = majority of participants are BIPOC individuals.
BIPOC-led and -serving = CEO and majority of board members are BIPOC individuals, and majority of participants are BIPOC individuals.
To Apply, please visit the ArtsMemphis Grant Platform.
The FY24 Operating Support grant application is in two parts:
- LOI - serves as an organizational profile.
- Application - available after completing and submitting the LOI
We recommend using a PDF and Word version of each form to compile your information/responses, and then transferring this information into the online application.
Please be aware that you must first submit the LOI form in order to access the online Application. BOTH parts are required for a complete application.
- Organizational Profile (referred to as LOI in the online grant system)
- This step in the application process is used to collect basic organizational information and data.
- This is the narrative section of the application.
- Financial Report
- New this year: Submit your financial data into the table in the online application rather than uploading a report.
- Line items conform to the Tennessee Arts Commission grant applications for consistency and efficiency.
- Information requested includes:
- FY22 Revenue & Expense Actuals
- FY23 Budget
- FY23 Year-to-Date (YTD) Actuals
- List of top 25 donors (by total giving amounts) for your most recently completed fiscal year. Submit this information into the table in the online application.
- Note the name, amounts and if the gift was for a specific purpose. This includes individuals, corporate, foundations, grants, and other contributors.
- We ask for this information to understand the diversity of your support and to identify new opportunities to support the arts.
- Please organize this list by donation amount in descending order.
- Staff and Board list.
- Required only if you do not have a current LIVEGIVEmidsouth profile.
- Submit this information into the table in the online application.
- Form 990s, last three completed fiscal years, or total expenses for last three fiscal years if you file 990-N Postcard.
- Required only if you do not have a current LIVEGIVEmidsouth profile.
Group B, additional requirements:
- Balance sheet for last completed financial reporting period (e.g., last month, last quarter)