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The Capacity Building program supports organizations’ efforts to improve business practices, or add new knowledge and skills that forward organizations’ missions. Awards may fund technical assistance projects, planning or evaluation work, staff professional development opportunities, or other initiatives that upgrade an organization’s ability to do what they do. These internal projects help Ohio arts providers address new challenges, modernize practices and procedures, and strengthen their ability to serve their constituents.
GRANT AWARDS: Applicants may request between $1,000 and $5,000. All awards require a 1:1 cash match.
ELIGIBILITY: All applicants must possess nonprofit status or nonprofit intent but need not be registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Applicants may be: 1) arts and cultural organizations in any arts discipline (literature, performing arts, visual arts, traditional arts, multidisciplinary arts, etc.); 2) other organizations that provide arts programming (government entities, social service agencies, etc.); or 3) educational organizations (public, private, charter, and parochial schools from pre-kindergarten through university level) that demonstrate a commitment to arts programming in a larger community setting.
HOW THE PROGRAM WORKS: Capacity Building grants are six-month or one-year awards for internal organizational development projects. Funds may be used for a variety of expenses in an organization’s efforts to improve practices, build skills, or engage in planning. Many grantees use Capacity Building funding to support outside consultant fees. Other allowable expenses include administrative expenses and planning and evaluation costs. The budget section of the Capacity Building application provides a full list of allowable expense areas. Please refer to the Introduction and Overview for a list of activities the OAC cannot fund.
Sample activities might include:
• a consultant-led board development project or new strategic plan
• development of a new speaker series for local emerging arts leaders
• facilitated community conversations to evaluate ongoing programming
• a feasibility study to examine possible program or fund development expansion
• a staff team’s registration costs and travel to a professional conference
• professional development workshops for staff to improve technology skills
• development of a succession plan or disaster preparedness plan
• a consultant-led study of combining administrative work with another nonprofit partner
Capacity Building funds cannot be used for projects whose primary activity is one of the following:
• the development of a new website
• the purchase of new equipment or other capital expenditures
• general programming or art-making activities designed for the public