Click here to access the RISCA grant portal.
Due to changing federal requirements, all applicants to this grant program will need a SAM-UEI (Unique Entity Identifier). Learn how to request your SAM-UEI, click here.
About RISCA’s Project Grant for Organizations.
RISCA’s Project Grant for Organizations program provides grants of up to $3,000 in support of arts and culture projects that are relevant and meaningful to a Rhode Island community or communities.
The Project Grant for Organizations (PGO) program is RISCA’s entry-level grant program for organizations. We know for many applicants this is their first time writing a grant or might be the only grant opportunity they regularly apply to. For that reason, RISCA provides robust application support both within the application itself, as well as through regular grant workshops, one-on-one meetings, and drop-in office hours. These grant guidelines are in the form of a clearly written FAQ to answer the most common questions we receive.
Support from RISCA staff people extends beyond the grant application itself! In addition to being available throughout the application period to support you in developing your proposal, the Organizations Program Director will be in contact once you’ve received your award notification to provide advice, ideas, or connections to help you complete your project. Should you be awarded a grant from RISCA (see I’ve received a grant award! Now what do I do? section for more details) your final report will include a 15-30 minute meeting (in-person, by phone, or by Zoom) with the Organizations Program Director after you’ve completed your project to let them know how your project went, what you learned, and how RISCA can be helpful in supporting your future projects.
For more information on what support opportunities are currently available, check out the RISCA website here.
Meet RISCA’s Organizations Program Director, Todd Trebour. Todd is available to help you with your application!
Todd Trebour (he/him/his) is the Organizations Program Director at RISCA. Todd manages and oversees the agency’s support for organizations, including grants, programs, and services. Since 2018, he has seen a doubling in the number of applications to the Arts Access project grant program for nonprofit organizations thanks to intensive and continuous outreach to Rhode Island communities. Prior to working at RISCA, Todd held several arts management positions in New England, most recently as the Program Coordinator for the UMass Amherst Arts Extension Service, a national arts service organization and the arts management program at the University. Before transitioning into arts management, Todd worked for eight years as a freelance operatic performer working in Texas, Massachusetts, Halifax NS, and many points in between.
Introduce yourself to Todd by emailing him at email@example.com.
Before I even think about applying for this grant, what are the TWO most important things I need to know?
First, Todd is here to help you with your application. You are not annoying him if you email him or call him – he will have a high volume of requests, so please understand that. But as a resident of Rhode Island, it is his job to help you with your grant application (and he enjoys doing so!).
Second, read these grant guidelines at least twice before contacting Todd as they will answer 95% of your questions and save you both time. That way, if and when you do talk, you can spend your time together focusing on your project and your application. There are many exceptions to this piece of advice: if you need guidelines in large print, in a different language, or are unable to read or process these guidelines due to a learning disability, then please feel to reach out to Todd and he can assist you.
What are the deadlines for this program and time periods for what they fund?
The deadline to apply for Project Grant for Organizations (PGO) program is 11:59 p.m. on:
- April 1. This deadline supports projects occurring between July 1 and June 30 – so the entirety of the state’s fiscal year. Typically, organizations apply at this deadline for projects that occur before December 30, or projects that span the entire fiscal year or straddle the winter and spring. For applicants applying at the April 1 deadline, award notification might not occur until after July 1, as we are prohibited from making award announcements until one week after the state budget for the fiscal year (which starts July 1) is passed. If you are applying for a grant for a project that has activities beginning in July, contact Todd – he can talk you through how applying for a PGO is still a great idea!
- October 3.This deadline supports projects occurring between January 1 and June 30. If it fits the character of their project, many applicants will apply at the April 1 deadline to support project activities that occur between July 1 and December 30; they will then apply at the October 3 deadline for a continuation of their project activities between January 1 and June 30. If this is something you are considering, reach out to Todd to discuss this further.
In the event that a deadline falls on a weekend or holiday, the revised deadline will be 11:59 p.m. on the next business day. Late or incomplete applications will not be reviewed.
This is called a Project Grant for Organizations – but how does RISCA define a project?
RISCA defines a project as a discrete set of connected activities with a defined beginning and an end. Projects may be one-time events like a festival, show, or exhibition, or a defined series of events such as a roster of classes or series, or thematically connected concerts, productions or arts events. For example, a music organization could apply for a PGO to support a three performance series of free outdoor concerts at public parks; that program is suitable for a PGO application. However, the same organization could not apply to support their entire nine month season of programming (three-performance series of free outdoor concerts at public parks, regular season concert series, and educational programming), since that reflects that totality of the organization’s programming and falls outside RISCA’s definition of a project.
What are examples of the kind of projects does this grant program typically fund?
The parameters that this program funds are intentionally broad, so it can be as responsive as possible to what communities want or need over time. This grant program has funded large cultural festivals with thousands of people in attendance, as well as small programs with a dozen people involved. Here are hypothetical examples of the types of programs PGO will fund:
- Example One: a free, day long summer cultural festival at a public park featuring live performances, including RI based performing artists.
- Example Two: a free series of art classes led by a teaching artist at a social service nonprofit for a dozen adults with development disabilities.
- Example Three: a low cost dance program for eight young people within a specific cultural community. Taught by artists or culture-bearers from that specific cultural tradition, the intention of the program is to preserve and perpetuate these cultural traditions among future generations.
Core to all funded programs is a connection and value to the community being engaged with by the public, fulfilling RISCA’s charge to facilitate a meaningful cultural life for all Rhode Island residents. Per our partnership agreement with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and our agency values around equity and access, programs that engage “underserved” communities are particularly suitable for PGOs. The NEA defines “underserved” communities as “ones in which individuals lack access to arts programs due to geography, economic conditions, ethnic background, or disability.” Rather than “underserved”, RISCA prefers to use the term “historically and/or continuously marginalized.” In either case, these definitions may include immigrant groups, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color – see Glossary) communities, rural populations, aging populations, people living in poverty, people experiencing homeless, people with disabilities, incarcerated populations, communities recovering from trauma or disaster, and military service members and veterans.
Who is eligible to apply for this program?
In order to be eligible to apply for this grant, you must be:
- A non-profit organization. Your organization must be incorporated in and conducting business in the State of Rhode Island, with 501(c)(3) tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service, registered with the Rhode Island Secretary of State, governed by a revolving board of directors, trustees or advisory board drawn from the community at large and shown to be actively involved in the governance of the organization (for confirmation that your nonprofit organization is incorporated in the State of Rhode Island, visit the Secretary of State’s online database). If your organization is incorporated in a state outside of Rhode Island, they may still apply for a grant. The organization must show that its principal place of business is in Rhode Island, it is registered with the Secretary of State’s office, it is producing programming predominantly in Rhode Island, and it is governed by a revolving board of directors, trustees or advisory board drawn from the Rhode Island community and shown to be actively involved in the governance of the organization. Please contact Todd Trebour, Organizations Program Director for more information.
- A non-exempt, Rhode Island-based organization using a fiscal sponsor that fits the above requirements.
What if I am NOT an organization that fits RISCA’s definition of a non-profit organization?
You can still apply if you have a non-profit organization as a fiscal sponsor. A fiscal sponsor is an organization that fits RISCA’s definition of a non-profit organization who accepts a grant on behalf of the sponsored organization and is financially, administratively, and programmatically responsible for all conditions of the grant. The fiscal sponsor is also responsible for signing any grant documents and ensuring that the sponsored organization follows the rules of the grant program and submits their final report.
The fiscal sponsor cannot also be a project partner; if there is an organization that fits RISCA’s definition of an eligible non-profit involved in the project, they can function as the lead applicant for the Project Grant for Organizations application.
Organizations that are interested in using a fiscal sponsor for a Project Grant for Organizations must contact Todd prior to beginning an application for approval and to request a grant profile that links the organization to the fiscal sponsor.
When submitting a grant via a fiscal sponsor, a simple letter of agreement must be provided. This fiscal sponsorship letter may be used as a template. Typically, fiscal sponsors will charge an administrative fee ranging from 0-10% for administering grants depending on the degree of administrative support and bookkeeping they provide; this fee can be factored into your grant budget. For template of the fiscal sponsorship letter, click here.
Divisions, branches, departments, programs, or other subunits of nonprofit corporations, colleges, or universities are ineligible to apply on their own; applications may be submitted only by the parent corporation.
Parent corporations and fiscal sponsors may be grantees or applicants in the Project Grant for Organizations and other RISCA grant programs, including the General Operating Support for Organizations Program. In this case of organizations who are in the General Operating Support for Organizations program being fiscal sponsors, they may do so as long as they are not project partners – otherwise RISCA would be “double-funding” the organization if providing them with a Project Grant for Organizations AND a General Operating Support for Organizations Grant.
In short, most any organization that fits RISCA’s definition of a non-profit can be a fiscal sponsor – which means there are plenty out there you probably know!
What other rules do I need to know about the Project Grant for Organizations program?
- The maximum grant award in this category is $3,000 – but partial awards are VERY common. Because we are state agency, we have an obligation to provide grants for projects around the state – to make that possible, panels often recommend partial grant awards, typically 50% of the amount requested or higher. And because grant awards are determined by panels of different Rhode Island residents every grant cycle (see Who makes grant award decisions at RISCA?), how grant awards are distributed varies cycle to cycle. For example, in the last few years we typically see panels award grants to 40-60% of applicants in a given cycle of PGO; but only about 5-10% of applicants received full awards. (See I got a grant award! What do I do now? section for more details about what to do if you receive a partial award).
If you receive a partial award, you won’t be expected to accomplish the project as initially outlined. Todd will follow-up with you after award announcements. Todd can discuss with you possible modifications to the program that would still fit the parameters of your grant award and brainstorm other ways of fundraising (if necessary). You also have the option of declining the grant award with no penalties – see What if I don’t want my grant award because it either isn’t enough money for me to accomplish the project, or circumstances have changed and I can’t complete it? section for more details.
- Only one application per grant deadline – except if an organization is also a fiscal sponsor. An organization may only submit one application per grant deadline to the Project Grant for Organizations program. However, they may function as a fiscal sponsor to other organizations within the same grant program. But remember: a fiscal sponsor may not serve as a program partner on a sponsored application. If they are a program partner, they should be the applicant for the program.
- If you receive a grant, you must credit RISCA on all marketing materials. Grants awarded by RISCA are provided by the Rhode Island State General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, on behalf of the residents of Rhode Island. For that reason, awardees must credit RISCA on all printed material where funders and supporters are listed and on all printed programs (see I got a grant award! What do I do now? sectionfor more details).
- All RISCA grant awards are contingent upon the availability of funds from the Rhode Island State General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. For example, if you apply for a PGO at the April 1 deadline, that grant award is funded from the upcoming state fiscal year’s budget, which begins July 1. This is why project activities for a grant submitted after the April 1st deadline must start on or after July 1. However, any delays in passing the state budget will delay grant award notifications and processing of grant payments. If you are applying for a grant for a project that has activities beginning in July, contact Todd – he can talk you through how applying for a PGO is still a great idea!
- Grant applications are considered on a competitive basis. Your application may meet all the eligibility criteria, and be incredibly meaningful to the community you are engaging with. But remember that there are anywhere between 40-70 other applications in an application cycle that are also amazing! Because of the many high-quality projects, panels always wish to recommend more grant awards than they are able – this is another reason why partial awards are common, and why applicants who apply for the support for the same project year after year may not always receive a grant award, and that the grant award amounts may vary in amount cycle to cycle.
What can I use my grant award for? And what CAN’T I use my grant award for?If you receive a grant award, it can be used for expenses related to your project and its production or presentation, as well as marketing and accessibility efforts associated with the project.
There are a lot of things your grant awards can’t be used for. Because we grant out money from the National Endowment for the Arts, we are obligated to follow these rules set forth by them. These are expenses that cannot be covered by your grant award:
- Programs that occur in spaces that are not ADA compliant. Persons with disabilities have the right to access all RISCA-funded programs. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act states, in part, that “no otherwise qualified person with a disability … shall solely by reason of their disability be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all programs and facilities meet or exceed Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards and are accessible to all. Rhode Island arts facilities, and the managers of arts projects in Rhode Island, must make their programs as accessible as possible to the widest number of people and work to remove barriers that may block accessibility. This includes addressing the structural, programmatic, communication and attitudinal barriers that keep people with disabilities from fully participating in arts programs.
See https://www.arts.gov/accessibility/accessibility-resources/publications- checklists/accessibility-planning-and-resource for more information. If your facilities do not meet any one of the standards of the ADA, you are not in compliance and may be ineligible for RISCA funding.
- Capital projects. The construction or renovation of buildings or additions to buildings, with the exception of accessibility improvements to cultural facilities.
- Addressing Debt. Eliminating or reducing existing debt, or for contributions to an endowment fund.
- Any development efforts, such as social events or benefits.
- Prizes and awards. Note: your project having an award or competition component does not make the project ineligible, you just can’t use your grant monies for the prize or award. If using an RFP or RFQ process to select artists for a project, RISCA funds can be used to pay artists. In this scenario, these are considered stipends, not awards or prizes, and should be publicly communicated as such.
- Hospitality expenses. This includes food and beverages for openings or receptions. Under no circumstances will the purchase of alcoholic beverages be supported. Note: your project can have hospitality expenses; you just can’t use your grant monies for hospitality expenses.
- Expenses outside of award period. Your grant award can’t be used to cover expenses incurred or activities occurring prior to July 1 or after June 30 in the fiscal year in which the grant has been awarded.
- Regranting funds. Applications where the purpose is to “regrant” or award funds using some or all of the RISCA grant funds.
- Undergraduate or graduate school activities. Activities which are part of a graduate or undergraduate degree program, or for which academic credit is received.
- Religious activities. Applications for projects that proselytize or promote religious activities, or which take place as part of a religious service.
- Private functions. Performances and exhibitions not available to the general public.
Who makes grant award decisions at RISCA?
Because RISCA is a state agency granting out taxpayer funds, RISCA staff does NOT make any funding decisions: panels of Rhode Island residents do. This is great news for applicants! RISCA staff is available to answer questions and help applicants with their applications.
A typical review panel is made up of five people reviewing no more than 30 applications. This means in most cycles we have 2-3 different panels making grant award decisions for PGO. The panel is made up of five people:
- A minimum of two panel members will be BIPOC individuals (see definition in Glossary).
- A minimum of one panel member will be a practicing artist (see definition in Glossary).
RISCA is committed to a peer review process that provides fresh and diverse input from an ever-changing field. In addition, RISCA will consider age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, geography, discipline of arts experience, relationship to arts and culture (e.g. being an artist, arts administrator, or arts enthusiast), and other factors when curating its application review panels. A panelist can serve on a review panel three times over the course of a three years – which encompasses 6 grant cycles. Panelists cannot serve on a panel in the same grant program during the three-year period. This ensures a changing and diverse array of individuals evaluating our grant applications and guarantees that panels are different every grant cycle.
Serving as a grant panelist is a fantastic way to learn about RISCA’s grantmaking process, as well as how to write grants in general. If you are interested in serving on a grant panel, please contact one of the RISCA program directors. We can’t guarantee that we can accommodate your request because of our commitment to panel diversity, but we are always looking for new panelists. Panelists receive a stipend of $350 for their time and expertise.
How are grant applications evaluated by a panel?
You can find the full rubric grant panelists use to score your application at the bottom of the PGO webpage. The three review criteria are:
Community Impact and Engagement (60%): Is there evidence that this arts and culture project meaningfully engages and inspires its community while expanding opportunities and access for Rhode Island residents?
- Complete and thorough understanding of the project’s intended community, supported by demographic details and other data and information.
- Project has a direct and deep relevance to the creative experience and/or cultural heritage of the identified community.
- Project engages Rhode Island residents in under-resourced geographic communities, and/or historically and continuously marginalized populations. Historically and/or continuously marginalized communities could include immigrant groups, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) communities, rural populations, aging populations, people living in poverty, people experiencing homelessness, people with disabilities, incarcerated populations, communities recovering from trauma or disaster, and military service members and veterans.
- Clear and specific actions indicate the project will be accessible and inclusive, and reduce barriers to access for those who want to attend or participate in the project.
- Community support materials come from a varied array of community sectors, both arts and non-arts, and reflect a robust support for the project.
Feasibility/Likelihood of Success (40%): Is there evidence that the applicant has considered all the factors necessary for their project to be a success?
- Application clearly and thoroughly states specifically what will be done, when and where things will take place, and why the project should be supported with public funds.
- Budget is clear, detailed, and accurate, and the applicant has thoroughly explained how they arrived at the numbers, indicating where RISCA funds will be spent. Budget expenses and revenue are clearly related to project description and the goals of the project, and are a direct translation of stated goals into numbers.
- What is proposed is achievable by the applicant, on their own or in partnership with others. In the absence of past experience, information is provided that helps make a convincing case that this project will succeed.
- Applicant has a clear and thorough sense of what success looks like in the project. Applicant shares clear, thorough, and achievable steps they will take to ensure the project’s success.
Artistic Vibrancy and Intention (up to three points – for panel discussion): Does the project allow Rhode Island residents to actively participate in arts and culture with project leaders who have relevant experience to the community being engaged?
- Provides an excellent and intentional experience for the participants.
- Project leaders, artists, and/or culture bearers can provide relevant and respectful engagement with the identified community. Project leaders have substantial experience working with or are a part of the identified community they are engaging with.
- Project directly supports creation of art by, for, and with/of a specific community.
What are the steps in the decision-making process for grant awards?
There are 12-steps in RISCA’s decision-making process for grant awards:
- STEP 1: Todd assembles the grant panels starting prior to the grant deadline. While this starts prior to the grant deadline, it often continues after the grant deadline once it is clear how many applications have been received, how many are eligible, and how many panels are needed. Todd will reach out to potential panelists who aren’t applying for PGOs that cycle to see if they might be interested, curating panels that reflect RISCA’s diversity requirements.
- STEP 2: You submit your application by the grant deadline. Once the application deadlines pass, no alterations or additions may be made to your application. Applications are reviewed by the grant panel based on the contents of your application only.
- STEP 3: Todd reviews applications and makes sure they are eligible. Todd reviews each application for compliance with eligibility and submission requirements. If Todd detects any issues, he may contact applicants for more information.
- STEP 4: RISCA staff provides orientation and training to panelists. Panelists don’t receive the applications they are to review until they complete a two-part panel training: the first part focuses on implicit bias; the second part focuses on the logistics of being a panelist, including a review of the applications and rubrics.
- STEP 5: Todd forwards all eligible applications to the panel(s). If more than one panel is needed, Todd uses a randomization process to randomly assign applications to panels.
- STEP 6: The panel(s) review their assigned applications and pre-score them. Using the rubric for the program, panelists have typically between 4-6 weeks to review applications and pre-score them prior to their in-person panel meeting.
- STEP 7: Panel(s) meet for their in-person meeting and make funding recommendations. The panel then meets in person at RISCA offices or via Zoom to discuss each application. Panels typically spend between 10-15 minutes discussing each application. After each discussion, panelists have the option of privately adjusting their pre-scores. Todd facilitates the discussion, but does not participate. He and another RISCA staff person take notes during the panel to share with applicants later.
At the end of the day, the panel is shown a spreadsheet that displays the applicants and their total panel scores (meaning the combined total of each panelist’s scores on a given application) in descending order. Using their rankings as a guide, panelists make funding recommendations, recommending primarily partial grant awards along with a handful of full award recommendations.
- STEP 8: Todd writes panel comments for each applicant. Based on the panel’s discussion, Todd provides feedback for each applicant on their application, including ways applicants can make improvements for future applications. Whether or not an applicant is recommended for a grant, they will have the option of meeting or having a call with Todd to discuss the panel comments and ways to improve their applications.
- STEP 9: RISCA’s Governing Council reviews and approves panel recommendations. Todd presents the panel’s award recommendations to the Governor-appointed Council that oversees RISCA. They are responsible for reviewing and approving panels recommended grant awards.
- STEP 10: Applicants are notified as to whether or not they have received a grant award! For applicants applying at the April 1 deadline, they will be notified about their grant award status one week after the state budget is signed by the Governor. This is a moving target – in an ideal year, the state budget will pass the legislature and be signed by the Governor in late June, with notifications happening around the 4 of July. While you can of course reach out to Todd and ask him the status of your April 1 application, his answer will typically be “you will be notified one week after the Governor approves the state budget.”
- STEP 11: Awardees will thoroughly read their grant award agreements, upload their W-9s to the state payment system (if necessary), and sign their grant award agreements. We cannot process your grant payment without a processed W-9 and signed grant agreement form. Once those things have been done, applicants can assume it will take up to 120 days to receive their grant payment. In many cases, grant funds may not be received prior to the start of a project. Applicants should be aware of this possibility and plan their cash flow accordingly.
- STEP 12: Todd will reach out to applicants and see if they want to discuss their panel comments. This is totally optional – you are also welcome to reach out Todd before he contacts you!
I have a disability – what kind of assistance can Todd provide me with my application?
Applicants who need assistance completing an application should contact Todd in advance of the deadline. Todd can provide – or arrange for the provision of – whatever assistance you require. For individuals with learning disabilities for whom writing a grant is prohibitive, Todd can arrange for transcription support if an applicant discloses their needs. In order to allow for timely completion of your application, we recommend you notify Todd at least three weeks prior to the deadline. LARGE PRINT GUIDELINES ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST.
I’m not comfortable writing or communicating in English – what kind of assistance can Todd provide me with my application?
Applicants who need assistance completing an application should contact Todd in advance of the deadline. Todd can arrange for the provision of translation support for your application. In order to allow for timely completion of your application, we recommend you notify Todd at least three weeks prior to the application deadline.
How do I apply for this grant and what things do I need to have to complete the application?
PGO Applications must be submitted online via this application form. via https://www.grantinterface.com/Home/Logon?urlkey=artsri.
While working on your application, you will want to gather the following materials to submit along with your application.
- 501(c)(3) Determination Letter. We are required to grant out federally-sourced funds to 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. If you are not a federally registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, this is a letter you will need from your fiscal sponsor.
- SAM-UEI. SAM-UEI is a 12-character Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) assigned by the federal System for Awards Management (SAM). As of April 2022, SAM-UEI will be required of any entity receiving federal funds, including RISCA grants. SAM-UEIs will be replacing DUNS numbers. Whether or not you already have a DUNS number, you can learn how to get a SAM-UEI for your organization here. If you are unable to get a SAM-UEI before submitting your application, email Todd at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will tell you what to do so you can still submit your application.
- Recent 990 from one of the past three fiscal years. A 990 is the type of annual tax return 501(c)(3) nonprofits file. We need this document so we know your nonprofit is in good standing. If you are not a federally registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, this is a document you will need from your fiscal sponsor. If your non-profit is new and hasn’t completed a 990 yet, submit a Word document that indicates that.
- Letter from fiscal sponsor, if applicable. You can find a fiscal sponsor template letter at the bottom of the PGO webpage. See the What if I am NOT an organization that fits RISCA’s definition of a non-profit organization? section of this FAQ for more information.
- Support materials showing how this project is meaningful to your community. You can submit up to four. This can be letters of support from community partners or valued members of the community; a document of quotes from past or current participants in the project; or anything else from people outside of your organization (e.g. not board or staff) that speaks to why this project is important to the community being engaged. Remember: the panel is reading up to 30 applications – keep your support materials targeted to what you want panelists to see, hear, and know.
- Support materials showing how the artist(s) or culture-bearer(s) involved in the project that have experience relevant to this project. You can submit up to five. These can be videos, images, resumes, short bios, CVs, resumes, or links to audio or video files, etc. Due to limitations on file size in the grants system, we recommend you don’t upload audio or video files directly to the grant system, but to services like Vimeo, YouTube, or SoundCloud. You can then share the link in the support materials box. Remember: the panel is reading up to 30 applications – keep your support materials targeted to what you want panelists to see, hear, and know.
Since applications will be reviewed and scored by panelists on their own, outside of RISCA offices, all support material must be included in the online application. This is also why we recommend sharing links to audio and visual files rather than the files themselves, as panelists may have difficulty reviewing audio and visual files if not shared via an online platform like Vimeo, YouTube, etc.
If your application deals with the work of a particular artist or artists, please provide audio samples, video samples, or digital images of that artist’s work, whichever is applicable. These may be uploaded directly to the application form, or you may copy and paste to the appropriate material in the support materials box.
I’ve received a grant award! Now what do I do?
Congratulations! First things first, you will want to sign the grant agreement form and register with Ocean State Procures as soon as possible so we can start processing your grant payment (see What is Ocean State Procures, and how do I register? section for more details). Once completed, your grant payment may take up to 120 days to receive. Read your Grant Award email thoroughly, as it will have instructions on how to register with Oceans State Procures and how to upload your W-9 to the state payment system.
Other things you will need to do:
- You must acknowledge RISCA support in a prominent manner in all materials and announcements, both audio and visual, related to the grant program. Grant recipients must also display, in a prominent manner, the RISCA logo in association with that acknowledgment. Further detail regarding acknowledgement can be found at https://risca.online/grants/public-acknowledgment/.
- You must submit a brief final grant report to RISCA via the online grant system and have a one-on-one half hour call with Todd. All grantees are required to submit a brief final report and have a one-on-one half hour call with Todd no later than the July 31 following the grant cycle. Todd will reach out to applicants in December and June about scheduling calls, but you are also welcome to reach out to Todd yourself to arrange at time. You will not be able to apply for another RISCA grant if you have an overdue final report.
- You must keep records of receipts and expenditures related to the funded. You should be prepared to make your records available to RISCA if requested by RISCA. All grantees are subject to periodic audit or review by RISCA or the State of Rhode Island and must retain fiscal records for a period of seven years following the grant period.
- You must notify Todd of any significant changes in your project and/or organizational leadership. Any changes must be reported to RISCA within two months of the change.
- The grant must be used exclusively for the purposes specified in the Grant Agreement. Any alternative use of funds needs to be cleared by Todd in advance in writing (by email), or the grant funds must be returned.
- RISCA reserves the right to use any submitted materials for promotional purposes. This includes any text, photographs, audio, or video submitted as part of funded grant applications for limited non-commercial educational or promotional use in publications or other media produced, used or contracted by RISCA including, but not limited to: brochures, invitations, newsletters, postcards, websites, etc.
What is Ocean State Procures, and how do I register?
All RISCA grant award recipients need to have an approved vendor profile in the Rhode Island Ocean State Procures (OSP) system. This new online registration system is used by the State of Rhode Island for any vendor of the state, not just those working with or receiving grant awards from RISCA. Use the Vendor Self-Registration Quick Start Guide (https://www.ridop.ri.gov/documents/vendor-self-registration-quick-start-guide.pdf) for complete details on to fully register and create a login to access your secure Vendor Portal at http://ridop.ri.gov/vendor-registration/. Please note this is a two step process:
- STEP 1: Create Vendor Profile. After completing Quick Start Guide step 6 “submit registration”, your login credentials and the login link will be emailed to you (with the subject line: “Welcome to WebProcure!”).
- STEP 2: Upload W-9. Once you have registered (including uploading a new W-9) and been approved by OSP, RISCA can process your award payment.
What if I don’t want my grant award because circumstances have changed and/or I can’t complete the project?
Before deciding to decline your grant award due to its size or changing circumstances of your project, we recommend you reach out to Todd to see if you can accomplish your project with some modifications. If you do decide to decline your award, it is totally fine to do so. It will have no bearing on future grant applications you might submit to RISCA. You will send an email to Todd indicating your desire to decline your award, and he will assist you.
BIPOC: an acronym that stands for “Black, Indigenous, and people of color.” The term BIPOC is meant to “emphasize the particular hardships faced by Black and Indigenous people in the US and Canada – especially because Indigenous people often get forgotten in social justice causes and that anti-Black racism is particularly virulent.” (dictionary.com)
BIPOC-centered organization: A BIPOC-centered organization is an organization with a mission and programming that is explicitly reflective of a community or communities of color, and where the board, staff, artists, and collaborators, include a significant representation of that community. A BIPOC-centered organization is defined by the following organizational characteristics:
- Primary mission, intentions, and practices are BY, FOR, and ABOUT art, heritages, histories, cultures and communities of color.
- Executive Leader (Executive Director, Managing Director, Producing Artistic Director, CEO, President) identifies as BIPOC.
- Board is at least 60% BIPOC-identifying individuals, per the definition above.
- Staff is at least 60% BIPOC-identifying individuals, per the definition above.
Practicing Artist: a person that intentionally creates or practices art in any discipline that:
- Has specialized training in the artistic field from any source, not necessarily in formal academic institutions.
- Is committed to devoting significant time to artistic activity, as is possible financially.
- Is or is working towards earning some portion of their income from their art.
- Disciplines include, but are NOT limited to: musician, painter, poet, choreographer, teaching artist, ceramicist, storyteller, performer, playwright, sculptor, photographer, wampum artist, printmaker, animator, cartoonist, textile and fashion designer, and filmmaker.
Project Grants for Organizations Guidelines (pdf) — English.
Project Grants for Organizations Guidelines — large print – available February 2, 2023.
Project Grants for Organizations Guidelines — Spanish (pdf) – available February 3, 2023.
Project Grants for Organizations Question List (pdf).
Project Grants for Organizations Budget (xlsl).
Project Grants for Organizations Rubric (pdf) – available February 3, 2023.
Template for the fiscal letter.