General Operating Support Grants




General Operating Support Grant eligibility is restricted to nonprofit, 501(c)(3) arts/cultural organizations that are professionally managed by a full-time administrative and artistic staff. The organizational annual budget must not be less than $500,000 and not more than $10 million. (Note: The annual organizational budget figure is the organization’s revenues for the most recently completed fiscal year per Part 1, Line 12, of the Form 990. Culture Works may defer to an organization’s audited financials at its discretion.) The organization must complete a Cultural Data Project profile and have a standing of “review complete” prior to the application deadline. Organizations must demonstrate fiscal responsibility and provide audited financial statements including a management letter. Organizations receiving funding through the United Way or those that have received funding from another united arts fund within the past two years are not eligible to apply for Culture Works General Operating Support. Faith-based organizations may only apply if 100% of their programming is open to a general audience.
Minimum Eligibility Criteria:
  • Maintained an average organizational budget figure of no less than $500,000 and no greater than $10 million over the past three consecutive fiscal years (Note: If a previously-funded organization loses eligibility due to this requirement, they may apply again in the next grant cycle in which they meet the requirement.)
  • An independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to create, produce, present, or provide arts or cultural experiences for the public
  • Offices are located in, and a majority of program activities take place within a 30-mile radius of the Culture Works office at 110 North Main Street; Dayton, OH 45402
  • Incorporated in the State of Ohio with an operating history of a minimum of three years
  • Licensed to solicit funds in the State of Ohio
  • Professional, full-time paid administrative and/or artistic staff
  • Board of Directors that meets at least four times per year, with members that are representative of the community’s social, economic, and racial diversity
  • Annual Independent Audit performed by a recognized accounting firm including a management letter
  • A record of active organizational support of Culture Works. Organizations applying for the first time or those applying after a lapse of two years must comply with the following requirements for two years immediately preceding the award year. Organizations who are current grant recipients, as well as all future grant recipients, must comply with the following requirements on an on-going basis:
    • Passport to the Arts participation with a reasonably proportional number of discounted offerings compared to total offerings within the performance season. If the organization is not a performance-based group, other provisions to meet this requirement will be discussed on a case-by-case basis. 
    • Providing performance vouchers and/or other incentives for Culture Works to distribute at Workplace Giving kickoffs and other Campaign for the Arts events.
    • As recipients of Campaign funding, grantee recipients are expected to assist Culture Works in promoting the Campaign both internally and in the community. Culture Works’ leadership is to be provided the opportunity to present to each grantee’s Board of Trustees at a quarterly meeting held or scheduled prior to the grant application deadline each year. Each grantee organization will host a formal Board Campaign and a Workplace Giving Campaign during the application fiscal year.
    • Financial support of the annual Campaign by staff leadership – Executive Director or equivalent
  • For previously funded organizations, evidence of adherence to prior year’s grant agreement and crediting requirements.
First-time applicant organizations should contact Culture Works to review eligibility requirements before beginning the application process.
Start an application.