Responsive Grant - Performing Arts
The responsive grant process enables us to gain a better understanding of applicant organizations and learn about the needs of and benefits to the individuals they serve. Ultimately the process results in investments in strong performing arts organizations aligned with our stated mission and focus areas.
In Performing Arts, we support the disciplines of music, dance, singing, and theatre, and our priority is to fund organizations that have a primary focus on community performances.
Cullen Foundation’s responsive grant process is competitive, not all applications are funded. We screen and make declinations through the Letter of Intent (LOI). The fiscal health, sustainability, and impact of the applicant organization are important factors in our decision-making.
Cullen Foundation has the following eligibility criteria for all applicants:
- The organization is a 501(c)(3).
- The organization MUST submit audited or reviewed financials prepared by a CPA for its most recently completed fiscal year. This is Cullen's requirement and is not related to NYS requirements. (Click here for more information on types/levels of financial reviews - this link will take you to a brochure on the website of the American Institute of CPAs)
- Erie County is our primary geographic service area. Performing arts organizations outside of Erie County may apply if they can demonstrate their service to Erie County residents through valid audience participation data.
- No funding received will be used for partisan political activity.
- No funding received will be used for expenses already incurred.
- No funding will overlap with an existing grant from the Cullen Foundation.
The request fits within Cullen Foundation’s performing arts focus area; requests for the following will not be considered:
- Arts education programs
- Sponsorships including galas, fundraising events, conferences, and travel opportunities
- Programs and events with a performing arts component that are hosted by organizations that are not members of the performing arts sector
- Activities of organizations serving primarily their own membership
Types of Support
Cullen Foundation has established the following types of support for responsive grants in the performing arts focus area:
- Program support
- General operating support
- Capital (building or equipment)
- Capacity building support
An organization may apply for 1, 2 or 3 years of funding, ranging from $5,000 to $100,000 per year (for a $300,000 total maximum). Receiving the maximum $100,000/year request amount is rare and occurs only when the Foundation deems a unique strategic alignment between Cullen Foundation's mission and the program's outcomes. Multi-year grants are made only when the Foundation believes the multi-year nature of the request is essential to the project's success.
Cullen Foundation runs two open grant cycles each year. The winter responsive grant cycle begins in January and the summer responsive grant cycle begins in July. Scroll below to join our mailing list. This will notify you of the deadlines for upcoming grant cycles.
Dates and deadlines for the Winter 2020 responsive grant cycle are coming soon. The process opens January 1, 2020.
- Contact Cullen staff before you submit an LOI to discuss the program/project for which you’re seeking funding. This step is mandatory.
- Gather information you will need to complete the LOI, including the required financial statements.
- Prepare the LOI carefully; submit the LOI before the deadline.
- If the LOIs is approved, gather the information you will need to complete the application; prepare the application carefully; submit the application before the deadline.
- Respond to Cullen’s request for scheduling an application review meeting. Arrange for the appropriate people from your organization to attend this meeting.