Cross-Sector Impact Grants - FAQs

Please read the entire grant guidelines for your grant program prior to reviewing these FAQs. Many questions are answered in the guidelines, with additional clarification or examples provided here. If you cannot find the answer to your questions, please contact Leland McKeithan at lmckeithan@southarts.org.

FAQs updated February 26, 2020.

General

What is the first step to apply for this program?
Interested partnerships must first complete and submit an online Letter of Interest (LOI) no later than Monday, March 30, 2020 at 6:00pm EDT.  

Do I need an account to submit an LOI?
Yes, LOIs are submitted through the online eGrant system which requires setting up an account. Access more information about eGrant here.

Can I apply for this grant if I’ve received other South Arts or NEA grants this year?
Yes, you can. However, you cannot match this grant with other South Arts funding or any other federal funding, including the NEA, NEH, or IMLS. You must also be in good standing with South Arts, with no outstanding final reports.  

What is the time period for grant activities to take place?
Grant activities must take place between July 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021. 

What is the minimum and maximum grant request?
For projects new to Cross Sector Impact Grants, the minimum grant request is $5,000; the maximum request is $15,000. For projects continuing from FY20, the minimum request is $5,000; the maximum request is $10,000. 

What if I’m interested in this grant program, but don’t have enough time to prepare an application for this deadline?
Subsequent funding cycles are anticipated, although no firm dates are set.

Eligibility & Project Design

Can I be a partner in more than one LOI?
No, you may only be a partner in one LOI for this cycle.

Can I use a fiscal sponsor to apply?
No, applicants cannot use fiscal sponsors or agents for this program. However, note that only one of the two partners needs to be a 501(c)3. 

Do both partners need to be a 501(c)3?
No, only one partner must be a 501(c)3 or unit of government.

Are schools eligible to apply?
Educational pre-school and K-12 schools or institutions are not eligible for this program as one of the partners. However, activities that serve pre-school or K-12 students may be included as project activities. Colleges and universities are eligible as one of the two partners. 

Can both partners be different university departments or campus entities?
No, only one partner may be a university department or campus entity. The other partner must be from outside the university community. 

What is a unit of government?
A unit of government is a department or agency within state or local government. This often applies to public universities or municipality managed venues.

Can a local department or unit of a federal agency apply? 
No, federal agencies cannot be one of the partnership applicants. 

What if I have more than two partnering entities for my project? 
For purposes of this grant, you are limited to two principal partners. However additional individuals and/or organizations may be involved in the project’s implementation. However, all must reside or be located in one of South Arts’ nine member states. 

Can the partners be in different South Arts states?
Yes. However, both partners must be permanently based in one of South Arts’ nine member states and if the partners are from different communities, rationale must be provided as to why it is necessary to bring a partner from outside the target community.  

What does it mean that I need two public-facing events?
All projects must include at least two events held in accessible facilities. One must be public, meaning that the event is open to and marketing to anyone who wishes to come. This could be a concert, exhibit, workshop, screening or other event. The second event may also be public or can be for a targeted group/non-public audience such as a business group, university students/faculty, master classes, nursing homes, K-12 school students, patients/care providers, etc. At least one of these events must be an educational or outreach event that provides context or deeper understanding of the arts experience or project. Examples that would meet this requirement include a master class or workshop, live Q&A or interview with artist or other persons facilitating the project, a demonstration, or a post-event conversation. 

Budget

Up to half of the match may be comprised of in-kind contributions such as donated materials, donated services, or other contributed non-cash assets. At least half of the match must be cash and cannot include salaried staff time allocated to this project. However, contracted services specifically for this project may be included in the cash match.

What is in-kind?
In-kind refers to goods or services that have a specific value, but that are provided in lieu of cash. For example, a local art supply store may be a supporter and provide paint for your project at no cost. If the cost in store is $50/can and you receive 20 cans, the in-kind amount would be $1000. Other in-kind services may include print, broadcast or online advertising; printing; equipment use; meals; etc. Goods/services must be allocated specifically for this engagement. In-kind items should be mirrored in your budget, meaning they should appear as both income and expense.  

What does “match” mean?
Match refers to expenses incurred by the partner(s) for the project; the total expenses paid by the partner(s) must equal or exceed the amount of your grant request. 50% of the match can be in-kind; 50% must be cash. 

Do I need to have the match on hand in order to apply?
No, you do not need to have the match on hand at the time of application. However, you do need to have a realistic plan for attaining the match at the time of application and will be required to document the match as part of your final report.  

Can staff time be used towards the match?
No, salaried staff time is not eligible to be used towards the match for this program. However, contracted individuals and services specifically for this project are eligible.  

Can I include rent or utilities in my budget?
No, overhead costs cannot be included in the budget for this program. Indirect costs are not eligible. However, rental of a space specifically for this project is an allowable expense. 

What if my project budget is greater than $22,500? 
You should include your entire project budget in your grant application. This is important in order to accurately represent the entire scope of your project. 

Are expenses associated with accessibility allowable?
Yes, costs associated with making the project accessible are allowed. This could include, for example, sign language interpreters, audio description, and open captioning. Foreign language interpretation, though not an accessibility expense in this context, is an allowable expense. 

Letter of Interest

Should I include images or other attachments with my LOI?
No, the LOI must be submitted through eGrant and should include only the information requested. Those invited to submit a full application will be required to submit additional support materials at that time.  

Can you read my LOI and provide feedback before I submit it?
Unfortunately South Arts cannot read LOIs or review budgets before the March 30 deadline. However, we are happy to answer any questions not addressed in these FAQs prior to the deadline.  

Who will be reviewing the applications?
The LOIs will be reviewed and evaluated by South Arts staff and consultants. Full applications will be reviewed and evaluation by an outside expert peer review panel with the guidance and assistance of consultants and South Arts staff. 

Next Steps

How will I know if I am invited to submit a full application?
Partnerships who are invited to submit a full application will receive an email on or around April 13 with full instructions on how to submit an application. 

What are the reporting requirements?
All successful grantees will be required to submit a final report at the end of the grant period. South Arts will provide grantees with a format and instructions for completing the report which will include information about the funded activities, results, participants, and actual expenses.  

What help is available from South Arts in developing my project?
For those invited to submit a full application, assistance will be available on a limited basis to assist with program evaluation, grant procedures, and general advice.

When can we expect payment of the grant, if awarded?
Grant payment is sent in full upon receipt of the complete final report; a partial advance payment may be requested at least 30 days prior to the project start date.

Is the creation of an artistic product an eligible expense? 
Yes. However, these projects are not intended for the creation of new work as a central element of the project. Work that is created as a secondary outcome or in which community participants are integrally involved in the creative process is allowable.  

What qualifies as a temporary public art creation or installation? 
For purposes of this grant program, a temporary art acquisition or installation should be on display within the grant period, but firmly for no more than one year. 

Can this grant program fund the installation of a permanent piece of art? 
No, permanent installation, including any installation longer than one year, is not eligible under this program.  

Can the non-arts partner be an individual? 
No, the non-arts partner must be an organization.