Tomorrow, March 21, 2017, is the deadline to apply for FY2018 grants. Below, we have compiled a list of tips that have appeared daily, Monday-Friday, on our Facebook page throughout the application period.
1.Where to Register and Apply
Applying to NYSCA is a multi-step process. First, request a new account if you have never applied before at arts.ny.gov. Next, create/update Organization Information and Organization Budget forms at arts.ny.gov (in that order). Then, register your requests at arts.ny.gov. Then, Prequalify and apply in the Grants Gateway Application Portal at grantsreform.ny.gov.
NYSCA recommends that applicants begin Prequalification as soon as possible. Resources about Prequalification are available on our homepage at arts.ny.gov.
3. What is Grants Gateway – and how do I use it?
NYSCA has created tutorials to help you use the New York State grants portal, Grants Gateway. Click here for the print tutorial: http://www.arts.ny.gov/public/grants/Tutorials/FY2018NYSCAGrantsGatewayTutorial.pdf and here for video tutorials: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKT9_EWjYRqX9E0iX8hzF5guyVrdPX3_2. Please note the video tutorials were created for FY16 and may include deadlines that do not apply in FY18.
4. GOS or Project Support
General Operating Support applicants are evaluated on the holistic strength of the organization rather than a specific project offering, leaving more areas open to scrutiny. If a first-time applicant is very strong, it may be eligible for GOS. However, most applicants receive Project Support first.
5. Who can sponsor my application as an individual artist?
Any non-profit organization can serve as a sponsoring organization. To review a list of organizations that have served as fiscal sponsors, visit our website and search Past Grants in the Individual Artists and Architecture + Design Programs. As you will see, fiscal sponsors for theatre, dance, and music commissions and electronic media and film projects include Fractured Atlas, the New York Foundation for the Arts, Women Make Movies, and Independent Feature Project. For Architecture + Design Independent Projects grants, sponsoring organizations have included the Architectural League of New York, Storegront for Art & Architecture, and Van Alen Institute.
6. How important are my work samples?
Work samples are critical – and so are descriptions of your work. Tell us how each of your samples connects to your request and the story of your project and/or your organization’s trajectory.
7. Avoid Last-Minute Errors
There are multiple steps to our granting process and we are doing everything we can to make the process run smoothly. To be sure that no last-minute issues arise, we highly recommend having a complete draft of your grant ready to go AT LEAST one week before the deadline.
8. Grants Gateway Roles
All applications should designate themselves Grantee Contract Signatory if possible – the only roles that will be able to submit are Signatories and Grantee System Administrators. If there are multiple people working on a grant, additional roles will need to be created with a different user names. For a detailed description of Grants Gateway roles, visit our application tutorials.
9. About the Work Plan
Work Plan Overview, including the Project Summary, Organizational Capacity, Objectives, Tasks and Performance Measures, are not considered by staff or panelists as part of the application review. These sections are designed to populate your contract IF your organization is granted funding for FY18.
10. How much should I write?
If you’re working on the application offline, narrative questions typically allow for 4,000 characters.
11. Submitting Supporting Materials
Getting an error message trying to submit supporting materials? You may need to submit a single PDF. You can combine files into one PDF using Adobe Acrobat, Preview (Mac), or 3rd-party programs such as PDF Joiner.
12. Expenditure vs. Project Budget
The NYSCA Project Budget Form requests information about revenue and expenses for the entire project, including non-NYSCA funds. The Grants Gateway Expenditure Budget outlines how the organization plans to use the NYSCA grant request. Applicants must complete both budgets.
13. How many grants may I apply for?
Applicants may apply to two non-exempt funding categories, and cannot apply for both General Support and another non-exempt category in the same NYSCA program. Please see the NYSCA guidelines for a complete list of exempt funding categories.
14. What goes in the budget notes section?
The budget notes help panelists clearly understand how you will execute your project. The more information you can provide here, the better — we don’t recommend leaving this blank.
15. What do I need to do if I currently receive multi-year support?
T0 renew a multi-year grant:
- Make sure your NYSCA final reports are submitted; you will not be able to renew if you have outstanding, overdue reports
- Make sure you’re Prequalified (unless exempt)
- Register at arts.ny.gov by March 21
16. If I receive multi-year support, how long will the term be?
For grant opportunities offering multi-year support, such as General Operating support grants, panelists will determine the length of the offering, from two to five years, based on the strength of the application. For more information about what panelists are looking for, read our funding criteria at http://arts.ny.gov/public/grants/funding_criteria.htm
17. Prequalification Reminder
Remember that applicants must be prequalified by the deadline of March 21st, 4 PM. If your 990, CHAR 500 and audit or financial statement will have expired by March 21st, you must upload current, unexpired documents by March 10 in order for prequalification specialists to review your vault.
18.Grants Gateway Help
Need help with Grants Gateway? Write to GrantsGatewayHelp@its.ny.gov.
Please note: this address is ONLY for Grants Gateway issues and NOT for questions about NYSCA’s Programs or Guidelines. NYSCA’s help desk is also available for non-Gateway technical questions at http://arts.ny.gov/grant_app/helpdesk/public_help.cfm
19. How should I write my narrative?
Don’t tell us your work is great – show us why. What does your project and organization do? Who do you serve? How? If you’ve faced recent challenges, tell us how you did (or will) overcome them. Be clear. Be specific.
20. Writing the narrative: Part 2
Remember to keep in mind NYSCA’s Funding Criteria, available in full in our Guidelines and on our website, which fall into these categories: Service to the Public, Artistic/Programmatic Excellence, and Managerial/Fiscal Competence
21. Have I submitted my application?
Visit the Guidelines for a screenshot of the final steps of the application process. You can verify that your application was submitted by clicking on the Details link and seeing your Current Status now shows Assignment of Reviewers. You will also receive an email verifying its submission.