2017 Operational Grants: Small / Mid-size Organizations

Alex Milewski of Block 1750

Alex Milewski of Block 1750


To bolster the sustainability of the community’s cultural organizations, a system of operational grants is a priority for the cultural grants program. This system of institutional funding supports the Community Priorities and goals in the Community Cultural Plan within the “Support for Cultural Organizations” strategy. [Link See Pages 19-20]


Operating Grants may be used to cover day-to-day activities or ongoing expenses such as administrative salaries, utilities, office supplies, technology maintenance, etc., as well as for project costs, technology purchases, and professional development. Some restrictions apply, see Exclusions under “General Eligibility Requirements.”

Total Funds: $60,000

Awards: 6 @ $10,000 for 2 years

Cycle: *One-time interim cycle

*Note: This will allow organizations that receive these grants to apply in the 2019 triennial cycle.


      • Cultural organizations with annual revenues less than $200,000 (according to the latest 990 tax documents made available on the IRS website) are invited to apply. In addition, emerging organizations that have not yet achieved not-for-profit tax status may apply within the conditions listed below.
      • Once an applicant is approved to receive an Operating Grant, the approval would be valid for two one-year terms.
      • Reporting twice a year, the organizations will be responsible for providing the Boulder Arts Commission with necessary information to track progress on their stated evaluation. Due to the rules of the City budget, the commitment is made for only one year at a time. At the end of each year, the Boulder Arts Commission will certify that the grant continues into the next year.
      • At each November meeting of the Boulder Arts Commission, when the city budget is identified, staff will build recommendations on allocations for the following year. This may include increases or decreases to the award allocations for grant recipients in proportion to the overall change of the budget of the Office of Arts and Culture. At that time, the Boulder Arts Commission may also choose to review specific organizations that may have defaulted on the terms of their award in order to advise staff to take action.
Boulder Chorale

Boulder Chorale

Eligibility Criteria

General Eligibility. Meets all general eligibility requirements.
Budget Threshold. Cultural organizations with annual revenues less than $200,000.
Service Area and Programming. Must be able to demonstrate that a majority of the organization’s programming takes place in the City of Boulder and that the programming meets the criteria described in the Chapter 14-1-2 of the City of Boulder Revised Code. The organization must also demonstrate that they have been conducting this programming in Boulder for at least two years.
Consistent Management. The organization must have consistent management with no planned or expected changes to leadership during the term of the funding.
Governance, Non Profit StatusEmerging organizations that have not yet achieved not-for-profit status and community-oriented businesses may also apply for this grant.These organizations must be able to demonstrate the following:

  1. The organization has community-oriented mission and goals, services, and programming.
  2.  The organization is currently active and has conducted programming consistently for at least two years.
  3. The organization has oversight from a board, advisory committee, or other stewardship group.  That group must include community representation.
In lieu of Non Profit Verification, the applicant is encouraged to provide a copy of their form CR0100 (Colorado Business Registration) and documentation of the above criteria. This can take the form of strategic or business plans, year-end-reports, media clippings, letters of support, or other documents.

Jury Evaluation Criteria

Capacity Building 
Community Priorities 
Proposed Outcomes and Evaluation Strategy 
Artistic Excellence
Boulder Focus
For applicants without non profit status, the grant must be used for community services
and programming, and not directly contributed to profit-making ventures. Describe the
ways in which the operation of the grant will maintain that distinction and how it will be
documented and evaluated.

The full scoring rubric for the Small / Mid-size Operational Grant can be found on this page.

Appeals Process

Written Appeals Process. The deadline for a written appeal is 14 days after funding decisions has been made by the Boulder Arts Commission. The appeals process can be found through this link.


Applications for 2017 Small/Mid-sized Organization General Operating Support Grants are now closed. Awarded proposals can be found on this page. Check back in fall 2017 for the new deadlines.

More Information

Operational Grant (Small / Mid-size organizations) Guidelines  / Process
General Eligibility Requirements
2017 Grant Application Schedule, General Guidelines & Process
Grant FAQs