2019 Office Relocation Sponsorship


The Office Relocation Sponsorship provides funding to support nonprofit arts and culture organizations with challenges of rent affordability by assisting in relocation of their offices to new headquarters in Boulder.


The rental rates for office space in the city of Boulder have continued to rise. Monthly office rental rates as of July 2019 ranged between $14 and $60 per square foot. The rates are becoming unaffordable for nonprofit organizations, and many are considering relocating outside of Boulder to afford continued operations. The “Support our Cultural Organizations” strategy in the Community Cultural Plan suggests a sponsorship program as one way to “support the resiliency and sustainability of cultural organizations to enhance their ability to benefit the community.” The Office of Arts and Culture’s sponsorship encourages partnerships with landlords who wish to support arts and culture organizations for the benefit of the Boulder community.

Application Process

  1. Send a request letter to the City of Boulder Office of Arts and Culture staff at culturegrants@boulderlibrary.org.
  2. Staff of the Office of Arts and Culture and two representatives from the Boulder Arts Commission will meet to discuss and make decisions on the sponsorship application.
  3. If you are awarded a sponsorship, staff from the Office of Arts and Culture will contact you to complete any necessary paperwork.

Total funds: 10% of rental costs for one year, to a maximum of $3,000 per organization. A total of $13,000 is available for funding until sponsorship funds are exhausted.

Awards: Sponsorship of up to 10% of rent for one full year (12 months) as a matching sponsorship to a 10% discount or other support by the landlord of the new office space.

Cycle: Funding is only available in 2019.

DEADLINE TO SUBMIT APPLICATIONS: Friday, November 1 at 11:59 p.m.

Eligibility Requirements

  • General eligibility. Meets all general eligibility requirements.
  • Governance, Nonprofit Status. Applicants must provide formal IRS documentation of their 501(c)3 status.
  • Open only to nonprofit arts and culture organizations that are relocating their offices. ‘Relocation’ is defined as moving into new administrative offices within the city of Boulder. Coworking memberships are accepted provided they meet all other terms.
  • Exemptions:
    • Renovations of existing space.
    • Expansions of existing space.
    • Programming space such as studios, practice space, classrooms, theaters, galleries, or anything other than administrative offices.
    • A combination of office space and non-office space may be prorated by mutual agreement of all parties in the Letter of Intent (LOI).
    • Home offices and studios.

Review Process

Proposals are reviewed by Office of Arts and Culture staff and two representatives from the Boulder Arts Commission.

Eligibility criteria

  • Boulder Focus – Does the organization serve the Boulder community in its programming? Does the organization demonstrate good administrative practices such as locally based board members, regular engagement with the community, budgetary auditing and oversight, an equal opportunity hiring, or other best practices?
  • Need – Does the organization demonstrate that they are in danger of not being able to find an office space in Boulder due to the affordability of rent?
  • Potential – Does the organization demonstrate that the sponsorship will have a substantial positive effect on the long-term sustainability of the organization’s operations?
  • Partnership with the Landlord – Does the organization demonstrate that the new landlord is committed to the matching sponsorship? And, is doing so out of a desire to support the arts and culture in Boulder?
  • Transition Plan – Does the organization demonstrate that they have a reliable plan to afford the rent after the sponsorship has expired?

Sponsorship Awards

  • Notifications and dispersal of funds. Staff notifies all applicants if their proposals have been accepted or declined. If accepted, recipients must contact the grant coordinator to arrange for payment. Checks will be sent by mail or deposited electronically to bank accounts designated by the recipients.
  • Communications.  All official notices and communications will be made to the named applicant or person designated as the organization contact. It is this person’s responsibility to communicate with the Boulder Arts Commission requirements of the award and with any collaborators or other participants. This includes, but is not limited to, compliance with sponsorship agreements, identifying Boulder Arts Commission sponsorship on publicity materials, and reporting issues.
  • Letter of Intent (LOI). Recipients shall use sponsorship funds as described in the LOI. Any changes to the LOI must be reported to culturegrants@boulderlibrary.org.
  • Award amount. The staff of the Office of Arts and Culture reserves the right to adjust the amount of an award offered to an applicant. There are no restrictions as to the minimum amount that may be requested.
  • Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) impacts. If awarded funding, retirees affiliated with PERA will be impacted by a withholding requirement enacted by the Colorado State Legislature. Details are available on the PERA website. See “Disclosure of Compensation.”
  • IRS taxation. Awards are Sponsorship awards are taxable and are reported to the federal government. Upon award, a current IRS form W-9 must be submitted to the City of Boulder Finance Department records for each recipient, whether the recipient is an individual or an organization/business. The W-9 must be in the same name as the recipient named on the application. Failure to supply the corresponding W-9 number will invalidate the award.
  • Letter of Intent (LOI). When a funding award is made by the Office of Arts and Culture, the recipient will be contacted by staff to sign a LOI with the City of Boulder and the landlord. In the LOI, the three parties will agree to all terms of the sponsorship, including the matching sponsorship, expiration , and all other details. Reports are required one month after the expiration of the sponsorship unless the agreement states otherwise.
  • Vendor forms. All recipients must submit a City of Boulder vendor form and current IRS W-9 form so that they may be added to the city’s vendor list. Individuals must also submit an Immigration Status Affidavit and Determination of Independent Contractor / Employee Status for payment document. The State of Colorado law requires proof of legal residency at the time of payment. The Grants Coordinator will send the appropriate forms to recipients.
  • Issuance of funding checks. Once the agreement is signed, staff of the Office of Arts and Culture will submit it to City Finance along with the invoice. Funds are delivered within the next three weeks. Failure to submit a final report will result in ineligibility to apply for future sponsorships.
  • Acknowledgment of Boulder Arts Commission funding. All publicity for Boulder Arts Commission-funded projects must include the following credit line: This project is funded (or funded in part) by the Office of Arts and Culture. In lieu of the credit line, the Office of Arts and Culture logo may be used.
  • Release form. The recipient will be asked to sign a release form and to submit photographs and / or videos of the project that the Office and Arts and Culture will be able to use for publicity.
  • Thanking City Council. It is suggested that all recipients write the Boulder City Council members to thank them for supporting the Boulder Arts Commission and the Office of Arts and Culture. Please let them know how the funding will be used, and the difference it will make to your organization.  Please also invite them to attend your events and programs. Visit the City Council website page to find out more about contacting City Council members.

Required Reporting

  • Time frame for reporting. The report is due one month after the expiration of the sponsorship. The recipient is responsible for submitting a report by the due date.
  • Method. Submit a one page letter detailing the usefulness and lessons learned from the sponsorship to culturalgrants@boulderlibrary.org.
  • Extension requests for reporting. If circumstances delay the recipient’s ability to complete the project and/or the report, the recipient must notify the Boulder Arts Commission before the original report deadline. The recipient must submit an email addressed to the Office of Arts and Culture at culturegrants@boulderlibrary.org that includes each of the following items:
    • an update on the project status,
    • a request to change the report due date,
    • a new report due date.
  • Consequence of Delinquent Report. The applicant and any individuals or organizations / businesses listed as collaborators on the project will no longer be eligible to apply for Boulder Arts Commission sponsorship funds until the report has been received. Exceptions may be made for extension requests approved by the Office of Arts and Culture in advance of the due date.