General Operating Support Level I

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Application Deadline:

​March 2017

Staff Contact:

Dwight Walt​h
Director Grant Services & Community Initiatives

GOS I Application

GOS I Final Report

GOS I Current Awards


 Organizations supported by General Operating Support grants are vital to the artistic and cultural development of Phoenix, as evidenced by the size, scope and maturity of artistic product, and by the employment of professionals to achieve high standards of artistic quality. 

Operating Support grant category goals are to:​
  • ​​sustain a community of organizations that are responsibly governed, well-managed and that provide a large and diverse number of opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy exhibits, performances, and other arts and cultural activities​;
  • enrich arts and cultural literacy among residents of all ages through education and outreach programs, and opportunities for personal artistic expression and participation; and
  • encourage broad-based, community-wide participation in arts and cultural activities resulting from a diversity of programming that is accessible to all residents.​

​This grant category provides annual​ support to Phoenix arts a​nd cultural organizations with a total annual operating budget of at least $2,500,000

NOTE: Applying in this category requires that the applicant participate in the Arizona Cultural Data Project​ (AZCDP) which involves creating a profile, entering fiscal year data, and printing a report required as part of this application.  The initial time and effort involved in CDP is substantial and must be completed prior to applying for General Operating Support.

Grant Requests

General Operating Support applicants do not make specific funding requests. Organizations supported through this grant category receive:

Base Awards that represent a percentage of an organization's three-year average contributed income (all sources) and earned income (Phoenix sources only); and

Merit Awards determined by the ranking an organization receives in the panel review.

Due to limited availability of funds, new organizations admitted to the General Operating Support grant category may initially receive partial awards. 


To qualify for funding, an applicant organization must meet the following criteria:

  • Its primary base of business operations must be located in the city of Phoenix
  • At the time of applicat​​ion, it must be a registered non-profit arts or cultural organization with tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code. Documentation of this status must accompany the application
  • The organization must be in good standing concerning all contract agreements with the City of Phoenix​
  • It must have been in existence and actively producing programs in the city of Phoenix for a minimum of three years
  • It must have a minimum prior year income of $2,500,000 (i.e., total of earned inco​me from Phoenix sources only and contributed income from all sources)​
  • It must employ a paid professional full-time manager who is responsible for the business management of the organization and receives a full-time salary​
  • It must provide community outreach and/or education programs within the city of Phoenix
  • It must submit an Audited Financial Statement from the last completed fiscal year

Not Eligible to Apply:

  • Festival Organizations (and other organizations that produce a single annual event)
  • Presenting Organizations
  • Schools
  • Community-Based Organizations
  • Local Arts Agencies
  • Non-Phoenix-Based Organizations
  • Rental Facilities​
  • Colleges and Universities
  • City Departments (and their support organizations)
  • Arts Service Organizations
  • Organizations without a 501c3

Evaluation Criteria

Full Applications are evaluated and ranked by panelists using the following criteria:

Artistic / Program Quality (30% of Score)

  • Strength of Internal artistic or program decision-making process
  • Quality of artistic or program product
  • Challenging and innovative programs/events for past, current and next fiscal year
  • Quality of support materials

Public Value (30% of Score)

  • Value of community outreach and Education programs and those served
  • Strength of efforts and strategies to measure impact of programs​
  • Quality of programs and partnerships targeting underserved populations

Financial Position (20% of Score)

  • Organizational budget/audit/review
  • Strategy for eliminating or reducing debt
  • Successes, challenges or special circumstances related to financial position

Diversity (10% of Score)

  • Evidence of organization-wide commitment to diversity
  • Strategies to broaden, deepen and diversify audience
  • Diversity of Board of Directors

Administrative Ability (10% of Score)

  • Organization's short- and long-term planning process
  • Executive Director's (or equivalent) resume, position description 
  • Engagement of Board of Directors as evidenced by committee roles
  • Strength of staffing