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Grants to Maryland Arts and Humanities Nonprofits in Eligible Locations for Organizational Development

Advancement Grants (AG)


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Maryland: Montgomery County

Important Dates
Deadline: 02/16/24 11:59 PM Save

Grant Description
Grants to Maryland nonprofit arts and humanities organizations in eligible locations for operational support that strengthens long-term organizational stability. Funding is intended to assist nonprofits working in a broad range of fields such as visual arts, media arts, history, and philosophy. Grants may be used for activities that include, but are not limited to, equipment purchases, technology upgrades, training, and research. Eligible applicants serve the residents of Montgomery County.

Grant awards support capacity-building projects for organizations that work in a wide array of arts and humanities disciplines including performing arts, media arts, visual arts, literary arts, and folk and traditional arts, history, and philosophy.

By awarding Advancement Grants, the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) seeks to:

  • Assist arts and humanities organizations in maintaining fiscal stability and long-term viability;
  • Support arts and humanities organizations in their long-term planning, planning for capital improvement projects, emergency preparedness planning, and/or technology improvements critical to their mission; and
  • Encourage the use of intentional strategies for achieving Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA) in the field.

Eligible activities must:

  • Contribute to the applicant’s fiscal stability and/or long-term viability, such as addressing long-term planning, planning for capital improvement projects, emergency preparedness planning, and/or technology improvements critical to an applicant’s arts or humanities mission; and
  • Heighten the applicant’s ability to provide services that directly benefit Montgomery County constituents.

The following are examples of activities that are eligible for funding. This list is not exhaustive.

  • Purchase of equipment or software intended to upgrade the organization’s technological capacity
  • Improving the optimization of existing technology, including upgrades or improvements related to new or expanded virtual programming
  • Board and/or staff training in an area, such as financial management or emergency preparedness
  • Creation of a long-term strategic or business plan
  • Identification and implementation of organizational strategies to achieve greater Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and/or Access (DEIA)
  • Studies and plans related to new and replacement machinery, research and development, the production of new services, and other major capital expenditures (also called investment appraisal or capital budgeting).


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Advancement Grants (AG) are available to non-profit arts and/or humanities organizations located in Montgomery County, MD that have had both allowable annual cash revenue and expenses of at least $50,000 for the last three completed fiscal years.

Organizations eligible to apply must have met all the criteria below by the published application deadline and for the last three completed and consecutive fiscal years:
- Has its primary mission as the exhibition, presentation, production and/or performance of, and/or education in, an arts and/or humanities discipline, and/or provides support services to artists and/or scholars and/or arts and/or humanities organizations;
- Has its primary office in Montgomery County, MD, as demonstrated by the address included in the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Letter of Determination;
- Has a balanced budget and documented allowable annual cash operating revenue and expenses of no less than $50,000 (see the definition of allowable operating revenue and expenses within the Budget Eligibility Requirement section on page 5);
- Demonstrates 501(c)(3) status as described below: Has 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from IRS; or Operates as a specific arts and/or humanities entity or division within a larger 501(c)(3) organization whose primary mission is not arts and/or humanities-based;
- Is governed by an independent, legally liable Board of Directors operating under a mission statement for the organization and an operating budget specific to the organization;
-At least 40% of its Board members reside and/or work in Montgomery County, MD;
- At least one paid employee (not contracted staff) works a minimum of 5 hours a week to support the organization’s Board, comply with the grant requirements, and maintain ongoing programming; Requests for over $25,000 require at least one paid employee (not contracted staff) who works a minimum of 20 hours a week to support the organization’s Board, comply with the grant requirements, and maintain ongoing programming;
- Offers at least 51% of its programs and services in Montgomery County, MD, as demonstrated by previous, current, and projected activities and programming. Activities may be open to the public, with or without an admission fee, in person or virtually. In-person activities must follow current COVID-19 guidelines as required by the Montgomery County Health Department. and;
- Has met all outstanding requirements for any grant(s) received from the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County in prior years.

For Budget Eligibility Requirements, see

AHCMC is committed to cultural equity within all funding activities and to serving communities that have been traditionally underrepresented. Funded programming and the workspaces for staff, contractors, and volunteers should be accessible to differently-abled individuals and/or people with disabilities.

Award funds cannot be used for administrative costs incurred due to activities that took place outside of Montgomery County, MD (i.e., other counties in Maryland, Washington D.C., or Virginia).

For grant limitations, see

Pre-Proposal Conference
Webinars allow grant-seekers to ask AHCMC grants staff specific questions about the grant guidelines, application, and online grants portal.

At each webinar, grants staff review eligibility requirements and offer technical assistance for both the application process and the online grants portal.

- Thursday, January 25, 2024 from 11:00 a.m – 12:30 p.m.
- Monday, January 29, 2024 from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

For registration links, see the Full Grant Text RFP link.

Pre-Application Information
Application Deadline:
- Friday, February 16, 2024 at 11:59 p.m.

New applicants are highly encouraged to contact AHCMC grants staff. All applications and relevant materials must be submitted online through AHCMC’s grants portal, SurveyMonkey Apply (SM Apply).

Late applications and relevant materials will not be accepted.

Additional Dates Post-Application
- Panel Review (virtual) – April 2024
- FY23 990 and FY23 audit/financial review, if applicable, Due Date – June 1, 2024
- Award Announcement – late June 2024
- FY25 Mid-Year Report Due – January 31, 2025
- FY25 Final Report Due – July 31, 2025

Applicants must provide a cash match for the Advancement Grant request of one dollar for every dollar of grant funds awarded.

Requests for over $25,000 up to $50,000 require an FY23 audit or financial review. Submitting an audit or financial review does not guarantee an award of more than $25,000. Requests for over $50,000 require an FY23 audit. Submitting an audit does not guarantee an award of more than $50,000.

AG applicants may not apply for a Programming & Capacity Building Project Grant or Capital Grant within the same fiscal year.

Recipients of consecutive FY23 and FY24 Advancement Grants are not eligible to apply in FY25 but may apply in FY26.

Estimated Size of Grant
Applicants may request and may be awarded a grant of at least $10,000 and up to $100,000.

Term of Contract
Grants for FY25 will be awarded for activities occurring between July 1, 2024 and June 30, 2025.

Contact Information
Register and apply online:

To schedule an appointment, contact:
Karen Judson, Grants Manager
(301) 565-3804

Krystle Seit, Grants Coordinator
(301) 565-3805 ext. 20

801 Ellsworth Drive
Silver Spring, MD 20910

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