4Culture Grants + Calls

Building for Equity: Project Development and Capacity Building

Looking to secure, acquire, or improve a cultural space or historic place? This funding can help your organization build capacity to meet long-term facility needs.

Update: 2024 Building for Equity grants are on hold as we work to disburse federal COVID relief funds and plan for new Doors Open programming.

Steps to Apply

1 About Building for Equity: Capacity Building

1 About Building for Equity: Capacity Building

The Building for Equity: Capacity Building Grants invest in an organization’s development, allowing them to secure their long-term facility needs. These grants of up to $25,000 may fund a wide-range of activities that increase an organization’s capability to advocate and plan for, fundraise for, lease, acquire, repair, remodel, and/or construct space suitable for their programming in a sustainable, long-term manner.

This grant is a part of 4Culture and King County’s Building for Equity initiative, to support cultural building projects and create a pathway to racial equity in cultural facilities funding. To help us achieve this goal, this fund prioritizes organizations located in, and providing services to, historically underserved communities within King County.

Why Racial Equity?

With a focus on racial equity, 4Culture funds, supports, and advocates for culture to enhance the quality of life in King County. We acknowledge that systematic inequity takes many forms—racism, sexism, ableism, transphobia, heterosexism, and more. Our focus on racial equity provides us with the tools we use to dismantle all oppressions.

By centering communities that have historically faced barriers to purchasing and stewarding cultural space, Building for Equity is modeling a new facilities funding program. The goal of this program is to create pathways toward a racially equitable cultural landscape in King County.

To read more visit:
Racial Equity at 4Culture
Mission, Vision, Values


We fund all of our grants through a competitive process, carefully evaluating each application.

For this particular grant, we’ll look to see how well your project shows the following:

  • Quality and qualifications: the reasoning behind your proposed capacity building activities, how they relate to your organization’s ability to secure or improve facilities in the future, and how central they are to your mission and the services your organization provides to King County residents and visitors.
  • Priorities: organizations that are located in and that prioritize serving historically marginalized communities or audiences outside of Seattle will be prioritized if all criteria are met.
  • Feasibility: your ability to complete the work described in your request with the resources and time available to your organization.
  • Impact: the impact the work described will have on your organization’s future sustainability and ability to improve or secure its facilities. How will the community benefit from these investments.

Public Benefit: Why It Matters

Every time a visitor to Washington State stays in a hotel, they pay a Lodging Tax—this is where our funding comes from, and our mission is to put it back into the community. As you work through your application, tell us exactly how your fellow King County residents will be able to enjoy and learn from your work. Read about public benefit more in depth here. Here are some ways you can provide public benefit:

    • Free performances, exhibitions, workshops, screenings, or readings.
    • Events in the often under-served areas of suburban or rural King County, to BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, low-income, youth and senior groups, individuals with limited physical abilities, recent immigrants, or residents from minority races or ethnicities.
    • Free, electronically accessible materials, including literary publications, audio, or video recordings.

2 Are You Eligible?

2 Are You Eligible?

Your organization

Organizations must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Your organization is a federally-recognized 501(c)(3) arts, heritage, or historic preservation-focused organization, public corporation, tribal government, or organization that is fiscally-sponsored by a 501(c)(3) partner organization.
  • Your organization has a two-year minimum operating history demonstrating arts, heritage, preservation, and/or cultural contributions.
    Your organization has an annual operating budget of less than $3,500,000.
  • Your organization must meet one of the following equity-focused priority groups:
    • Your organization is outside of the City of Seattle.
    • Your organization is located in geographic areas within King County zip codes experiencing the most significant social inequities as per a Community of Opportunity designation. These designated areas are shown in purple on this map:


Firefox users: you may find it easier to view the map using this link.

Organizations that do not meet one of the criteria above may submit a statement for consideration by the Review Panel. The statement should describe how the organization’s primary mission or services support historically underserved communities.

If your organization does not have a primary location, it may qualify if 51% of programming in the past two years occurred in locations that would meet the requirements above. Organization may submit a statement describing the organization’s programming in the past two years and locations of communities served.

Your proposal

The capacity building work you propose to fund must directly aid your organization in securing or improving facilities in the future.

Examples of fundable activities include:

    • Consultant and staff expenses for the creation of a strategic plan geared towards a capital campaign or a facilities plan.
    • Hiring fundraising consultants or fundraising staff to expand fundraising capacity, develop a capital fundraising plan and/or conduct a feasibility study.
    • Training for board, staff and volunteers in leadership development, fundraising, and/or institutional planning to prepare for a capital campaign or construction project.
    • Architectural master planning, pre-design and concept design services.
    • Building condition assessments, historic structure reports, or preservation plans.
    • Consultant fees and other expenses for ADA-compliance facilities planning.
    • Design and planning for facility modifications in response to COVID-19.
    • Expenses related to community charettes, including participant stipends.
    • Real estate brokerage services to identify potential properties to lease or purchase.
    • Financial planning to position an organization to secure their facility’s needs.
    • Other facility-related planning that increase an organization’s stability and resilience.

This program is focused on capacity building and does not fund annual operating expenses, full scope architectural services, rent, or construction projects. Staff expenses may only be reimbursed if they are directly related to the capacity building initiative described in you grant application. Please see our Sustained Support program for operating support. Organizations seeking funds for a capital project are encouraged to apply for a Cultural Facilities grant.

Organizations that receive an award through this program must participate in at least three 4Culture-approved learning opportunities within one year of receiving a grant under this program.

3 Helping You Succeed

3 Helping You Succeed


Workshops provide an opportunity for you to meet staff, learn about the process, ask questions, and meet other artists and arts groups. They are informal and virtual. Zoom registration required. Take advantage of this opportunity to strengthen your application!

This grant is currently closed. Workshops will be posted 6-8 weeks before the next deadline date.

Workshop Recording


Read a sample application from an organization that successfully received funding in a previous cycle.

Contact Us

We’re here to help! Please contact us if you have a question about this program. We can provide guidance as you work through your application. We look forward to getting to know you and your efforts toward your cultural facility project! You can contact us about:

  • The grant application, panel review process, award notifications, eligible expenses, contracting, and reimbursement/payments.
  • Review grant application drafts.
  • Scheduling a site visit or a meeting.

Maya Santos, Building for Equity Program Manager

Lauren Miles, Building for Equity Support Specialist

Translation and Assistance

The guidelines, a detailed explanation of how to apply, and the application are in English. If this is a barrier that stops you from understanding the grant or applying due to limited English writing ability, visual impairment, or you would like to request assistance to create an application, please contact hello@4culture.org or call (206) 296-7580 or TTY 711, and we will make sure you get the support you need.
Las pautas, la explicación detallada de cómo enviar la solicitud y la solicitud están en inglés. Si esto le impide comprender la información relacionada con la beca o enviar una solicitud debido a una limitación en la capacidad para escribir en inglés, si tiene una discapacidad visual o si desea recibir asistencia para crear una solicitud, escriba a hello@4culture.org o llame al (206) 296-7580 o TTY 711, y nos aseguraremos de que obtenga la ayuda que necesita.
详细说明如何申请的指南以及申请本身均使用英文。如果由于英语写作能力有限、视力障碍而妨碍您对本资助的了解或申请,或者您希望请求协助来完成申请,请发送电子邮件至 hello@4culture.org 或致电 (206) 296-7580 或 TTY (听障专线) 711 联系,我们会确保您获得所需的支持
Руководство, подробная инструкция и форма заявки на английском языке. Если вам сложно разобраться в процедуре получения грантов или подачи заявок из-за ограниченных навыков письменного английского языка либо нарушений зрения, а также если вы бы хотели обратиться за помощью при составлении заявки, отправьте письмо на адрес электронной почты hello@4culture.org или позвоните по номеру (206) 296-7580 или 711 (телетайп), и мы позаботимся о том, чтобы вы получили необходимую помощь.
Hướng dẫn, giải thích chi tiết về cách nộp đơn va tài liệu áp dụng tất cả đều bằng Tiếng Anh. Nếu đây là rào cản khiến quý vị không hiểu được khoản trợ cấp hoặc cách nộp đơn do khả năng viết tiếng Anh hạn chế, do quý vị bị suy giảm thị lực hoặc muốn yêu cầu hỗ trợ để tạo đơn đăng ký, làm ơn liên hệ hello@4culture.org hoặc gọi (206) 296-7580 hay TTY 711 và chúng tôi sẽ hỗ trợ những gì quý vị cần.
Tilmaamaha, sharaxaadda faahfaahsan ee ku saabsan sida loo codsado, iyo waraaqda codsiga waxa ay dhammaan ku qoran yihiin Af-Ingiriisi. Haddii ay arrintani tahay caqabad kaa hor istaageysa fahamka deeqda ama codsashada oo ay sabab u tahay awoodda qorista Af-Ingiriisiga oo xadidan, araggaaga oo liita, ama aad jeclaan lahayd inaad codsato in lagaa caawiyo in aad codsi sameyso, fadlan la xiriir hello@4culture.org ama wac (206) 296-7580 ama TTY 711, waxaana xaqiijin doonnaa inaad hesho taageerada aad u baahan tahay.

4 After You Submit

4 After You Submit


Applications are due November 2, 2023 at 5:00 pm PDT. Most 4Culture grants take approximately three months from application deadline to when we announce funding decisions.

Selection Process

Grant proposals will be reviewed and award decisions will be made by a panel consisting of working professionals in the fields we fund, and who represent all parts of King County, sizes of organizations, and different points of view. The panel comes together to talk about the proposals and select projects to fund.

Contracts and Payment

If we select your project for funding, we will notify you after our Advisory Committees and Board give final approval for funding, and your program manager will work out a scope of service contract. Funds are distributed on a reimbursement basis based on submitted invoices and partial upfront funds are available with invoice documentation.

Requirements and Appeals

Learn about what will be required if you are awarded a grant, and about the process for appeal of a 4Culture decision.

5 Apply

5 Apply

You will apply through our online grant portal system at apply.4culture.org. Make sure you have an active account and that your organization profile is up to date before the November 2 deadline. You’ll need to be able to log in to access the Building for Equity: Capacity Building application.

Once you’ve started your application, you can save after each step and sign out—your application will be saved as a draft that you can continue to work on up to the deadline. Once you click “Submit,” your application is final. For support in creating your account and accessing your application, watch this step-by-step video. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions during the process.

What’s in the Application

The application requires answering six basic questions about your organization, its activity, the community you serve, and your facility needs/plans.

Demographic Information (required)

Your profile in our portal must provide demographic information for the current year for your organization including your board and staff. We use this information to help us understand how well we are doing in our efforts to reach all communities in King County. Read our privacy policy for information about how we protect your information.