Museum shelving, stage lights, ceramic kilns—on their own they may not seem like much, but in the hands of King County’s incredible cultural organizations, they add up to a lot. Our Cultural Equipment grants support those critical needs. This grant has been cancelled for 2021 to support our COVID-19 response efforts.
Steps to Apply
1 What Cultural Equipment Funds
1 What Cultural Equipment Funds
Cultural Equipment grants fund the purchase and installation of equipment that can be considered as fixed assets, including computer hardware. We award these grants in amounts ranging from a minimum of $1,000 to $10,000, and projects often receive partial funding.
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 equipment purchase, how carefully it has been planned, how it relates to your organization’s mission, and how central it is to the services your organization provides to King County residents and visitors.
- Equipment Priorities: Projects that provide opportunities for youth, historically marginalized communities or audiences outside of Seattle will be prioritized if all above criteria are met.
- Feasibility: Your ability to complete this project and take care of the equipment, demonstrated by the financial stability of your organization shown in your operating financial statements and the expertise of those who will select and maintain the equipment.
- Project impact: The impact of this specific equipment on your organization and its community, and how the community supports the project and will benefit from its use. We consider your audience in terms of geographic, cultural, ethnic, artistic, and/or heritage definitions. Frequency of use is a factor, and shared use by multiple groups is a plus, but only if it makes sense for all groups.
- Applications from historically marginalized geographic areas and communities, and ADA projects will be prioritized if above criteria are met.
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. Here are some ways you can provide public benefit with equipment:
- Using the equipment we fund to create free performances, exhibitions, workshops, screenings, or readings, or to take care of collections that reflect all of King County’s residents.
- Use of the equipment in areas of suburban or rural King County, or by low-income, youth and senior groups, individuals with limited physical abilities, recent immigrants, or residents from minority races or ethnicities.
- Purchasing equipment that broadens your ability to reach individuals with disabilities or makes your programs or facility more accessible to them.
- Sharing the equipment you purchase with other cultural groups at no cost or low cost.
2 Are You and Your Project Eligible?
2 Are You and Your Project Eligible?
- Cultural Equipment grants are available for King County-based, tax-exempt, nonprofit arts, heritage, or preservation organizations and public agencies with a primary mission focus on arts, heritage, or preservation.
- You must have a legally-constituted board of directors, not be running continual deficits in your operating budget, and have the ability to demonstrate a record of offering public benefit and accessibility to the citizens of King County.
- If funded, you’ll be required to provide proof of nonprofit status and a W-9 form, sign a contract that limits 4Culture’s liability, and provide proof of insurance that names 4Culture as additional insured. Any need for waiver of this requirement must be made in advance.
- Equipment purchased using these funds must have a safe place for storage that is not a private residence.
- K-12 schools and school districts are not eligible for this grant.
- Groups who have received an equipment award grant in the previous year are not eligible for this cycle of funding.
Cultural Equipment grants fund the purchase and installation of equipment that can be considered as fixed assets, including computer hardware. Cultural Equipment funds may not be used to pay for the following:
- Design, engineering, purchase, or remodeling of a facility.
- General equipment maintenance or repairs.
- Purchase of consumable items such as lightbulbs and small tools.
- Purchase of computer software—computer hardware may be purchased as part of your proposed project.
- Items purchased before the award of funds.
- Fees directed to staff unless their work on the project is outside their regular job duties and payment is above and beyond their regular compensation structure.
3 Helping You Succeed
3 Helping You Succeed
Workshops make a huge difference in the success of your application—each year, we find that the strongest applications come from people who have attended a workshop.
Watch this step-by-step application tutorial video to assist you through the process of creating an account, starting your application, and saving it for later.
You can also read through the application questions before getting started:
- Project Description: Establish a clear picture for the panelists of your vision of the project and why it is a priority for your organization this year. Your “Project” is the acquisition of this equipment. What is the equipment you need to purchase? Is it part of a larger facilities project? Is this equipment a replacement for a similar piece of equipment? Why does it need replacing right now? Will the acquisition of this equipment allow you to launch a new project or do something that you can’t do now? It’s great to be concise – this is the who, what, when, where and why of your project.
- Project Impact and Public Benefit: What effect will this project have on the community you serve? How will the successful purchase of the equipment affect your organization internally? How does this equipment allow you to execute your mission? Remember that we need you to provide some kind of public benefit in exchange for this funding. Is there a way the equipment can help you increase your public benefit activities?
- Experience: Summarize who is selecting the equipment and their relevant experience. How did they identify the appropriate equipment for this project (reached out to comparable institutions, consult an expert, internal expertise)? What criteria did your organization use to select this equipment? How did your organization determine appropriate vendor and cost for equipment? By whom and how will this equipment be cared for during its lifespan? What is the plan for replacing the equipment as it ages? We do not need complete resumes.
- Implementation and Maintenance: Provide a work plan for the purchase and use of this equipment, including planning, fundraising, purchase, first use, and regular maintenance. Who will have access to use this equipment? How often will it be used? How will your organization maintain the equipment and will you insure it? Is the purchase of this equipment dependent upon other facilities projects or part of a larger plan in progress? Let panelists know your priorities if you are requesting multiple items, and how you would scale down the project if full funding is not received.
We’re here to help! Please contact us if you have a question about this program, or if you would like have your application draft reviewed by a 4Culture staff member.
4 After You Submit
4 After You Submit
This grant has been cancelled for 2020 to support our COVID-19 response efforts. Most 4Culture grants take approximately three months from application deadline to when applicants receive the first payment. Awards notifications will be sent after June 26.
Every cycle of equipment proposals has a different pool of projects, and every grant is 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 Cultural Equipment program is unique because 4Culture funding staff also participate in the panel process. 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 that reimburses you for your purchases.
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.
You will apply through our online grant portal system at apply.4culture.org. We suggest you make certain you have an active account and that your organization profile is up to date now. You’ll log in and be able to select the Cultural Equipment 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 hit “Submit,” your application is final. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions during the process.
What We Require
You are required to answer the four narrative questions with as much details as possible for your project. In addition, we will not consider your application without the materials listed here. We strongly recommend assembling them before you login and begin your application, and encourage you to call or email us with any questions as you work on these materials.
New For 2019 – Demographic Information in your Organization Profile
Your organization profile in our portal must provide demographic information for your board and staff for the current year. We use this information to help us understand how well we are doing in our efforts to reach all communities in King County.
IRS 990 Information in your Organization Profile
Please provide your organization’s IRS 990 information for the previous two years. Check it and make certain it is up-to-date!
Project Budget in the Equipment Application Form
Use our Budget Form in the online application—you only need to fill out the line items that pertain to your project.
Activities List in the Equipment Application form
The panel will review your list of events and primary activities from the last 12 months in order to better understand your organization and how it serves the public. Any 12 month period is acceptable, and please include frequency and audience sizes – be as specific as possible. You can cut and paste a Word document into the application section or enter information directly.
Board List in the Equipment Application form
Submit a list of your organization’s board members, their terms and occupations in this section of the application. You can cut and paste a Word document or enter information directly.
Itemized list of equipment you wish to purchase in the Equipment Application form
Submit a list of the equipment you intend to purchase. You will not be expected to purchase the exact number and models of equipment on the list, but it does serve as the basis for the panel’s evaluation. Please indicate whether you have purchased a similar piece of equipment with 4Culture funding, and if so, when you purchased it. You can cut and paste from a Word document or enter information directly.