4Culture Grants + Calls

Heritage Sustained Support

Sustained Support assists with the day-to-day needs of heritage organizations over two-year cycles—this consistent funding source promotes the exploration of the people, places, communities, events, and themes of our region’s past.

Steps to Apply

1 What Sustained Support Funds

1 What Sustained Support Funds

Heritage Sustained Support provides operating funds to organizations all over King County for two calendar years with allocations made annually. These awards provide unrestricted operating funds to organizations that have a track record of delivering heritage programs and services, for the benefit of the public.

You can use this grant for:

  • Annual Operating expenses related to heritage programs and services which are accessible to King County residents and visitors, and provide public benefit.
  • Staff salaries, utilities, supplies, fees, or services.

If you are interested in funding for:


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

  • Resilience: your organization has clearly stated plans to remain in operation through 2023-2024 You have demonstrated organizational adaptability to changes in your community and in the field. You have demonstrated responsiveness to your community’s needs.
  • Public benefit: your organization offers substantial public benefit through your programs and activities in a year. Public benefit may include—but is not limited to—any reduced cost or free admission, events, programs, or services offered to members of the public to increase access to heritage in King County. “Heritage” refers to the exchange of knowledge and experiences shaped by our past.
  • Equity: your organization has a focus on preserving the histories and/or heritage practices of marginalized communities, especially communities that are disproportionately impacted by structural racism. This is not a requirement for funding.
  • Heritage priorities: for this criterion we will prioritize panelists’ values that might not be represented in the other score criteria. Panelists may choose something qualitative and personal. Panelists will name their criterion and use the same criterion for all applications.

Equity Investment

4Culture recognizes that where an organization is based or provides its services, as well as the communities it serves, can affect access to funding and other resources. To take a step towards balancing these disparities, 4Culture will award additional funding to organizations that are based in an Equity Investment area or that focus on marginalized communities, especially communities that are disproportionately impacted by structural racism.

Organizations qualify as being in an Equity Investment area by meeting one or more of the following requirements. Your organization does not need to meet one of these to be eligible for this program; these only give certain organizations priority.

  • Your organization is outside the City of Seattle.
  • Your organization is located in Seattle in a 2010 US Census tract area with a Communities of Opportunity index percentile of 60% or greater. These locations are showed in purple on the map below.
  • Organizations with an annual budget over $3.5 million do not qualify for this additional funding.


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

Organizations may also qualify for Equity Investment funds by scoring an average of 5 out of 5 on the Equity criterion. This is collectively determined by the panel of peer reviewers who read and score all Heritage Sustained Support applications.

On-Site Reviews

Organizations that apply for our Sustained Support grant are evaluated by teams of on-site reviewers, who attend a scheduled event or open hours and provide written comments for use by grant review panels. The on-site review program was suspended for 2020-2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On-Site Reviews are expected to resume in 2023.

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:

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

2 Are You Eligible?

2 Are You Eligible?

To be eligible for Heritage Sustained Support, your organization must be a federally-recognized 501(c)(3) historical museum, heritage organizations, public corporation, and/or tribal government with a two-year minimum operating history of managing collections, and/or presenting exhibits and programs with a focus on heritage in King County to the residents of King County.

3 Helping you succeed

3 Helping you succeed


Workshops can make a major difference in how competitive your application is—each year, we find that the strongest applications come from people who have attended a workshop. 4Culture Heritage staff are available to answer questions, discuss project details, and review draft applications.

All workshops will be held remotely. Please register via the links provided to receive Zoom meeting information. You will need a Zoom account in order to attend a workshop. If you are unable to attend, a workshop recording will be available.

Aug 25
Sep 8
Sep 21
Sep 27

Workshop Recording

If you were unable to make the Zoom workshop, you can view a recorded version instead.


Megumi Nagata

Translation and Assistance

If you anticipate a barrier to your participation due to limited English writing ability, visual impairment, or would like to request assistance to access this application, please contact us at hello@4culture.org or 206-296-7580 or TTY 711.
Si anticipa una barrera para su participación debido a la capacidad limitada de escritura en inglés, discapacidad visual, o desea solicitar asistencia para acceder a esta aplicación, contáctenos en hello@4culture.org o 206-296-7580 o TTY 711.
如果您由于英语写作能力有限,视力障碍而希望参加比赛,或者希望获得协助来访问此应用程序,请通过hello@4culture.org或206-296-7580或TTY 711与我们联系。

4 After You Submit

4 After You Submit


Applications are due by October 12, 2022, at 5:00 pm. 4Culture notification of Sustained Support awards will take place by January 2023.

Selection Process

In 2022, 66 organizations received funding totaling $541,558. Awards ranged from $1,250 to $29,636. View last cycle’s Heritage Sustained Support recipients on our Awardees page. The 2022 Sustained Support awards took into account whether an organization had received 4Culture Recovery Fund or King County Revive & Thrive Awards and are not indicative of future award amounts. For 2023-2024, Heritage Sustained Support will return to a regular, biennial award cycle for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a typical, biennial award cycle, 4Culture Program Managers first review all applications to ensure eligibility. We then facilitate a panel of peer reviewers, which changes for each Sustained Support cycle, to evaluate all eligible applications. Award amounts will have three components; a base award based on budget size, an additional merit award based on overall panel score, and potentially an Equity Investment based on geographic location and/or an organization’s score on the Equity criterion (see Equity Investments section under Section 1: What Sustained Support Funds above).

The panel’s award recommendations are then sent to the Heritage Advisory Committee for review, and then onto 4Culture’s Board for final approval. The entire process, from application deadline to final award notification, takes approximately two months.

Contracts and Payment

If we select your organization for funding, your grant manager will work with you to create a contract outlining a Scope of Service and Public Benefit. Organizations that receive Sustained Support funding are paid upon completion of one or more of the Public Benefit activities described in their grant contract.

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

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’s in the Application

The following materials are required for this application cycle. We strongly recommend assembling them before you login and begin your application.

Narrative Questions

There are three questions you will answer for the 2023-24 application cycle.

  • Community: based on any available information you have, describe your organization’s current audience. Who is experiencing your public benefit? How often can your audience access your mission-related programming? Audience access may include, but is not limited to, description about: open hours, guided tours, events and programs, collections, content shared on social media and/or website.
  • Public benefit: please list three mission-related programs and activities that will be offered in 2023-2024.
  • Management (resilience): describe your organization’s top three most important strategic priorities over the next two years (2023-2024). Please tell us how these priorities were determined and how you plan to work toward them. If applicable, how have your priorities evolved during the past two years (2021-2022) in response to community needs and/or to changes in the field of heritage?
  • Advancing equity: Does your organization focus on marginalized communities, especially communities that are disproportionately impacted by structural racism?

Completed Account Profiles

IRS 990 information for the previous two years and up-to-date organization address.

Demographic Information

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.