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:


We fund all of our grants through a competitive process, carefully evaluating each application. For this particular grant, we focus on different criteria depending on what how your organization is structured and what type of work you do. Below we outline all the different types of organizations that can apply, and what we’ll look for—please contact us if you’re unsure of what category you fit into.

In addition to your reviewing your application, we will conduct an on-site review of your organization. Professionals from the field and community members provide written reports, which are given to the panelists considering your application. New applicants should contact 4Culture staff right away to set up an on-site visit.

  • Quality and qualifications: Intentional programming that meets the needs of a diverse and evolving audience. Over the previous two years, a demonstrated expansion or improvement of internal capacity in the following areas: programming, operations, fundraising, outreach, volunteerism, board. This can be demonstrated through professional development and/or recruitment efforts. How well your organization’s operations align with professional standards and best practices. The qualifications of the staff board, and volunteers that allow your organization to meet the goals of your mission and needs in the community. Demonstration of internal planning and identification of strategic priorities that align with the mission and operations of the organization.
  • Public impact and benefit: how well your organization helps develop the historical record in King County, its potential to raise the visibility of heritage work, and its ability to increase public access to heritage resources and programs. This might include free performances, exhibitions, workshops, screenings, or readings, as well as free, electronically accessible materials, including literary publications, audio.
  • Heritage priorities: how your organization preserves endangered heritage resources, addresses neglected aspects of people, places, themes, and historic events of King County heritage. These include but are not limited to the histories of: Native Americans, LGBTQ communities, people of color, youth, women, poor, immigrant, refugee, and differently abled peoples. Source communities are provided opportunities to influence and be involved in the operations and programmatic offerings of your organization.
  • Budget: Timely financial record-keeping through completion of appropriate IRS 990. Demonstrated track record of sufficient revenue levels to achieve programmatic and operational goals. A mixture revenue sources.

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. Please contact 4Culture staff member Bret Fetzer at bret.fetzer@4culture.org or 206 263.1599 for more information about scheduling and on-site review.

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?

Sustained Support is available for King County-based non-profit heritage organizations. We award these funds based on an organization’s overall mission and accomplishments—this grant is not project-based.

The following types of organizations may apply:

  • Federally-recognized 501(c)(3) historical museums and heritage organizations, public corporations, and tribal governments.
  • Your organization must have a two-year minimum operating history of managing collections, and/or presenting exhibits and programs with a focus on King County heritage to the citizens of King County.

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.

Tutorial Video

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.


In 2016, 45 organizations received funding totaling $396,000.00. Awards ranged from $2,000 to $20,000. View last cycle’s Heritage Sustained Support recipients on our Past Grants page.

You can download the narrative questions from the application, and look at two sample applications (History Ink and Holocaust Center for Humanity) from last year’s applicant pool that successfully received funding.


Chieko Phillips
(206) 477-6811

4 After You Submit

4 After You Submit


The next cycle for this grant will be in the Fall of 2020. Most 4Culture grants take approximately three months from application deadline to when we announce our funding decisions.

Panel Process

We make all of our funding decisions through a panel process, in which a group of peers assesses your application. 4Culture staff facilitates the panel process, but does not vote or try to influence the outcome. This grant also includes a site review component—please contact 4Culture staff to set up an appointment.

Contracts and Payment

If we select your organization for funding, your grant manager will work with you to create a contract outlining a payment schedule.

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 We Require

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

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.

  • Completed account profiles, including IRS 990 information for the previous two years.
  • A list of your organization’s primary activities from the last 12 months, including date, number of occurrences, location, and estimated attendance.
  • A list of your organization’s board members, terms and their affiliations.

Note: Municipalities may submit an application to both Arts and Preservation Sustained Support for the 2019-2020 cycle, if that municipality meets the separate Arts and Preservation funding criteria. All other organizations must choose the one funding program that best fits their mission and goals—either Arts, Heritage or Preservation—and submit only one application for this round.