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 typically 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.

  • 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.

Geographic Equity Enhancement

4Culture recognizes that where an organization is based or provides its services can affect access to funding and other resources. Many cultural organizations in greater King County have less access to public and private support than those located in Seattle. To take a step towards balancing these disparities, 4Culture will give a modest award increase to the 2021 Sustained Support awards for organizations located outside the City of Seattle, and for organizations located in Seattle in a 2010 US Census tract area with a Communities of Opportunity index percentile of 60% or greater.

Communities of Opportunity (COO) is a partnership and initiative of the Seattle Foundation and King County, whose purpose is to direct resources where they can have the greatest impact while overcome ongoing patterns of underfunding. Annual measures of life and health indicators by census tract are averaged over multiple years and combined to create a single index. 4Culture will use this index for the 2021 Sustained Support cycle to guide award increases toward applicants located in Communities of Opportunity.

For 2021 Sustained Support awards, Geographic Equity Enhancements will be provided to:

  • Organizations, or the historic resources they steward, that are located within King County but outside the City of Seattle.
  • Organizations, or the historic resources they steward, located in Seattle, but within a Community of Opportunity.
  • Organizations with an annual budget over $3.5 million do not qualify for this enhancement.

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. On-Site Reviews are not part of the 2020 application cycle.

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?

For the 2020 application cycle only, we regret that we will not accept applications from organizations that do not currently receive Sustained Support in 2020.

3 Helping you succeed

3 Helping you succeed


In 2019, 51 organizations received funding totaling $412,500. Awards ranged from $1,000 to $20,000. View last cycle’s Heritage Sustained Support recipients on our Past Grants page.


Chieko Phillips
(206) 477-6811

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

Contracts and Payment

For 2021 support, 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 reimbursed after their public benefits are achieved.

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

The following materials are required for the 2020 application cycle. 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.

Narrative Questions

There are two questions you will answer for the 2020 application cycle.

  • Please list up to three mission-related activities executed in 2020 with one sentence description for each activity. Please tell us how your organization’s programming in 2020 has changed due to the statewide COVID-19 mandated business closures beginning in March through December of this year.
  • Please list up to three mission-related activities your organization will execute in 2021 with one sentence description for each activity. If your organization will not be operating out of a physical space, or a physical space is not forecasted to reopen before June 2021, how will this impact your planned programming?

Completed Account Profiles

Demographics information and IRS 990 information for the previous two years.

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.