4Culture Grants + Calls

Preservation Sustained Support

Sustained Support assists with the day-to-day needs of preservation organizations over two-year cycles, providing a reliable funding source that promotes stewardship, advocacy and educational opportunities around historic preservation.

Steps to Apply

1 What Sustained Support Funds

1 What Sustained Support Funds

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

You can use this grant for:

  • Annual operating expenses related to preservation programs and activities that are accessible to King County residents and visitors and provide public benefit.
  • Staff salaries, utilities, supplies, fees, or consultant services.

If you are seeking funds to rehabilitate a historic building, consider our Landmarks Capital grant. 4Culture also offers grant programs specifically for Preservation Special Projects and Equipment.


For this particular grant, we focus on different criteria depending on how your organization is structured and what type of work you do. Below we outline the different types of groups that can typically apply, and what we look for—please contact us if you’re unsure of what category you fit into.

For non-profit organizations and development authorities:
  • Quality of programs related to historic preservation, as well as diversity and reach of programs available to the public.
  • Tangible contribution to the preservation, conservation, or interpretation of King County’s built environment. Focus on resources that represent neglected aspects of the built environment.
  • Public benefit, which may include accessibility of services, open hours of facilities, community outreach and efforts to expand or diversify audience, membership, staff, and leadership.
  • Experienced staff, volunteers, and/or board, with background or training in historic preservation or a closely related field. Sound management and oversight by a governing board.
  • Community support for an organization as reflected in its financial information, including cash and in-kind contributions from volunteers, the community, and/or partnering governments. The portion of your budget devoted specifically to preservation activities.
For municipalities:
  • Volume and impact of activity, as reflected in surveys and inventories, landmark designations, and design review.
  • Additional program offerings, such as design guidance, technical assistance, grant-making programs, and tours or events related to preservation.
  • Community engagement, as reflected in advocacy, partnerships, and volunteerism. Community outreach, including efforts to expand or diversify audiences, and efforts to diversify commission or board leadership.
  • Commitment of local government as demonstrated through staff time dedicated to historic preservation and annual investment in preservation activity.

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 grants are typically evaluated by teams of on-site reviewers; professionals from the field and community members who attend a scheduled event or open hours and provide written comments for use by grant review panels.

The on-site program is suspended for 2020, and organizations will not be required to submit reviews for the abbreviated 2021 application.

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, digital materials or publications.

2 Are You Eligible?

2 Are You Eligible?

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

The following types of organizations are typically supported through this program:

  • Nonprofit organizations and public development authorities with a two-year minimum operating history of preserving one or more historic properties; providing assistance or advocacy to support the preservation of historic properties or conducting programs that interpret the built environment for the citizens of King County.
  • Municipalities with a historic preservation program established by city ordinance or historic preservation services contracted through an interlocal agreement with the King County Historic Preservation Program (KCHPP). Municipalities should have city staff dedicated part or full time to historic preservation tasks, including overseeing historic surveys, landmark designations, design review, and public education.

3 Helping You Succeed

3 Helping You Succeed

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.


For the 2019-20 cycle, 25 organizations received funding totaling $113,250. Awards typically range from $1,000 to $15,000. View last cycle’s Preservation Sustained Support recipients on our Past Grants page for more information.


Dana Phelan
(206) 263-1604

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

If your organization is selected for funding, your grant manager will work with you to create a contract outlining a Scope of Services and Public Benefit for each consecutive year. Organizations that receive Sustained Support funding are typically reimbursed for annual activities at the end of each year.

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

See information at the top of this page about changes to the 2020-21 Sustained Support cycle. If you are currently a Sustained Support recipient, contact us to begin the process of extending your award.