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 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.


We fund all of our grants through a competitive process, with volunteer panelists carefully evaluating each application. 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 apply, and what we’ll 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.

On-Site Reviews

Organizations that apply for our Sustained Support grants are 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. New applicants should contact 4Culture staff right away to set up a review prior to the grant deadline.

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 may apply:

  • 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


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.


For the 2017-18 cycle, 18 organizations received funding totaling $99,000. Awards typically range from $1,000 to $13,000. View last cycle’s Preservation Sustained Support recipients on our Past Grants page, and review two sample applications (City of Bothell and Friends of Seattle’s Olmsted Parks) from last year’s applicant pool that successfully received funding.


Brandi Link
(206) 263-1593

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 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

Once you’ve started your application, you can save it as a draft and continue to work on it up to the deadline.Once you click “Submit,” your application is final. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions during the process..

What We Require

The online application includes questions connected to the criteria for this grant, as well as sections for board member and staff information, organizational activities, and financial information. You must complete all required fields in the online application and provide the additional information below in order for your application to be considered.

You may need to gather the additional information below well in advance of submitting your application, so we strongly recommend you start early!

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.

Nonprofit organizations must submit:

  • Financial information—make sure your account profile is up-to-date with information for the previous two years.
  • A list of programs and/or primary activities from the last 12 months, including the date or date range, number of occurrences, location, and estimated attendance.
  • A list of Board Members, terms and affiliations, and list of key staff engaged in preservation.

Municipalities with preservation programs must submit:

  • A list of staff dedicated to historic preservation activities and programming, including the percentage of time allocated, a list of commissioners or board members, their terms and affiliations.
  • One-page budget of historic preservation program-related expenditures and revenue for the last two fiscal years.
  • Any recently completed municipal plan that addresses historic preservation. Please submit only the portion of the plan that relates to historic preservation, and limit to 10 pages.

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.