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.


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 look for—please contact us if you’re unsure of what category you fit into.

For non-profit organizations and development authorities:
  • 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 of historic preservation. You have demonstrated responsiveness to your community’s needs.
  • Public benefit: your organization offers substantial public benefit through your programs, activities, and services. Public benefit may include – but is not limited to – any free or reduced cost admission, events, programs or services that increase access to culture in King County. Preservation Sustained Support is especially focused on increasing access to and awareness of our historic built environment.
  • Equity: your organization has a focus on marginalized communities, especially communities that are disproportionately impacted by structural racism. This is not a requirement for funding.
  • Preservation priorities: your organization makes a tangible contribution to the preservation, conservation, or interpretation of King County’s built environment. Your organization focuses on resources that represent neglected aspects of the built environment.
For municipalities:
  • Resilience: your preservation program has demonstrated adaptability to changes in your community and in the field of historic preservation. You have demonstrated responsiveness to your community’s needs and have maintained historic preservation activity, services, and/or program offerings.
  • Public Benefit: your municipality offers programs to increase public access to and participation in preservation. This may include – but is not limited to – technical assistance (such as support for community-led landmark nominations or other preservation projects), design guidance, grant-making programs, and tours or events related to preservation.
  • Equity: your preservation program has a focus on marginalized communities, especially communities that are disproportionately impacted by structural racism. This is not a requirement for funding.
  • Preservation priorities: your preservation program makes a tangible contribution to the preservation of King County’s built environment, through a track record of completing surveys and inventories of historic resources, landmark designations, and design review for historic properties.

Equity Investments

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 receive a grant; these only give certain projects priority for Equity Investment funds:

  • The organization, and/or the historic resources it stewards, are outside of the City of Seattle.
  • The organization, and/or the historic resources it stewards, are located in Seattle in a 2010 US Census tract area with a
  • Communities of Opportunity index percentile of 60% or greater. These locations are shown in red 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 evaluate the Preservation Sustained Support applications.

On-Site Reviews

Organizations that apply for our Sustained Support grants are typically 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 on hiatus 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 underserved 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 activities—this grant is not project-based.

The following types of organizations are 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 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 can make a major difference in the strength of your application! 4Culture Preservation staff are available to answer questions and review draft applications.

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

Aug 31
Sep 14
Sep 23
Oct 6

If you are unable to attend a workshop, you can view this recording:

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.


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


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

For 2022, 26 organizations were awarded Preservation Sustained Support. Awards ranged from $1,000 to $20,250, with total recommended awards equaling $136,347. The 2022 Sustained Support awards took into account whether an organization had received 4Culture Recovery Fund or King County Revive & Thrive awards. Because of this, 2022 awards are not indicative of future award amounts.

For 2023-2024, Preservation Sustained Support will return to a regular, biennial award cycle for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This means award recipients will receive the same amount in each of the two upcoming calendar years.

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 determined by the recipient organization’s budget size.
  • A possible additional award based on overall panel score.
  • A possible Equity Investment based on geographic location and/or an organization’s score on the Equity criterion (see Equity Investments section under “What Sustained Support Funds,” above).

The panel’s award recommendations are then sent to the Historic Preservation 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 three months.

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 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 the 2022 application cycle:

Narrative Questions

Narrative questions will be slightly different depending on whether you are a nonprofit or a municipal preservation program. Please be sure to select the correct application.

Completed Account Profiles

Nonprofit organizations will need to enter IRS 990 (or equivalent) information for the previous two years. Organizations should also confirm the accuracy of their address, as well as the address of the primary historic site that they provide stewardship for, if applicable.

Municipalities are required to submit a one-page budget detailing revenue and expenses for preservation activities. Expenses may include staff salaries, consultant costs, supplies, and fees.

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.

Note: Municipalities may submit an application to both Arts and Preservation Sustained Support, 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.