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Cultural Investment Portfolio - Gateway Grants

Grants to Massachusetts Cultural Nonprofits
and Agencies for Operational Support

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

01/31/20 11:59 PM EDT


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Grants of $7,000 to Massachusetts arts nonprofits and cultural organizations affiliated with nonprofits and government agencies for operational support. Applicants are advised to begin the application process at least two weeks prior to the deadline. Eligible programs and organizations are those that offer cultural programming to the public in the areas of interpretive sciences, humanities, and the arts.

Gateway grants are two-year operating support grants for organizations and programs with public cultural programming that benefit Massachusetts residents. Gateway grants are designed to be the entry, or gateway, to ongoing, formula-based, unrestricted operating support through Portfolio grants in the Cultural Investment Portfolio. Gateway organizations are a dynamic force for enriching communities, growing the economy, advancing equity, and fostering individual creativity. It will take an organization from four to six years to be eligible to move to Portfolio grants, depending on their success in the Gateway process.

To learn more about the Cultural Investment Portfolio, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 167959

Estimated Size of Grant:

Gateway grants award $3,500 per year for a total of $7,000 distributed over two years.

Term of Contract:

Gateway grants are two-year operating support grants.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Gateway grants provide support to Massachusetts-based organizations and programs that offer public cultural programming in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences. Gateway grants are available to nonprofit cultural organizations or cultural organizations that have a parent organization (such as an art museum at a university).

Applicant Eligibility:
Fully-cultural organizations and Cultural Affiliates may apply for Gateway grants. Each entity must meet the eligibility requirements, and all criteria according to the entity’s organization type described below.
- A fully-cultural organization must be a Massachusetts recognized 501(c)3 organization. The organization’s primary mission must be to promote access, excellence, diversity, or education in the arts, humanities, or sciences.


- Cultural Affiliates are semi-independent programs that operate under a parent organization. The primary mission of a Cultural Affiliate must be to promote access, excellence, diversity, or education in the arts, humanities, or interpretive sciences. The Cultural Affiliate must meet all eligibility requirements, plus additional requirements that apply exclusively to the Cultural Affiliates.

The parent organization for the Cultural Affiliate must be one of the following:
- A Massachusetts recognized non-fully cultural 501(c)3 organization.
- A department of a federal, state, or local/municipal government. For example, a Local Cultural Council that provides cultural programming.

To be eligible to apply, all applicants must meet all of the following requirements:
- Be legally recognized as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in good standing in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- Be a ‘fully-cultural’ organization or a Cultural Affiliate that has provided public cultural programming for the past two consecutive years.
- Offer public cultural programming in Massachusetts and maintain year-round operations in Massachusetts.
- Have minimum cash expenses of $50,000 for each of the two years before the application.
- For Media organizations (such as community access television stations): Over 50% of programming time must be arts, humanities, or sciences programming produced by or for the applicant. This includes original creative content, original documentary content, original arts and culture programming. Calculation of eligibility should only count the original broadcast, not re-broadcast.

Cultural Affiliates also must:
- Manage their own budget.
- Have at least one full-time (min. 30 hours per week) compensated administrative staff position dedicated solely to operation of the cultural entity. Having several employees whose cumulative time totals 30 hours per week does not meet this requirement.
- Have their own advisory board that meets regularly to discuss policy, strategic direction, and resource development plans to ensure long-term sustainability.
Note: The above eligibility criteria must be maintained each year to maintain Gateway support or to be moved into the Portfolio.

Eligible organizations may also submit applications to both the Gateway and Projects in the same year, but can only receive one grant. Applications for each program are reviewed independently. Organizations currently receiving a Portfolio grant are not eligible for Gateway grants.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Information sessions will be given in several locations and online. For a list of Gateway Grant information sessions and to register, see:

Pre-Application Information:

Application must be submitted by or before January 31, 2020 at 11:59:59 pm EST.

Key Dates:
- Grant Application Opens: November 20, 2019, 10am EST
- Application Deadline: January 31, 2020 11:59:59pm EST
- Site Visits to Eligible Applicants: February – May 2020
- Grant Announcements: September 2020
- Final Reporting Deadlines: May 31, 2021
- Future Application Deadlines: Winter/Spring 2022 and 2024

To Apply:
1) Read the program guidelines, then review specific requirements for fully-cultural organizations and Cultural Affiliates and their parent organization.
2) Register for a Gateway grant information session.
3) Login or create an organizational profile to access the Intent to Apply and online application.
4) Complete the Intent to Apply.
5) Complete the online application

Gateway grants are subject to a 1:1 Match Requirement. For other Grant Requirements and for more information on the application process, see:

The CIP staff is available as a resource to answer questions about eligibility, requirements, deadlines, and compliance.

For Frequently Asked Questions, see:

Information Session Recording:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To login or create an organization profile, see:

Questions? Contact Sara S. Glidden, Program Manager, at or 617-858-2710.

DataArts Support Center: Staff at the Support Center is employed by DataArts, not the Mass Cultural Council. They cannot answer questions about Gateway compliance. Contact the Support Center at 1-877-707-DATA (877-707-3282) or, Monday-Friday, 9am-8pm.

Mass Cultural Council
10 St. James Avenue, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02116-3803

Tel: 617-858-2700
Toll Free (in MA only): 800-232-0960
Fax: 617-574-7305

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts

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