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Frequently Asked Questions

Please contact the Contracts Officer at 617-858-2711 if you have any questions or comments.

Why do I have to sign a contract again this year? I thought my organization was awarded a multi-year grant.
Even if your organization was awarded a multi-year grant, the contracting procedures of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts require that you sign a new contract each year, after Mass Cultural Council’s annual budget is appropriated. In addition to your contract, your organization may also be required to submit an interim narrative report and/or final report on an annual basis. A multi-year grant does, however, free your organization from an annual application and review process.

How do we receive our grant money?
To receive your money, you must return a completed contract package to Mass Cultural Council. Once we receive the contract package we will disburse the full amount of your grant if the grant is under $7,000. If your grant is $7,000 or greater, we will pay you 80% of the grant when we receive your contract package. The final 20% of your grant will be paid after you submit a final report. Final report deadlines for our programs.

What is an award package?
An award package is your official notification that you have been awarded a Mass Cultural Council grant. It contains your award letter, contract, contract instructions and other forms necessary to administer your grant.

What is a contract package? How does it affect my grant payment?
A contract package contains the forms from the award package that you return to Mass Cultural Council to initiate payment on your grant. The forms that you may be required to return to Mass Cultural Council are listed below. If any of the items listed below are missing from your contract package when you return it to Mass Cultural Council, your grant payment will be delayed. Mass Cultural Council will only release your grant payment when the contract package is complete.

A completed contract package may consist of the following:

  • Page 1 — The Standard Contract: Page 1 lists all pertinent information about the grant. This page needs to be signed and dated.
  • Attachment A — Scope of Services
  • Attachment B — Additional Scope of Services: This attachment has more detailed contractual language specifically related to your grant.
  • Attachment C — Budget: A current budget for your project or organization must be attached to the contract. The budget must include both expenses and income.
  • Attachment D — Credit and Publicity Agreement: This form must be signed by your organization’s Chief Administrative Officer and the person responsible for your organization’s publicity.
  • Contractor Authorized Signature Verification Form: This form must be completed by all grant recipients.
  • W-9 Form: This form must be filled out if you are a first time grant recipient OR your name, address or taxpayer identification number has changed since the last time you received a Mass Cultural Council payment. See more information about the W-9 Form below.
  • Electronic Funds Transfer Form — Available upon request from the Fiscal Department.

Why do I have to submit a budget with my contract when I already submitted one with my application?
The budget that you submitted with your application reflects your revenue and expense projections at the time you prepared the application — generally a period of 6-8 months prior to the time you’re asked to sign a contract. By asking for an updated budget at the time the contract is executed, we ensure that we receive the most up-to-date financial information related to your grant. An updated budget is a required component of your completed contract package.

How long does it take to receive payment?
Once we receive your completed contract package, it takes 4 to 6 weeks to generate a payment if there have been no changes to your organization’s name or address since the last time a payment was received from Mass Cultural Council. It may take an additional 2 weeks if any changes have occurred or you are a new grant recipient. New grant recipients will need to complete a W-9 Form and Electronic Funds Transfer Form (EFT) before we can generate your payment. See more information about the W-9 Form below.

Is there a way to check if my payment has been processed?
Yes, payment schedule information and payment history is available through the state’s web site. To access payment information you’ll need to enter a vendor code, along with the last four digits of your social security number (for individuals) or Tax Identification number (for organizations):

  • For Individuals and Organizations: Your vendor code is a state-assigned number. It can be found on page one of your contract under the heading “Vendor Code.” If this number is missing or incorrect, or you need additional help, please contact the Contracts Officer. Please note that if you are a new grant recipient, this number has not been assigned yet.
  • On a later screen you will be asked for Mass Cultural Council’s three-letter state code, which is” ART”.

Can’t you make your forms more user-friendly?
Many of the forms in the contract package are generated by the Office of the State Comptroller and cannot be altered. If you have any suggestions on how to make our instructions easier to work with, please contact the Contracts Officer.

What do you mean by a “matching” requirement?
Most grants awarded by Mass Cultural Council have a matching requirement. A matching requirement means that Mass Cultural Council is asking your organization to devote its own resources (cash and in-kind goods and services) to support the activity outlined in the grant. Mass Cultural Council programs have matching requirements ranging from a 1:1 match ($1 of your resources for every Mass Cultural Council dollar) up to a 4:1 match ($4 of your resources for every Mass Cultural Council dollar). For example, a $3,000 grant with a 1:1 match results in grant activity totaling $6,000: the $3,000 Mass Cultural Council grant plus $3,000 of your own income and expenses.

The matching requirements for your grant can be found on page two of your contract.

Please note:

  • You CANNOT use a Mass Cultural Council grant from one program to match a Mass Cultural Council grant from another program. For example, funds distributed under the Local Cultural Council program cannot match a YouthReach grant, etc.

What is a final report?
A final report sums up the financial and programmatic activities related to the grant over a specific time period. The period covered by your grant can be found on Page 1 of the contract. The final report allows us to verify whether your grant from Mass Cultural Council was spent and matched according to the program guidelines. Additionally, we use the demographic and financial information found on the final report to report to our funders-the citizens of the Commonwealth, the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.

I’m filling out my final report. What do you mean by in-kind goods and services?
“In-kind” refers to donated goods or services. Any goods or services that you do not have to pay for is considered in-kind. Free rehearsal space, donated art supplies or pro bono consultant services are examples of in-kind goods and services. In many cases, depending on the grant’s matching requirement, you can apply the estimated cost of those in-kind goods and services towards the match. The following restrictions on in-kind goods and services apply:

  • The donated goods or services you apply toward your match must pertain strictly to the execution and completion of the activities outlined in the grant.
  • Up to 50% of your required match can be comprised of in-kind goods or services for some programs. For example, a $3,000 grant with a 1:1 match could be matched in the following manner:
$3,000 Mass Cultural Council grant
$1,500 Cash from grantee (cash match)
$750 Donated rehearsal space (in-kind match)
$750 Pro bono legal services (in-kind match)
$6,000 Total income and expenses generated by grant

Note: In the above example, the $3,000 match requirement was comprised of 50% cash and 50% in-kind goods and services. In all our matching scenarios that allow in-kind goods and services, the in-kind match can never be more than 50% of your total match but cash can always be 50% or more of your total match (i.e. 75% cash, 25% in-kind).

My grant needs to be matched. How do I know what my match requirement is?
The match for your grant can be found on Page 2 of the contract. Please note: Local Cultural Council grants or other Mass Cultural Council grants cannot be used as part of your match.

What is the W-9 Form?
This form affects the capacity of Mass Cultural Council to contract with, and make payment to, you or your organization. All individuals, partnerships, non-profit organizations, and corporations must have a W-9 form on file with Mass Cultural Council.

W-9 Form

  • Download the W-9 Form.
  • The W-9 Form is used to place you or your organization’s taxpayer identification number on the state vendor file for remittance and tax reporting purposes.
  • The W-9 requires a legal name, legal address and remittance address. A legal address is your home address if you are an individual or the address of your home office, if you represent an organization. The remittance address is the location to which you would like to have general and tax information sent.
  • If you’re an individual receiving a grant from Mass Cultural Council, the taxpayer identification number is your Social Security Number.
  • If you represent an organization receiving a grant from Mass Cultural Council, the taxpayer identification number is the organization’s Federal Employer Identification Number.
  • When filling out the W-9, keep in mind that a PO Box CANNOT serve as your legal address.

Please note:

  • If you or your organization received a grant from Mass Cultural Council in the past two years, then you most likely have a W-9 on file with the Office of the Comptroller.
  • If you or your organization changed your legal name, legal address or remittance address, then you must complete a new W-9 along with a statement on your letterhead (if available), stating the nature of the change.

Unfortunately, absent, incorrect or outdated information on this form will most likely delay approval of your contract and hold up your payment.

What is Electronic Funds Transfer?
Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) is a direct deposit into your/your organization’s bank account. EFT is now mandatory. Issuing checks is no longer an option for contract payment. You will need to fill out the Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) Form found in your award package. Once the form is returned to us it will take four to six weeks to activate the EFT account. Any modifications to an established EFT account must be requested in writing and a new EFT must be submitted.

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