The Grant Cycle
Reimbursement & Direct Granting
Grant recipients do not automatically receive payment if an LCC approves their grant request. The LCC Program is reimbursement-based: recipients need to spend the money to then be reimbursed from LCC funds. Beginning once the LCC completes their reporting to Mass Cultural Council (November – January) and continuing throughout the year, grant recipients can submit their reimbursement requests. LCCs specify exactly what kind of documentation a grantee needs to provide in order to be reimbursed in the approval letter. LCCs must also check with their town/city to see if they have specific requirements. Grantees have one year from the date of the award notification to request reimbursement unless the LCC approves an extension.
To initiate the reimbursement process, grant recipients must submit their reimbursement request, using the reimbursement form (PDF) provided by the LCC.
A formal meeting of the LCC is not required to approve reimbursement requests, as long as the LCC has established a subcommittee of at least two members to review requests for payment of work completed. LCCs should process reimbursements as they arrive, and take no longer than four weeks to forward approved reimbursement requests to the municipal treasurer.
If the LCC, or subcommittee, is satisfied that the project has been completed as promised, two members sign the reimbursement form and forward the request to the municipal treasurer to release funds from the LCC’s account. The LCC must retain a copy of the documentation provided by the applicant with the application as part of the LCC’s records.
If the LCC is not satisfied that the project was completed as promised, the LCC must contact the grantee with their concerns and allow the grantee the opportunity to respond. Two LCC members and the grantee may work out a compromise solution, which should be finalized in writing. If a compromise cannot be agreed upon, the LCC must convene a quorum of LCC members to vote on the request and/or any compromise solution put forward by the grantee or LCC. The results should be reflected in the meeting minutes, and the grantee should be given final notification in writing as to the outcome of the vote.
Progress payments are reimbursements made before the project is complete. They can be made at the discretion of the LCC and should be proportionate to the percentage of the project that has been completed.
Reimbursements can be directed to third-party vendors who have provided goods, materials, or services to the recipient. The LCC must retain a copy of the documentation provided by the applicant with the application as part of the LCC’s records.
To reimburse a third-party vendor the grantee simply needs to check off that option on the reimbursement form and supply the name and address of the vendor to be paid. The grantee should sign the reimbursement form, not the third-party vendor. However, if the municipality requires a completed tax form such as a W-9 or 1099, the third party vendor should complete that documentation since they will receive the payment.
Please note that because the Local Cultural Council is a municipal entity, any expenses or programs, including Council Programs that use Mass Cultural Council’s allocation, must be reimbursement-based. LCC members must keep track of receipts and other proof of expenditures and submit them to the municipality using a reimbursement form once the project or purchase has been completed.
Direct Grant Program
The 53 LCCs taking part in the direct grant program must follow the grant cycle timeline outlined in the Direct Grant Program Guidelines and Instructions. All other LCCs and their applicants should continue to adhere to the standard grant cycle timeline.