Cultural Facilities Fund
Feasibility and Technical Assistance Grants
How To Apply
Read the program guidelines, then review specific Feasibility and Technical Assistance grants requirements below.
Watch a recording or view the slide deck from the information session webinar or drop-in on our virtual office hours to ask staff questions.
Learn more about requesting an accommodation for accessibility or requesting translation services.
Login or create a user profile in the new grants management system. (See details under “Application Instructions” below.)
Take the Eligibility Quiz to begin an application by clicking “Apply Now” under the desired Cultural Facilities Fund grant category.
Complete and submit the online application, including supplementary materials by February, 2, 2023 at 11:59pm (ET).
Feasibility & Technical Assistance Grants Guidelines
Goals of the Feasibility & Technical Assistance Grants Program
The planning and construction of cultural facilities can be complex. The purpose of the Feasibility & Technical Assistance grants is to help managers and board members of cultural organizations get the objective information and analysis they need before they commit their organization’s energies and financial resources to a facilities project.
Types of Projects Funded
Organizations that are contemplating an Eligible Project may apply for funds to support pre-implementation planning – research, fact-finding and analysis that can help them make more informed decisions about their facilities development effort.
Types of planning and technical assistance may include but are not necessarily limited to: architectural and engineering plans, business plans and market research as it relates to a new facility, capital campaign feasibility studies, comprehensive facility maintenance plans and new project feasibility studies.
Organizations can also plan for Universal Design solutions to accessibility challenges in their facilities. Organizations can work with a consultant who will identify possible solutions that meet ADA, 504, and Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (MAAP) requirements, but go beyond to provide solutions that are an improvement for all visitors.
Feasibility & Technical Assistance Grant funds are not available for non-facilities-related planning efforts (such as an overall organizational strategic planning); site acquisition; regular operating activities; ongoing staff positions; complete architectural drawings; fundraising or marketing activities; or publications.
The Cultural Facilities Fund statute establishes five threshold review criteria for all grants. All projects must provide evidence that they meet these five statutory criteria to be considered for a Cultural Facilities Fund Grant.
- The project is an “eligible project”.
- There is a demonstrated community need for the project*.
- The project benefits tourism in the local area**.
- There is a demonstrated financial need for a grant.
- There is demonstrated local support for the project*.
*Please address “community need” and “local support” in terms of your cultural organization and/or programming.
**Tourism is defined as: “a person traveling 50 miles or more one way to a destination or who stays overnight”.
The specific criteria by which applications will be reviewed are:
Quality of Planning:
- Evidence that the planning effort is linked to an overall organizational/or facilities plan.
- Evidence that this is the logical next step in the organization’s overall facilities planning efforts.
- In cases of site acquisition, expansion, or new construction, evidence that the planning adequately addresses the impacts to the organization and its financial profile after construction is complete.
Quality of Implementation:
- Evidence that feasibility and planning consultants have been identified.
- Evidence that a comprehensive and appropriate scope of services has been identified for the planning exercise.
- Evidence that planning consultants are qualified.
- Submission of a complete and clear planning/feasibility budget
A complete application constitutes the submission of the online application, including supplementary materials by the final deadline of February 2, 2023 at 11:59pm (ET).
All applicants should submit their applications through the online system. To create a profile in the system you must have an email address, which will be your username.
If you have not applied to Mass Cultural Council before and/or do not already have a user profile, complete a registration in the grants management system.
- Go to the online system and click “Register”.
- On the next page select “Organization” to register your organization, school, town, or other group.
- Your organization may already have a record in the system. Use the Organization name field to find and select your organization, then provide your contact information.
- If your organization’s name is not listed, click the link at the top of the page to register your organization manually. There you will also provide your own contact information as well.
- After completing the registration, you should receive an email to activate your account. The account must be activated within 24 hours. After clicking the activation link, you will be prompted to create a new 8-digit password.
If you have previously applied for a Mass Cultural Council grant using your email address, you may have a profile in the system already. Here’s how you can check to see if you already have a user profile:
- Go to the online system and click “Forgot Password”.
- Once you submit your email address, you will receive an email with a temporary password and a link to the site.
- Copy the password to use on the login page, you will then be prompted to create a new password.
- If you do not receive an email, you do not have an account and you should create one (see above), or you can contact the grants help desk for assistance.
I. Eligibility Quiz
Cultural Facilities Fund applications no longer have an Intent to Apply process. The first step to beginning an application is taking the Eligibility Quiz. This will ensure your organization is eligible to apply to this program.
If your organization is eligible, the next page will bring you to the full application.
You do not need approval from Mass Cultural Council to continue with the application. Mass Cultural Council staff will contact you if any eligibility issues are identified.
If you don’t meet the criteria in the Eligibility Quiz, the grants management system will notify you that this program isn’t a good fit.
- Complete the online application, including any updates or changes to the organization information in your user profile.
- Click the “Submit” button by the deadline, 11:59pm (ET) on February 2, 2023. You will receive an email confirming the submission. If you don’t receive the automated email receipt, go back to ensure the application has been submitted successfully. Be sure to save the PDF summary of your application for your records.
III. Supplementary Materials:
- Planning Budget. (Please list both the “Sources” and “Uses” in the planning budget and indicate if the Source funds are: “committed”, “pending” or “projected”. Also please indicate if the Uses are based on actual third-party bids or if the costs are in-house estimates).
- Project Timeline.
- Scope-of-Services for planning consultants.
- Financial Information:
- Nonprofit Organizations
- Income statements and balance sheets since your last audit, accountant’s review, or 990.
- Audited financial or draft audit statements for the two most recent fiscal years. (If your organization’s annual budget is less than $500,000 and no audited financials are available, please provide the review statement by the accountant or internally prepared income and expense statements and balance sheets for the two most recent years.) (Not required if the applicant is a municipality, but is required for all 501(c)3s including colleges and universities.)
- Municipalities: Facility-specific operating financials for the last two years for the subject facility. Municipal audit statements are not required.
- Colleges and Universities:
- Audited financial statements for the two most recent fiscal years.
- Facility specific operating financials for the last two years for the subject facility.
- Copy of the lease, deed, or ground lease for your facility (if applicable).
- Images of the overall site as well as specific areas of work.
Optional Supplementary Materials:
At the end of the application, there will be an optional upload button. Feel free to submit any additional materials you would like to share with the review panel regarding your project and its readiness to proceed.