Cultural Investment Portfolio
The Mass Cultural Council is a state agency that promotes excellence, access, education, and diversity in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences. Our goal is to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and contribute to the economic vitality of our communities.
To encourage the state’s continued support, we ask that grantees advocate on behalf of the cultural sector by explaining to legislators, in concrete and personal terms, the social and economic benefit of supporting a vibrant cultural community.
What is required?
If you receive a Portfolio, Gateway, or Project grant, you must tell us about your Advocacy activity in your year-end report.
Portfolio and Gateway Grantees: you must report on two Advocacy activities.
Project Grantees: you must report on one Advocacy activity.
Advocacy must take place between July 1 and June 1 in the current fiscal year.
What do you need to do?
You need to connect with a member of the state government, to tell them about the importance of supporting the cultural sector.
You need to talk about the cultural sector as a whole, not just your organization.
This needs to be direct contact, not simply attending an event that includes members of the legislature.
Who do you contact?
This could be a current State Senator, a State Representative, the Governor, or Lieutenant Governor, or a member of their staff. These are all people who play a part in the state budget process.
It’s great to have contact with local officials, or with your national officials, but these don’t count for your Advocacy requirement.
How do you do this?
You can call, email, write a letter, or speak to someone in person.
- Send your annual report, and include a note thanking them for funding via the Mass Cultural Council.
- When you get your grant notification, you can send a thank you letter, explaining the value of public funding for your organization and your community.
- Meet in person, to talk about your organization, and cultural economic impact in Massachusetts.
- Coordinate a message campaign to your legislator, encouraging them to support the sciences, humanities, and arts in Massachusetts.
How do you report your Advocacy?
Portfolio and Gateway Grantees
Report your Advocacy activities using the CIP Management Tool. The form asks you to provide basic information about what you did for Advocacy. You can enter information about Advocacy at any time during the year. You don’t have to wait until the end of the fiscal year.
Follow the instructions on the Management Tool. Once you have entered your information, click on the ‘send for review’ button. This sends your report to us, so we can review it and make sure that it meets the requirement.
Report your Advocacy as part of the online Final Report. You need to log in with the same user name and password that you used when you applied for your Projects grant. Choose “current programs and applications” and then scroll down to find “CIP Projects”. Click on “Final Report”. Do not submit the report until you have finished all of your final report requirements.
- Find Your State Officials
- Mass Cultural Council Staff – Any Mass Cultural Council CIP or Communications staff will be happy to brainstorm with you about ways to meet your advocacy requirement.
- Mass Cultural Council’s Advocacy Action Center – Press releases and tips from the Mass Cultural Council.
- MASSCreative, an organization committed to lobbying the state on behalf of culture in Massachusetts.
Before you engage in advocacy or lobbying activities, you should learn about the Commonwealth’s rules regarding ethics and lobbying. Massachusetts Nonprofit News Network and the Office of Secretary of State William Galvin have more information about the relevant laws and how they apply.