Community Accelerator Grant Application FAQ 

ArtsFund is happy to announce a new grantmaking program, the Community Accelerator Grant, a historic investment in Washington’s arts and culture sector. 

Funded by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the Community Accelerator Grant program will provide unrestricted grants for cultural nonprofit organizations across Washington state in amounts of $2,500 to $25,000. Funding will provide essential capital to Washington’s cultural organizations, including fiscally sponsored and tribal organizations, whose primary mission is to produce or support arts and cultural activities. 

Awards will be unrestricted, allowing recipient organizations to utilize funding in ways that they determine and prioritize for highest impact. 

The Community Accelerator Grant application is now closed. Organizations will receive notification of their award status in March, and funds will be disbursed by March 31, 2023. 


1. What are the eligibility requirements to apply for a Community Accelerator Grant? 

• The Community Accelerator Grant is intended to fund Washington State’s arts and culture sector. 501(c)(3) organizations, organizations fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) organization, or tribal organizations are eligible to apply. In addition, organizations must:

o Have an average annual operating budget greater than $25,000 over a three-year period; 

o Have a primary mission to produce or support arts and cultural activities. 

• Organizations considered ineligible include:

o Individuals 

o For-profit organizations 

o Political advocacy organizations 

o Organizations located outside of Washington State 

o Churches and religious organizations 

2. Are there any special instructions for organizations fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3)? 

• Fiscally sponsored organizations can apply under their fiscal sponsor. Please note that the $25,000 minimum budget requirement applies to your organization, and not to your fiscal sponsor. 

• In your application:

o Date of organization established: Input the date of your organization’s establishment, not the establishment date of your fiscal sponsor. 

o Mailing address: input your fiscal sponsor’s mailing address. 

o EIN: Input your fiscal sponsor’s EIN. 

o 990: Upload your fiscal sponsor’s 990 form. 

o Financial information form: Input budget and actual numbers for your organization, not your fiscal sponsor. 

o Board Member demographics: If the organization has a governing board of directors, please fill out the demographic survey based on that body. If the organization does not have a governing board of directors, then fill out the survey based on your organization’s advisory group. If neither of the above apply, please select “Do not know/prefer not to answer/not applicable” field. Fiscally sponsored organizations should not include the demographic information of their fiscal sponsor’s board. 

3. Is the Community Accelerator Grant limited to arts organizations? 

• This funding opportunity is only available to organizations whose primary mission is to produce or support arts and cultural activities. 

4. Can an organization apply to fund a specific program that produces or supports arts and cultural activities, even if the organization’s primary mission does not? 

• No. This funding opportunity is intended for organizations whose primary mission is to produce or support arts and cultural activities. Programs that fall under these categories operated by organizations with broader missions are not eligible for this opportunity. 

5. If $25K is the minimum operating budget, is there a maximum budget size? 

• No. 

6. How is the annual average operating budget calculated? 

•  The annual average operating budget is calculated by adding together your total revenue for your two most recently completed fiscal years with your current fiscal year’s budgeted revenue and dividing by 3. If this number equals $25,000 or greater, your organization meets the budget requirement.

•  The three-year average should include the three most recent fiscal years, which would include years during the pandemic. We are asking for an average over the past three years, rather than $25,000 in revenue for each of the past three years, because we realize that many organizations have suffered revenue losses during the pandemic.

7. My organization is located in Oregon/Idaho but many of our participants are Washington residents, can we apply? 

• No. Even if your organization serves Washingtonians, your organization must be located in Washington State in order to be eligible. 

8. Are we eligible if we are a tribal organization? 

• Yes, provided you meet the other requirements. Please indicate in the application that you are a tribal organization. 

9. Are current or former ArtsFund grantees eligible to apply? Are ArtsFund grantees more likely to be funded by this grant? 

• Current or former ArtsFund grantees are eligible to apply, provided they meet the other eligibility requirements. Status as a current or former ArtsFund grantee will not impact how likely your organization is to receive funding. Current or former ArtsFund grantees are not guaranteed funding through this program. 

10. My organization received a grant through last year’s Nonprofit Community Recovery (NCR) Grant program. Are we eligible for this grant? 

• Groups that received NCR grants may be eligible, but eligibility is not guaranteed. The eligibility requirements are different for this grant program, so please review all of the eligibility requirements to see if your organization will qualify. 

11. Are cultural organizations eligible to apply? 

• Cultural organizations are eligible to apply, provided that their work contains a significant artistic component. Please reach out to if you are unsure whether your organization is eligible. 

Financial Information

12. In the organizational information chart, organizations are asked to input FY2021 and FY2022 (and FY2023 budgeted) financial data – are these actuals or budgets? 

• Please use actuals for fiscal periods that are already completed, and use budgeted amounts for fiscal years that have not yet ended. 

• In the financial section, you should enter your financial information for the year in which your fiscal year ends. For instance, a fiscal year that runs from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 would be entered in the column for FY2022.

13. What is the distinction between earned revenue and contributed revenue? 

• Earned revenue is any funds received that are in direct exchange for goods, programs, or services; these include fees paid for programming, contract income, ticket sales, concessions, membership dues, and gift shop items. Contributed income is any funds received that are not in direct exchange for goods, programs, or services; these include grant funding, individual donations, government funding, foundation support, and sponsorships. 

14. Why is personnel expenses its own line separate from operating expenses?

• Personnel expenses should be included in your operating expenses line (if applicable). We ask for this number on its own for research and advocacy purposes. Personnel expenses are only those related to costs associated with payroll; these include salaries, wages, payroll insurance, and employee benefits. Stipends and contracted services do not fall under personnel. If your organization has no paid staff, please enter 0.

Use of Funding

15. Why does the application ask how we intend to use funding? 

• This question is to understand the need of organizations in Washington’s arts and culture sector. This response will not be used to calculate your award. 

16. Will I have to report that the funding was used in the way reported in the application? Will my organization be penalized if we use the funding for a different area? 

• No. No reporting will be required for this grant. Grants are unrestricted, and recipient organizations should use the grant dollars as they see fit. 

17. Are there any restrictions on what funds can be spent on? 

• Yes. Funds cannot be spent on services and/or assistance that require participation in any religious workshop, exercise, or instruction as a condition of receiving assistance; religious workshops, exercise, or instruction. Other ineligible expenses include: personal non-business expenses (i.e., home mortgage, personal utilities).

Demographic Survey

18. For the purposes of the demographic survey, what is the definition of staff? 

• For organizations with paid staff, include all staff on payroll (those who are paid by wages or salaries, not by stipends or contract income.) 

• For volunteer-run organizations with no paid staff, only include volunteers who have leadership, administrative, or program coordination roles and hold a meaningful level of responsibility to manage the organization or group. Some examples of meaningful volunteer positions might include a director, program coordinator, or team coach.

19. Do we need to complete the demographic survey? If I don’t want to provide information for my board or staff, can I just use “do not know/prefer not to answer/not applicable” for all board/staff members?

• The demographic survey is a required field. Groups are encouraged to answer as accurately as they can, but you may choose not to include demographic information by answering “do not know/prefer not to answer/not applicable” for all members of your board and staff.

We will use this information to ensure that funding is distributed equitably to groups, including those who center the voices of people who identify as BIPOC, as LGBTQ+, and as people with disabilities. This demographic information will be taken into account when calculating final awards, meaning that groups who do not provide complete demographic information will not have that information considered when calculating awards.

Evaluation Criteria

20. There is a wide range between $2,500 and $25,000 for the award. How will you determine who gets how much? 

• Organizations are free to ask for any amount of funding. We recommend organizations ask for the amount of funding that will boost your organization’s ability to invest in your mission and essential role serving your community. 

21. When will funding decisions be made? 

• Organizations will be notified of their award status in March. Funds will be disbursed by March 31, 2023. 

22. What do you mean by “We believe in promoting equity by centering those most impacted by systemic oppression, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities”? 

• ArtsFund encourages organizations to apply that center rural organizations and those who center the voices of people who identify as BIPOC, as LGBTQ+, and as people with disabilities.

WizeHive Grant Portal

23. When will the application be available? 

The Community Accelerator Grant application is now closed. Organizations will receive notification of their award status in March, and funds will be disbursed by March 31, 2023.

24. Is the application deadline flexible? 

• No. We are not able to accept late applications. 

25. Do I have to complete my application in one sitting? Can someone else from my organization help me fill it out? 

• No, you can login to your WizeHive account to make changes to your application anytime during the application window (12:00 PM on January 4 – 5:00 PM on January 31). You will be able to set up a WizeHive account when the application portal opens. Only one person from each organization can create login credentials, which can be shared. 

26. What if I realize I made an error on my application after I submit it? Will I be able to correct it? 

• After the application is submitted, it is no longer editable. If you need to make corrections before the application deadline, please reach out to or call (206) 788-3043. 

27. If I need additional technical assistance on my application, who do I contact? 

• You can contact staff at ArtsFund: email or call 206-788-3043 for additional assistance or questions. 

• A public information webinar will be hosted on December 9th from 11:00-11:45 a.m. The recorded webinar will be available on the Accelerator web page afterward. The webinar recording includes automatically generated subtitles and ASL interpretation. The webinar will also be dubbed into other languages. These dubbed versions will be posted on the Accelerator web page as soon as they are available