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Operating Grant Funding Guidelines


Operating Grants funded through the Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences provide general operating support for organizations that offer visual and performing arts, science and humanities programs, performances, exhibitions and lectures that benefit Baltimore County residents.


Not-for-profit organizations in Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Howard and Harford Counties are eligible to apply for funding for arts activities that take place in their jurisdictions and serve Baltimore County residents. It is the Commission's policy not to be the sole source of funding for any applicant.

Notice to Grant Applicants for the FY21 Operating Grants

It has come to our attention that some applications included incorrect information with regard to the review criteria on page two of the FY21 application.

Following are the correct percentages: 

Review Criteria


Merit (quality and consistency of the professional work)

30 percent

Service to Baltimore County residents

25 percent

Service to the broader community (education, advocacy)

15 percent

Outreach to multicultural and underserved populations

15 percent

Soundness of business practice

15 percent

If you think that your application did not accurately or fully emphasize the service you provide to Baltimore County residents, we invite you to resubmit your answers to questions 9 and 10 (reprinted below), while still staying within the word limits.

  1. How does your organization serve Baltimore County residents? Give specific examples of programs and outreach to Baltimore County residents and programs taking place in the County. If applicable, describe any partnerships your organization has with County-based organizations or government agencies. (400 words)
  2. How does your organization specifically meet the needs of Baltimore County youth students (ages 5 to 19)? (300 words)

Please submit your revised answers to by 3 p.m. on Monday, November 18. This deadline will be strictly enforced and no late submissions will be accepted.

Review Criteria

The Baltimore County Commission on Arts and Sciences considers the following criteria as it evaluates each grant proposal:

Artistic Merit

  • Artistic quality and consistency of performances, exhibits or programs
  • Programming continues to evolve creatively
  • Clear explanation of how programs and services fulfill organization's mission
  • Public receptivity

Service to the Community and Educational Merit

  • Programming includes educational component
  • Enhances quality of life by fulfilling community need
  • Enhances Baltimore region's cultural stature

Impact on the Diverse Cultural Needs of Baltimore County Citizens

  • Proactive outreach to attract new audiences from the County
  • Creativity of outreach programs, including partnerships with County-based organizations
  • Geographic diversity of programs and outreach within the County
  • Number and extent of programs or activities that take place in County

Extent of Outreach to Involve New Audiences, Special Constituencies and Underserved Populations

  • Extent and quality of proactive outreach efforts to meet the needs of underserved, marginalized and diverse populations who by virtue of their age, income, locale, physical or developmental ability, or any other characteristic have fewer opportunities, less visibility and limited access to programs available to the general public
  • Outreach and inclusion of citizens of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, including on boards, advisory groups and staff

Management Effectiveness and Financial Stability

  • Exhibits financial responsibility and stability
  • Ability to organize and develop means to support plans and activities as measured by prior record and soundness of plans
  • Ability to leverage in-kind, board and volunteer resources
  • Ability to secure multiple funding sources (public, private, foundation, individual)
  • Budget data consistent, accurate and complete

Operating Grant Availability

Read the Operating Grant Eligibility and Instructions (PDF) prior to completing a grant application for performing and visual arts, humanities, and science nonprofit organizations to be sure your organization meets funding guidelines.

Final Report Form

Organizations that receive operating grant funding must file a final report. Final reports for Fiscal Year 2019 operating grants were due on August 16.

Download and save the Fiscal Year 2019 Operating Grant Final Report Form (PDF).

Revised November 8, 2019         


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