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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.

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.

Download and complete the FY2022 Operating Grant application (PDF) along with the Request for Financial Assistance form (PDF), which must be submitted with all grant applications. Submit these and all other required documents in PDF format by emailing before the application deadline on Wednesday, October 28 at 4 p.m.

Note: Please do not use the Mac Preview program when completing the PDF forms due to incompatibility issues. Use Adobe Reader or another PDF viewer if possible.

Final Report Form

Organizations that receive operating grant funding must file a final report. Final reports for Fiscal Year 2020 operating grants are due on September 10, 2020.

Download and save the Fiscal Year 2020 Operating Grant Final Report Form (PDF).

Revised September 4, 2020         


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