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Organizational Support Program (OSP)

Grants to California Nonprofits for General Operating
Assistance to Support the Arts and Tourism in San Diego

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

02/08/19 11:59 PM


Request a Grant Writer

Grants starting at $5,000 to California arts and culture nonprofits for general operating assistance to support activities in the City of San Diego. Applicants must complete a request for qualification before applying. Proposals should emphasize programs and services that enhance tourism and the economy, and improve the quality of life for City residents.

The Organizational Support Program (OSP) is the annual process of accepting and evaluating applications from nonprofit, tax-exempt organizations requesting TOT funding for general operating support with an emphasis on the delivery of programs and services that impact San Diego’s quality of life and tourism.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 144998

Estimated Size of Grant:

OSP applicants are typically awarded between 2%-13% of their annual operating income (AOI). The minimum award amount an applicant can receive is $5,000.

Term of Contract:

The grant period runs from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020.

The City will only exercise the option to renew for two consecutive years; for example, if an applicant held a contract for FY18 funding cycle, and that was renewed in FY19, the applicant could request a second option to renew for FY20 funding cycle. If that option was granted the applicant would not be eligible for a contract renewal for the FY21 funding cycle.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Your organization is eligible to apply for a contract award if:

- Your organization holds tax-exempt nonprofit status under section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code; and
- Has a three-year history of operating with its own independent governing board (not under a fiscal sponsor); and
- The majority of your organization’s activities take place within the limits of the city of San Diego and/or benefit San Diego residents. (Activities are defined as those produced or presented by your organization that are essential to the fulfillment of your organization’s mission. Under this definition, and with some exceptions, activities do not include tuition based or fee for service classes, touring, and cultural tourism marketing
activities); and
- Your organization operates to fulfill a mission that aligns with the purpose of TOT funding which is

1. To enhance the economy;
2. To contribute to San Diego’s national and international reputation as a cultural destination;
3. To provide access to excellence in culture and the arts for residents and visitors;
4. To enrich the lives of the people of San Diego;
5. To build healthy, vital neighborhoods.

Your organization is not eligible for an OSP contract award if:
- Your organization is seeking funding for the sponsorship of a specific project such as a festival, a parade or a celebration.
- Your organization is a university, community college, school district, or private educational enterprise.
- Your organization’s primary purpose is grantmaking.
- Your organization has applied or will apply for Fiscal Year 2020 funds through another TOT category as defined in Council Policy 100-03.

City funds may not be used for alcoholic beverages, travel, meals, lodging, entertainment, capital or equipment outlay, buildup of reserves, or the purchase of awards, trophies, gifts, or uniforms.

City funds may not be used for lobbying, religious activities, or political activities.

City funds will not be provided to any applicant found to discriminate, in the conduct of its activities and affairs, against any person because of sex, race, color, creed, national origin, physical disabilities, age or sexual orientation.

Pre-Application Information:

Any applicant awarded OSP funding is required to provide a $3 cash match for every $1 awarded. The minimum award amount is $5,000; therefore, the minimum required cash match amount is $15,000. Match income must be received by the applicant during the FY20 contract period between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.

Funds awarded to an applicant are paid on a reimbursement basis only. Expenses must be incurred by an applicant between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 (FY20) before the City will reimburse.

FY2020 Funding Process Schedule
- September 19, 2018: Application guidelines and online Request for Qualifications (RFQ) form published
- September 24 - October 12, 2018: Office Hours with staff available re: How to Submit an Application (RFQ)
- October 15, 2018: RFQ addenda published, if necessary
- October 19, 2018, 5:00 p.m.: Cut off for questions re: RFQ
- October 19, 2018, 11:59 p.m.: Responses to RFQ due
- October 22 – December 4, 2018: RFQs evaluated by one trained team, including Commission staff.
- December 5, 2018 – December 11, 2018: Announce results of RFQ evaluation and Start of 5-day "cure" period for applicants deemed "Not Qualified" due to missing or incomplete materials in RFQ
- December 17, 2018: Announce results of the “cure” period
**Staff will have limited availability for any questions from December 18, 2018 – January 2, 2019.
- January 7, 2019: Online Request for Proposals (RFP) published
- January 10 – January 30, 2019: Technical assistance workshops and Office Hours re: How to Submit a Proposal (RFP) provided (Dates: TBD)
- February 8, 2019, 5:00 p.m.: Cut off for questions re: RFP
- February 8, 2019, 11:59 p.m.: Responses to RFP due
- March 11 – March 22, 2019: Panels convene to discuss and recommend scores/ranks for RFPs
- March 25, 2019: Results of RFP evaluation announced to applicants
- March 25 – April 5, 2019: Appeals process (10 working days)
- April 8, 2019: Results of appeals announced
- April 12, 2019: Policy & Funding Committee of Commission receives RFP rank recommendation from panels and makes recommendation to Commission
- April 12, 2019: City’s FY2020 proposed budget announced
- April 26, 2019: Commission receives RFP rank recommendation from Policy & Funding Committee and makes
recommendation to the Mayor and City Council
- May 1 – May 8, 2019: City budget hearings. Tentative award amounts have historically been available in May
- May 24, 2019: Commission recommends adjusted tentative award amounts, if applicable
- June 30, 2019: Final award amounts confirmed by City
- July 1, 2019: Performance period and contracting process begins
*Dates are subject to change

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Leticia Gomez Franco, Civic Art Project Manager
(619) 236–6778

Commission for Arts and Culture
1200 Third Ave., Suite 924
San Diego, CA 92101-4106

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: California: City of San Diego