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Grants to California Arts Nonprofits, Agencies, and Tribes for Expenses Associated with General Operations

Arts and Cultural Organizations General Operating Relief


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
California Arts Council (CAC)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: California

Important Dates
Deadline: 06/06/23 11:59 PM Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $30,000 to California arts nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and tribes for expenses associated with general operations. Funding is intended for a wide range of operating expenses, including payrolls, rent, and utilities. Applicants must have a primary purpose of providing arts, creative, or cultural programming/service.

This grant supports the well-being of California’s cultural vitality by helping sustain a robust and diverse arts workforce and infrastructure. Funds may be used to support any eligible expenses associated with the general operations of an arts or cultural organization, including but not limited to rent, utilities, and staff salaries. Applying for this grant does not restrict an organization from applying for other CAC project-based grants. General Operating grants are intended to support the applicant organization in carrying out its mission. Funding is not intended to support a specific project.

An arts and cultural organization is defined as an entity with a primary purpose of providing arts, creative, or cultural programming/services. Assessed by CAC staff, this purpose is determined by the organization’s mission, purpose statement, and/or by its summary of core organizational programs and services. 


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Eligible Organizations:
- 501(c)(3) organization as applicant or fiscal sponsor - Non-governmental applicant organizations must demonstrate proof of nonprofit status under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or section 23701d of the California Revenue and Taxation Code.
- Local government - An arts-based unit of municipal or county government; or a tribal government
- Applicant organizations using fiscal sponsors - An applicant organization that is without nonprofit status must use a California-based fiscal sponsor with a federal 501(c)(3) designation to apply for funding. For-profit businesses and individuals may not use a fiscal sponsor to apply to CAC organizational grants. Types of applicant organizations eligible to apply using a fiscal sponsor include, but are not limited to artist collectives, guilds, and 501(c)(6) organizations.

Eligibility Requirements
- California-based - Documentation of being a California-based nonprofit arts/cultural organization; an arts-based unit of municipal or county government;or a tribal government, or nonprofit social service organization with regular ongoing arts programming and/or services and a principal place of business in California.
- Arts programming - Applicants must have a minimum two-year history of consistent engagement in arts programming and/or services prior to the application deadline.
- Certificate of good standing - Nonprofit organizations and fiscal sponsors (if applicable) must have “active status” with the California Secretary of State (SOS) showing evidence of “good standing” at the time of application. You can verify your organization’s status by conducting a search using the SOS online Business Search tool. An indication of “active” (versus “suspended,” “dissolved,” “cancelled,” etc.) confirms that your nonprofit corporation exists, is authorized to conduct business in the State of California, has met all licensing and corporation requirements, and has not received a suspension from the Franchise Tax Board.

Ineligible Organizations
- Organizations applying for the CAC’s Statewide and Regional Networks, State-Local Partners, or Cultural Pathways grant programs
- Organizations that do not have principal place of business in California
- Public and private colleges and universities
- K-12 school districts
- County Offices of Education
- Social services or non-arts/cultural nonprofits
- Organizations with Total Revenue (TR) greater than $1,500,000 in the last completed fiscal year

Funding Restrictions
- Statewide and Regional Networks, State-Local Partners, and Cultural Pathways applicants are not eligible for Arts & Cultural Organizations General Operating Support grant funds in the same fiscal year.
- For organizations with total revenue above $250,000, the sum of requests for CAC grants during the same year of funding cannot exceed 50% of the total revenue from the most recently completed fiscal year, with the exception of applications for Administering Organization grants.
- Applicants to this program are not restricted from applying for and receiving additional CAC project grants.

Pre-Proposal Conference
Office Hours
Virtual office sessions are available to provide technical assistance the Arts & Cultural Organizations General Operating Support grant.

Hours are offered as follows:

Friday, May 19, 9-10 a.m. – Click here to register:

Tuesday, May 23, 4-5 p.m. – Click here to register:

Wednesday, May 31, 9-10 a.m. – Click here to register:

Pre-Application Information
- Application Opens: April 25, 2023
- Application Deadline: June 6, 2023, 11:59 p.m.
- Panel Review: Approx. June – July 2023
- Funding Decision: Approx. August 2023
- Funding Notification: Approx. August 2023
- Grant Activity Period: October 1, 2023 – September 30, 2025
- Final Report Deadline: October 31, 2025

No match required for organizations with operating budgets less than 200% of maximum per year grant amount (i.e., less than $60,000 per year). 1:1 match required for organizations with budgets at least 200% of the maximum per year grant amount ($60,000 or more per year).

Staff Assistance
Before contacting staff, check FAQs to see if application questions can be answered. If staff assistance is still required for guidance or clarification, email is the best way to contact Program Specialists. It is recommended that you contact staff well in advance of the deadline to ensure you can be accommodated. Please note: Staff assistance is not available after 5:00 p.m. on the day of a grant deadline. People who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deaf Blind, or have difficulty speaking may dial 711 to reach the California Relay Service (CRS). Large print is available upon request.

Grant resources:


Number of Grants
Estimated Total Number of Grant Awards: 315

Estimated Size of Grant
Applicant organizations can request up to $30,000.

Term of Contract
Estimated Arrival of Funds: 1st year funds: December 2023- January 2024; 2nd year funds: December 2024-January 2025

Contact Information
Apply online:

Staff Contact:
Leslie Giovanini
Arts Program Specialist

California Arts Council
2750 Gateway Oaks Drive, Suite 300
Sacramento, CA 95833

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Monday through Friday

Phone: (916)322-6555 / (800) 201-6201

Fax: (916) 286-7672
General Email:

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