A Bevy of Application Tips for Your JPMorgan Chase Grant

Did you miss the application seminar for the JPMorgan Chase Capacity Regrant program?

BAC Grants Manager Morgan Lindsey Tachco lays out the basics of the program and some application tips.

Focused on capacity-building, this is funding opportunity is unique to the field and important for small Brooklyn-based arts orgs.  This info is for those of you who missed an application seminar, or need a refresher as you complete your application.  Download the program guidelines to refer to as you read on, and please reach out to me with any questions you have at any stage of the process!

–  Morgan, mtachco@brooklynartscouncil.org

The Basics
Brooklyn-based arts organizations can ask for between $2,000 and $3,000 for a specified capacity building project to take place during the calendar year 2014. Some important things to know off the bat:

  • Funding proposals need to be for a specific capacity building project, not for general operating expenses.
  • Other excluded projects are: capital maintenance or improvement, seed funding, admin or major equipment costs unrelated to the proposed project and artistic projects.
  • Project expenses must be spent in 2014.

Organization Eligibility
501c3 organizations must be Brooklyn-based, and:

Arts must be at the core of their mission – no social service, religious or community orgs, sorry!

  • Serve a Brooklyn audience – just having a Brooklyn address doesn’t cut it.
  • In existence for at least 3 years
  • Have an operating budget of under $500,000.

Organizations that meet the above requirements but are past grantees behind on their final reporting or have received funding from this program for three years in a row are ineligible to apply. If you’re unsure about your eligibility, shoot us an email and let us know.

Projects: what this program funds
This funding is for specific capacity building projects; here’s a break-down of eligible proposals in three categories:

Marketing and Promotion
Projects that help build awareness of your organization, your mission and/or your specific programs.

Organizational Development
Projects that help stabilize or increase the sustainability of your organization.

Technological Expansion
Projects that help your organization improve its use of technology.

In any category, the panel wants to see that you are proposing a project that will have specific deliverables and will clearly be a step forward in the expansion and long-term sustainability of your org.  Some things to keep in mind:

–          This funder is a financial institution; if they can see that you’re thinking about or making a case for the bottom line, that’s really helpful.

  • Do your research. For example: If you’re hiring a consultant, know who you’re hiring or show that you have a few people in mind. If you’re buying new hardware or software, include quotes that you’ve gathered.
  • Any expenses for admin time need to be directly related to the project; don’t leave the panel thinking, “general operating.”
  • The panel does try to fund these projects fully, but showing a diversity of project income is always beneficial.

Check out the examples of successful applications in the JPMC guidelines. If you have a project in mind that is not included in the guidelines, please reach out to me to discuss the project’s eligibility. For a full list of what makes a project ineligible, please refer to the guidelines.

Funding decisions
Staff from both JPMorgan Chase and Brooklyn Arts Council bring together a volunteer panel of executive and development directors from Brooklyn organizations to review these applications.

This panel is looking for applications that clearly define the impact that the proposed project will have on the organization and its ability to further their mission. They want to see the organization’s engagement with their Brooklyn community and how this project would help them serve their constituents. It’s important that they see a clearly defined ability to plan, implement and evaluate this project; they want to know that it will be realistically completed.  Overall, BAC asks that the projects they are funding reflect the diversity of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods and artistic disciplines. You can find an outline of the review criteria in the guidelines.

How to Apply
All of our applications must be completed online. Submissions must be in hard copy, either hand-delivered or postmarked no later than Thursday, November 21.

You’ll find the online application and all supplemental materials available for download on the JPMorgan Chase section of our website.  Some things to keep in mind:

  • Look closely at the application components we require as outlined on page 5 of the guidelines, especially the supplemental materials.
  • Do not send artistic work samples! They will not be sent to panel or returned to you.
  • Do not submit your organizational budget in place of your proposed project budget. We’re sorry, but that will make you ineligible.
  • Funding notification is sent out early February, and funding will be released Late-March.

Good luck! If you have any questions about this program or the process for applying, contact us at grants@brooklynartscouncil.org

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