BCAA Endowment Guidelines for: Project, Equipment Purchase or General Operating Support (GOS)

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As a guide in choosing the correct grant cycle and forming your request, projects are programmatic in nature – a single or a series of events in a specific time frame designed to fill a specific need, expression or expansion within the discipline represented. Projects should be outside of an organization’s regular programming. When requesting equipment purchase, it is preferable, though not required if impractical, that it be used not only by the applicant but extended for use by or to benefit others in the discipline.  General Operating Support (GOS) is intended for the overall benefit of the requesting organization (not individuals) for support of internal or management expenses such as marketing, development, accounting or personnel expansion; not specific programming events or efforts.

Important Dates:

Application deadline - Completed applications must be submitted online by 5:00 pm on the application deadline date. The spring cycle is for equipment purchase/GOS requests and Fellowships; the late summer cycle is for project requests.                           

Funding cycle dates - The project, purchase or request must take place within a year from the date the grant check is issued (approximately 8 weeks from the deadline date).

Grant coaching sessions - Attendance at the grant coaching session is strongly recommended for all grant applicants.

Reception/grant distribution - All applicants are invited to attend a grant distribution reception.  Grant recipients will briefly present their projects or programs to the group. This is a great opportunity to learn about what’s happening in the arts in Boulder County, to generate support for your project and to network with other organizations.

final report is required to document your project or purchase within 14 months of the grant award date.

Persons, Organizations and Activities Funded:

All applicants must be current members of the Boulder County Arts Alliance. If you are not a current member of the BCAA or your membership has expired, please visit our membership page to join online or download a membership form. In addition, final reports for previous BCAA Endowment grants must be filed before submission of a new application.  All applicants are encouraged to make tickets to your events available to the BCAA so that panelists may experience your work.

Organizations must be based in Boulder County and have been in operation for a minimum of one year prior to submission of this grant.  Organizations are eligible to apply for the spring Equipment Purchase/GOS grant and the fall Project Support grant but may not receive funding in two consecutive cycles and for no more than three consecutive years.  501(c)(3) status is not required.

Individual artists must be at least 18 years old and have established residency in Boulder County for a minimum of one year prior to submission of this grant.  They may apply for the spring Equipment Purchase grant and the fall Project Support grant but may not receive funding in two consecutive cycles and for no more than three consecutive years.

Persons, Organizations and Activities Not Funded:

  • Organizations that practice discrimination of any kind
  • Organizations that will use the grant to influence legislation or support candidates for political office
  • Organizations that will use the grant money for prizes, scholarships or grants
  • Artists or organizations that have received a BCAA Endowment grant in the previous cycle or in each of the previous three years
  • Projects primarily for academic or scholarly purposes
  • Receptions, travel expenses, deficit or debt elimination or endowments
  • Projects that will be complete before funding cycle begins

Application Evaluation Criteria:

All applications are reviewed and commented on by a multi-disciplinary panel using the application evaluation criteria listed below.  Each panelist reviews and scores every application on his/her own; a panel meeting is called and all applications are reviewed by the panel as a whole.  A final score is reached at the panel meeting and the top scoring applicants will be awarded grants for that cycle.  Panelist comments are recorded and are available for applicants to review after the awards are announced.

Applicants must demonstrate excellence in their application equally in the two areas as listed below.

1)  The written application - how well it is crafted and represents the individual/organization in its overall presentation.  This would include:

  • Accuracy of facts, figures, arithmetic
  • Following directions, answering questions in a concise, thoughtful, well-written, readable manner
  • Demonstration of track record of ability to complete projects through such efforts as effective planning, management and budgeting of the project and citing previous successes
  • Evidence of organizational need and/or impact on organization’s mission

2)  The uniqueness or scope of the project or idea.  This would include:

  • Artistic excellence of artists involved and merit of proposed activities
  • Community involvement and community benefit from proposed activities such as broadening audience reach, community or professional collaborations and partnerships.
  • Articulating goals of the project and measurable means to evaluate its success
  • Showing evidence of filling a need within its organization or discipline

Application Process:

Submit only one application per project, equipment purchase or GOS request. An individual or organization may only submit one grant application in each round, the exception being for Fellowship applications. An artist may apply for both a Fellowship and Equipment support.  An application consists of:          

  1. Completed online application. PAPER COPIES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
  2. Supplemental Material (required) - up to 5 attachments can be uploaded with your electronic application. If you have work samples on the web, you may include URLs in your grant narrative. HARDCOPY SUPPORT MATERIALS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
  • GOS and Project grant applicants: If the budget form in the application does not allow for adequate detail for your organization or project (generally budgets exceeding $100k) you may attach your budget. 
  • Visual artists:  include up to 5 images of your work
  • Writers and poets:  include up to 5 examples/excerpts of your work
  • Film/media or performing artists – URLs for about 5 minutes of your work
  • Professional profiles of all key project participants – not to exceed two pages total
  • Letter of intent from the venue(s) where the performances(s) or exhibit(s) will take place (for Project requests). If you cannot get a letter from a venue, explain why not.
  • Letter(s) of intent, if applicable, from key collaborator(s) for project requests
  • Letter(s) of recommendation, reviews or promotional pieces that support the work of the organization, artist, project, and/or the ability to complete the project (optional but highly recommended)

Completed applications, must be submitted by 5:00 pm on the deadline date.  The application will go offline at 5:01pm on the deadline date and can no longer be submitted or edited at that point.

The online application forms may be found here:


For additional information about the BCAA Endowment Grants and tips for submitting a successful proposal, plan to attend the grant coaching session listed above or call 303-447-2422. Please keep in mind that staff availability is limited. Attendance at the coaching session is the best way to insure that your questions are addressed.

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