South Carolina Arts Commission

South Carolina Arts Commission

General Operating Support (GOS) Grants

Grant Information

Application Deadline Icon
Application Deadline

The application deadline for FY23 funding has passed.

Purpose Icon
To help strengthen arts organizations that bring ongoing arts experiences and services to individuals, communities, and other organizations throughout the state.

Who's Eligible Icon
Who's Eligible
SC nonprofit arts organizations and units of government, who either have a primary mission focused on the arts or serve as the primary arts provider in their community

Funding Icon
No pre-set range

Grant Period Icon
Grant Period
July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023

Matching Requirement Icon
Matching Requirement
3:1 (grantee:SCAC)

Important Updates

GOS Grantee Groups

Current General Operating Support (GOS) grantees have been split into three groups, to reapply once every three years. If you are a current GOS grantee and do not know your Group number, please contact the Grants Team ( | 803.734.8695).

FY22 Operating Support Grants

Due to limited funds, SCAC is not accepting new applications for FY22 operating support grants.

All FY21 GOS grantees will be issued contracts for FY22 upon approval of their FY21 Final Report.

FY23 Operating Support Grants

These guidelines are for use by eligible applicants for FY23 funding.

FY22 Operating Support Grantees
  • FY22 grantees in GOS Group 1 may apply for a new funding cycle using the application available July 1, 2021, due no later than September 15, 2021 December 13, 2021 (deadline extended).
    • Note: Your FY21 Final Report deadline is still September 15, 2021.
  • FY22 grantees in GOS Groups 2 and 3 will continue their existing funding cycle in FY23. An FY23 grant contract will be issued upon approval of the grantee’s FY22 Final Report, due in August 2022.
New Applicants
  • Organizations who are not FY22 operating support grantees may apply for FY23 operating support funding. The application will be available November 1, 2021; the submission deadline is December 13, 2021.

Note: There will also be a Grants Coaching session specifically for new operating support applicants, offered near the beginning of that application period (November 1, 2021). Details and registration information will be posted on these guidelines, as well as on our Grants Coaching web page, closer to that date.

About This Grant


The purpose of this South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) grant is to help strengthen arts organizations that bring ongoing arts experiences and services to individuals, communities, and other organizations throughout the state.

The grant provides three years of unrestricted support for basic operations for applicants ranging from emerging to established arts organizations with primary missions involving these artistic functions: producing, service, presenting, and/or education.

Arts councils may also submit a separate application for subgranting of additional SCAC funds to local applicants.

To be eligible for this grant, an organization must fit all the following criteria.

  1. Have a primary mission focused on the arts
    Serve as the primary arts provider in their community
  2. Be either
    • a unit of local government
    • a nonprofit community-based arts organization
      • currently registered with the SC Secretary of State’s Office
        Note: Applicants who are exempt from this registration must upload their registration exemption approval.
      • reflecting SC as the primary address on all current official organizational documents
      • with federal tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service
        applying through a tax exempt fiscal agent/receiver organization
        Note: Applicants who are applying through a fiscal agent/receiver will need to submit a letter that outlines the working relationship and responsibilities of both parties.
  3. Have completed at least one fiscal year of programming
  4. Have a valid DUNS number
    • In accordance with federal government policy, all organizations – including (but not limited to) private schools, government entities, public school districts, and nonprofit organizations – must provide a valid DUNS number to receive an SCAC grant award.

  5. Is either
    • an FY22 Group 1 GOS grantee
    • a new GOS applicant (any eligible organization that is not an FY22 operating support grantee).

Note for new applicants: Eligible organizations with an arts expense budget of $75,000 or less may apply for either an OSS grant OR a General Operating Support (GOS) Grant.

What’s the difference between a General Operating Support (GOS) Grant and an Operating Support for Small Organizations (OSS) Grant?

OSS Grants are specifically designed for small arts organizations, with expense budgets of $75,000 or less. If your budget meets these criteria, you may apply in either operating support category (GOS or OSS), but not both.

The main differences between OSS and GOS are:

  • OSS grants have a maximum award of $2,500 per year, with a 1:1 match. GOS grants have no maximum award, with a 3:1 match.
  • OSS grantees reapply every two years. GOS grantees reapply every three years.
  • The OSS application is shorter, and some would say, simpler than the GOS application.

  • Organizations receiving SCAC Operating Support funding may not receive simultaneous Arts Project Support funding, except for professional development opportunities.

  • FY22 GOS Group 2 and Group 3 grantees may not submit a new application for review; they will continue their existing funding cycle in FY23.

Grantees may use these funds for any general operating expense related to their arts programming, such as staff salaries, paying the electric bill, printing programs, buying supplies, etc.

Any activities carried out within this grant must align with state guidelines regarding COVID-19.

There are no specified priority areas for this grant category.

  • For FY22 GOS Group 1 grantees: September 15, 2021 December 13, 2021 (deadline extended)
    • Note: The deadline for submitting your FY21 Final Report is still September 15, 2021.
  • For new applicants: December 13, 2021

Applications may be submitted until 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Time) on the deadline date. However, please be aware that staff members will not be available to assist you with questions or technical difficulties after SCAC closes at 5 p.m. that day.

Grant Period

July 1, 2022-June 30, 2023

GOS grants are awarded on a three-year cycle of approval, but separate contracts are issued for each annual grant period.

Important Dates

For FY22 GOS Group 1 grantees

  • July 1, 2021: FY23 GOS application/ FY21 Final Report becomes available
  • September 15, 2021: FY21 Final Report due
  • September 15, 2021 December 13, 2021 (deadline extended): FY23 GOS application due

For new GOS applicants

  • November 1, 2021: FY23 GOS application becomes available
  • December 13, 2021: FY23 GOS application due

For all applicants

  • Spring 2022: FY23 Application panel review
  • June/July 2022: FY23 Award notification
  • December 2022: First FY23 Pay Request due
  • June 2023: Final FY23 Pay Request due
  • July 2023: FY23 Final Report form available
  • August 2023: FY23 Final Report due

Exact due dates for your grant will be indicated in your grants portal record.


There is no pre-set funding range.

Grant awards will be based on:

  1. panel review of the applications
  2. size of the applicant’s operating budget (see “Matching Requirements” below)
  3. availability of funds, and
  4. Board approval.

Awards may vary from year to year and are contingent on appropriation of funds by the SC General Assembly.

Matching Requirements

3:1 (grantee:SCAC)

Each dollar awarded must be matched with $3 cash. No in-kind expenses are allowed as part of the applicant’s match in this category.

Funds from another SCAC grant may not be used as matching funds.

How to Apply

You are urged to consider the Review Criteria (detailed in the “Review Process” section of these guidelines, under “After You Apply”) as you prepare your application materials. These criteria will be used to evaluate your application and determine the funding of your proposal.

Applications are accepted through our grants portal, which uses the Foundant platform. For frequently asked questions, registration instructions, and other helpful information, we highly recommend visiting the Grants Portal FAQbefore you begin working in the system.

The initial application will take time to complete, so we strongly advise you to begin well in advance of the deadline. The online application is opened each year at least one month in advance for the upcoming deadline.

The applicant must have an active account in our grants portal.

  • If you have previously used Submittable to apply for other SCAC grants or programs, please note that the grants portal is a different system. Your Submittable credentials will not work; you will need a grants portal account to apply for this grant.
  • If you have used the grants portal as both an artist and as a contact for a school or organization, be sure you log on with the correct account to apply for this grant.

Your application for FY23 funding will be available at the same as your FY21 Final Report. You will receive instructions by email with notification that your Final Report and application are ready for use.

Note: If you have not received this email by July 9, 2021 (Helpful Hint: Check your “Spam” or “Junk” folders & filters to be sure you can receive email from, please contact the Grants Team ( | 803.734.8695) immediately.


Starting November 1, 2021:

  1. Follow the “Apply” link below. The grants portal will open in a new browser tab or window.
  2. Log on, then click the “Apply” link at the top of your Applicant Dashboard.
  3. Find “Operating Support – General” in the list of available grant applications, and click the “Apply” button to the far right.
Application Preview

(Available to FY22 GOS Group 1 grantees July 1, 2021; and to new applicants November 1, 2021.)

Not quite ready to apply? You can preview the application before you create an account or start an application.

After You Apply

The Grants Team will review submitted applications for completeness and compliance with guideline and application requirements. A review panel of arts professionals will evaluate the applications based on the published Review Criteria. An applicant’s numerical rating and panel comments are available to them upon request. Staff will then develop funding recommendations, based on these evaluations and the availability of funds. Recommendations will be presented to the Board of Commissioners, which makes final award decisions. Award notification is expected after the June 2022 board meeting, pending completion of the state budget process.

Review Criteria

Organization Health (30%)

An organization that receives a high score on this section will:

  • have governance, management and staffing appropriate and sufficient to support the work of the organization. This is not meant to imply that management and staff must be paid professionals. For some organizations, competent volunteers are appropriate and sufficient.
  • invest in learning by its board and staff
  • have practical, appropriate methods for well-informed planning and evaluation
  • have sufficient income to support stable programming and access to cash to cover occasional shortfalls

Programs and Services (40%)

An organization that receives a high score on this section will:

  • offer programs and services that are closely aligned with its mission
  • show breadth and quality in its programs and services, within the scope of its mission
  • have the capacity to provide these programs and services effectively
  • offer programs and services that are appropriate for the people, organizations, and communities for whom they are intended
  • demonstrate a clear understanding of what “success” means for the organization
  • have practical strategies for reaching its goals and improving the quality of its programs and services

Public Participation (30%)

An organization that receives a high score on this section will:

  • have a clear understanding of who its participants are and are not, including an informed awareness of why people do or don’t participate.;
  • have varied, effective methods of engaging and maintaining participants;
  • honestly assess its participation issues and have practical strategies and partnerships for building participation, within the scope of the mission and the current context of the organization; and
  • have organizational characteristics – of a board, staff, processes, programs, facilities, etc. – that promote and facilitate broad participation.

Important note: By “participation” we mean active involvement of any sort by anyone with your organization.  Participation includes attendance at events, certainly, but it also includes many other types of engagement, such as taking a class, using a website, serving as a volunteer, providing in-kind goods and services, making financial donations, serving on boards and committees, buying works of art, working as a contracted artist, etc.

If your application is funded, you (and your fiscal agent/receiver, if applicable) will enter into a contractual agreement with the South Carolina Arts Commission, and you must comply with all requirements stated in that contract. You will receive notification and instructions when your contract is available in our online grants management system. You must submit your completed Contract Packet, including signatures and other documentation as instructed, by the date indicated in the system. You must also complete all other assigned Follow Ups by the due date given.

Please note: Any significant revisions to grant-funded activities must be approved in writing, in advance, by SCAC.

Additional details about managing an SCAC grant are available on our agency website.

Grant Payments

Payment will be on a reimbursement basis only. Grantees in this category may be eligible for interim payments, with the final grant payment released upon receipt and approval of the grantee’s Final Report. An accurate Pay Request, listing only expenses allowable under the program guidelines for the certified time period, must be submitted in order to receive payment for the grant award. Your first grant payment request must be submitted by the date indicated in your online account.

Final Report

ALL GRANTEES are required to file a Final Report at the end of the grant period. The Final Report Due Date is stated in the grant contract. Failure to submit an accurate and complete Final Report by the due date will result in cancellation of the award and repayment of any funds received. SCAC will not fund applicants who have outstanding Final Reports.

In addition, failure to file a complete GOS Final Report by the due date will result in a reduction of 15% to your next Operating Support award.

GOS grants are awarded on a three-year cycle, but grantees are required to file a final report at the end of each annual grant period. Submission of your annual final reports for years one and two of the three-year cycle will allow us to assess long-term progress and generate the next year’s contract.

  • If you are seeking advisement before submitting an application, please contact La Ruchala Murphy (803.734.8762 |, Arts Industry Director.
  • If you have submitted an application, and/or you have a current grant, please contact the Grants Team ( | 803.734.8695).
Grants Coaching

We also highly recommend a visit to our Grants Coaching webpage, for

Missed a group call or session? Look for the “Video” link to access a recording of that presentation.