South Carolina Arts Commission

South Carolina Arts Commission

Operating Support for Small Organizations (OSS) Grants

Grant Information

Application Deadline Icon
Application Deadline
12/13/2021

– Current grantees may apply starting July 1, 2021.
– New applicants may apply starting November 1, 2021.

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

Who's Eligible Icon
Who's Eligible
SC nonprofit organizations & units of government with a total arts expense budget of $75,000 or less and at least one completed fiscal year of programming

Funding Icon
Funding
Up to $2,500 per year

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

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


Important Updates

OSS Grantee Groups

Current Operating Support for Small Organizations (OSS) grantees have been split into two groups, to apply in alternate years. If you are a current OSS grantee and have not received your Group number by email, please contact the Grants Team (grants@arts.sc.gov | 803.734.8695).

FY22 Operating Support Grants

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

All FY21 OSS 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 OSS 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 OSS Group 2 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

Purpose

The purpose of this South Carolina Arts Commission (SCAC) grant is to help strengthen eligible organizations’ ability to bring ongoing arts experiences and services to individuals, communities, and other organizations throughout the state. This program is designed to be a simple way for organizations with annual arts budgets of $75,000 or less to apply for SCAC operating support funding. Eligible applicants range from emerging to established organizations. The grant provides two years of unrestricted support for basic operations related to 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
    OR
    Serve as the primary arts provider in their community
    OR
    Provide ongoing arts programming in their community (examples given in the “Use of Funds” section of these guidelines)

    • Please note: Non-arts organizations are strongly encouraged to contact Catherine Ntube (803.734.8694 | cntube@arts.sc.gov), Specialist for Arts Organizations & Education, for advisement before beginning their first OSS application.
  2. Be either
    • a unit of local government
      OR
    • a nonprofit community-based 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
        OR
        applying through a tax-exempt fiscal agent/receiver organization
        Note: Applicants who are applying through a fiscal agent/receiver must submit a letter outlining the working relationship and responsibilities of both parties.
  3. Have completed at least one fiscal year of programming
  4. Had a total arts expense budget of $75,000 or less for the last completed fiscal year
  5. 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.
  6. Is either
    • an FY22 Group 1 OSS grantee
      OR
    • a new OSS 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 OSS Group 2 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.

Arts programming expenses might include (but are not limited to) concert series, visual arts workshops, a season of theatrical productions, or other activities and initiatives conducted with the primary intention of providing arts experiences to the community.

This grant is not intended to support programming that is not arts-focused (although it may contain artistic elements).

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.

Deadline
  • For FY22 OSS 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

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

Important Dates

For FY22 OSS Group 1 grantees

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

For new OSS applicants

  • November 1, 2021: FY23 OSS application becomes available
  • December 13, 2021: FY23 OSS 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.

Funding

Up to $2,500 per year.

Grant awards will be based on:

  1. panel review of the applications
  2. size of the applicant’s arts 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

1:1 (grantee:SCAC)

Each dollar awarded must be matched with $1 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 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.

FY22 OSS GROUP 1 GRANTEES

Your application for FY23 funding will be available at the same time 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 administrator@grantinterface.com), please contact the Grants Team (grants@arts.sc.gov | 803.734.8695) immediately.

NEW APPLICANTS

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 – Small Organizations” in the list of available grant applications, and click the “Apply” button to the far right.
Application Preview

(Available to FY22 OSS 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 2021 board meeting, pending completion of the state budget process.

Review Criteria

An organization that receives funding will meet the criteria below.

Programs & Services (60%)

  • Applicant offers programs and services that are closely aligned with its mission.
  • Applicant offers programs and services that are appropriate for the people, organizations, and communities for whom they are intended.
  • Applicant has a clear understanding of how people participate (e.g., as students, member artists, performers, audience, etc.).

Organization Health (40%)

  • Applicant has governance, management, and staffing appropriate and sufficient to support the work of the organization.
  • Applicant shows evidence of financial health and capacity to responsibly carry out the work of the organization.

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 OSS Final Report by the due date will result in a reduction of 15% to your next Operating Support award.

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

Questions?
  • If you are seeking advisement before submitting an application, please contact Catherine Ntube (803.734.8694 | cntube@arts.sc.gov), Specialist for Arts Organizations & Education.
  • If you have submitted an application, and/or you have a current grant, please contact the Grants Team (grants@arts.sc.gov | 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.