South Carolina Arts Commission

South Carolina Arts Commission

Statewide Operating Support (SWO) Grants

Grant Information

Application Deadline Icon
Application Deadline

The application deadline for FY21 SWO funding has passed. Application materials for FY22 are scheduled for release in Fall 2020.

Purpose Icon
To help strengthen arts organizations whose primary mission is focused on statewide arts services to individuals, communities, and other organizations

Who's Eligible Icon
Who's Eligible
Arts organizations whose work has been confirmed by the SCAC to be statewide in scope and not specific to one community

Funding Icon
No pre-set range

Grant Period Icon
Grant Period

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

About This Grant


Statewide Operating Support (SWO) Grants provide support for basic operations to help strengthen eligible organizations’ ability to bring ongoing arts experiences and services to individuals, communities, and other organizations on a statewide level. The program is designed to be a streamlined way for eligible organizations to apply for SCAC operating support funding. This funding is unrestricted, which means grantees may use it for any general operating expense related to their arts programming, such as staff salaries, paying the electric bill, printing programs, buying supplies, etc.

An eligible applicant must meet ALL the following requirements.

  1. The applicant must have a primary mission that is focused on providing statewide arts services.
  2. The applicant must be a nonprofit arts organization
    • currently registered with the S.C. Secretary of State’s Office
    • reflecting S.C. 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.
  3. The applicant must have completed at least one fiscal year of programming.
  4. 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. If a grantee is using a fiscal agent/receiver, separate DUNS numbers must be provided for both the applicant organization and the fiscal agent/receiver.
  5. The applicant must be deemed eligible for SWO funding by the SCAC before beginning a grant application.
    • This grant is only available to arts organizations whose work has been confirmed by the SCAC to be statewide in scope and not specific to one community. If your organization meets all of the eligibility requirements and you would like to be considered for this category, contact the Grants Office ( | 803.734.8695) well in advance of the application deadline. You will not be able to start an SWO application without prior approval.

Organizations receiving SCAC Operating Support funding may not receive simultaneous Arts Project Support (APS) funding, except for

  1. staff development opportunities, or
  2. projects supporting a state-designated cultural district.

February 3

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 5:00 p.m. that day.
Grant Period

July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021

  • Early November (before grant period begins): OSS application becomes available
  • March 2020: virtual grant panel review
  • Early/Mid-July: award notification
  • Early/Mid-December (of grant year): First Pay Request due
  • Early June (of grant year): Final Pay Request due
  • Early/Mid-August (after grant period ends): Final Report due

Exact due dates for your grant will be indicated in your online 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
  3. availability of funds, and
  4. Board approval.
Matching Requirements

1:1 (grantee:SCAC)

100% of the applicant’s match must be cash. 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.

How to Apply

SWO grants are managed in our online grants management system, from application, to approval and contracts, through payments and final reports.

Our online grants are managed using the Foundant platform. For frequently asked questions, registration instructions, and other helpful information, we highly recommend visiting the Foundant FAQbefore you begin working in the system.

To apply for an SWO grant, the applicant must have an active account in our online grants management system.

  1. Follow the “Apply” link below. The online grants management system 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. In the upper right corner of the “Apply” screen, enter the access code provided by the Arts Commission, and click the “Enter Code” button.
  4. Your screen should refresh with “Statewide Operating Support” as the only available grant application shown.
  5. To begin your application, click the “Apply” button to the far right.

Important Notes:

  • Until you enter your access code, you will not see Statewide Operating Support in the list of available grant applications. Please do not start a different grant application instead! Enter your access code as instructed, and your screen will refresh with the Statewide Operating Support application shown.
  • If you would like to preview the application before you log in, you may visit the “Apply” page, enter your access code as instructed, then click the “Preview” button when the Statewide Operating Support application information is shown onscreen.
  • If you have already begun your FY21 Statewide Operating Support application, do not click the “Apply” button again. Follow the instructions on the screen to return to the application you’ve already started.

After You Apply

Grants Office staff will review applications for completeness of submission and compliance with guideline and application requirements. Applications will then be evaluated by SCAC program staff and management based on the following:

Review Criteria

Programs & Services

The applicant

  • Offers programs and services that are
    1. closely aligned with its mission
    2. statewide in scope
    3. appropriate for the people, organizations, and communities for whom they are intended
  • Has a clear understanding of how people participate (e.g., as students, member artists, performers, audience, etc.)

Organization Health

The applicant

  • Has a mission that is reflective of statewide service
  • Has governance, management and staffing that is
    1. geographically representative of the state
    2. appropriate to accomplish its practical and artistic goals
  • Shows evidence of financial health and capacity to responsibly carry out the work of the organization

Staff will develop funding recommendations for the Board of Commissioners, which makes final award decisions.

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. Up to two interim payments may be requested during the grant period. 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 SWO Final Report by the due date will result in a reduction of 15% to your next Operating Support award.


If you are seeking advisement before submitting an application, please contact Cathy Lee ( | 803.734.8674). If you have submitted an application, and/or you have a current grant, please contact the Grants Office ( | 803.734.8695).