• Commerce and ArtsFund partner to offer over $10 million in grants to help nonprofit community organizations

    May 04, 2021

    Nonprofit Community Relief grant application portal opens May 10 for eligible Washington state organizations 

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Commerce is partnering with ArtsFund to provide over $10 million in grants to help community organizations across the state that have been impacted by the pandemic. The Nonprofit Community Relief grant program focuses on arts, culture, science and heritage nonprofits, as well as organizations whose primary mission is to serve veterans, neighborhood organizations and sports and recreation programs for adults and/or children.

    Eligible organizations must have 501(c)(3) status, or fiscal sponsorship by a 501(c)(3), with appropriate documentation since their 2019 fiscal year. Additionally, organizations must have operating budgets of at least $25,000.

    Full details and Frequently Asked Questions are available here.

    “Nonprofits strengthen communities by providing cultural, creative, recreational and other enrichment opportunities and by linking people to others with common interests,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “This has been especially true during the pandemic. People are looking for ways to maintain community and cultural connections and these nonprofit organizations provide that important link.”

    Brown added that nonprofits have been especially hard hit by the pandemic, and their recovery is crucial to a full and equitable economic recovery throughout Washington state.

    “The Department of Commerce and ArtsFund both understand how instrumental the nonprofit sector's recovery is to the state's overall fiscal vitality and to bringing back jobs," said Michael Greer, President and CEO of ArtsFund. "The pandemic has brought together the diverse nonprofit sector for the sake of survival. This exciting partnership with Commerce affords ArtsFund the opportunity to build upon our existing knowledge and established trust within the nonprofit arts, culture, science and heritage arenas and expand our outreach to also serve community-based sports, recreation, veterans and neighborhood organizations across the state."

    The Nonprofit Community Relief grant application portal opens on May 10 at www.artsfund.org/ncrgrants. Applications are online only.

    It is strongly recommended that interested organizations explore the website early to determine their eligibility and review application requirements and FAQs. Organizations that are led by and/or serve under-resourced communities, culturally diverse populations and underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

    Informational webinar May 11

    An online information session will be held on May 11, 2021 from 2-3:00 p.m.. To attend the webinar, please register via this link. This webinar will be recorded and include automatically generated subtitles. ASL interpretation will be provided.

    The application portal will close May 24 and grants are expected to be awarded in early to mid-June.

    To date, Commerce has provided over $822 million in relief and recovery grants throughout the state. Funding to nonprofits includes $11.8 million to over 350 nonprofits in partnership with Philanthropy Northwest, $9.9 million to over 400 youth development programs in partnership with School’s Out Washington, $2.5 million to trusted community organizations to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate outreach and technical assistance to diverse small business owners, and $1.5 million to over 250 arts organizations in partnership with ArtsWA. Additionally, three rounds of Working Washington grants have provided $125 million in relief to funds to nearly 11,000 small businesses, with another $240 million coming soon in Round 4. See a complete overview of Commerce’s COVID-19 response funding here

    About ArtsFund

    ArtsFund supports the arts through leadership, advocacy, and grant making in order to build a healthy, equitable, and creative Washington. Founded in 1969, the Seattle-based nonprofit has been building community through the arts for over 51 years and is one of the nation’s leading United Arts Funds. ArtsFund was originally founded as the United Arts Council of Puget Sound to bring corporate and civic leaders together to help establish and sustain our region’s arts and cultural institutions. More than 50 years later, ArtsFund has supported 240 arts nonprofits with nearly $90 million in grants, and by providing valuable leadership and advocacy. For more on ArtsFund visit www.artsfund.org.

    About Commerce

    Commerce works with local governments, businesses, community-based organizations and tribes to strengthen communities. The department’s diverse portfolio of more than 100 programs and effective public and private partnerships promote sustainable community and economic development to help all Washingtonians thrive. For more information, visit http://www.commerce.wa.gov. For information on locating or expanding a business in Washington, visit choosewashingtonstate.com.

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