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StartUp Program (STU)

Grants and In-Kind Support to Delaware Emerging Arts
Nonprofits for Operating Support and Capacity Building

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Delaware Division of the Arts

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

03/01/21 4:30 PM


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Grants of up to $2,500 and in-kind support to Delaware nonprofit arts organizations to support operations and build capacity. Applicants must submit an LOI prior to submitting a full application. The grants are intended to offer financial support, training, and consultation to develop and strengthen the management capacity of emerging arts organizations so they can operate in a sustainable manner.

StartUp Program funding consists of operating support and a program of training classes and consulting with Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA). The program pairs the organization with a Standards for Excellence® Licensed Consultant to determine the needs of the organization, and then provides customized training for staff and board members to learn nationally accepted best practices for nonprofit management. DANA will continue to work with members of the organization’s board/staff for a period of time to guide them in their growth.

Topics covered may include: Vision, Mission, Strategy, and Evaluation; Leadership: Board, Staff and Volunteers; Legal Compliance and Ethics; Finance and Operations; Resource Development and Fundraising; Public Awareness, Engagement, and Advocacy.

Funding from StartUp Support grants may be used to support most aspects of an arts organization's annual operating expenses (not including capital expenses), such as:

  • Artists' fees
  • Administrative costs
  • Contractual services
  • Facilities operations (utilities, routine maintenance...)
  • Marketing or publicity of events/activities
  • Personnel (salaries, benefits...)
  • Supplies and materials
  • Professional development (workshops, seminars, conferences, excluding credit- earning post-secondary coursework)
  • Technical costs
  • Travel (domestic) and other operational expenses necessary to deliver arts programs and services

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178132

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $2,500

Term of Contract:

Funding awarded in the FY2022 grant cycle must be spent on projects taking place between September 1, 2021, and August 31, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for the StartUp Program, applicants must:
1. Have the promotion, presentation, production, and/or teaching of the arts as their primary purpose as outlined in their charter, incorporation papers, bylaws, and IRS nonprofit determination letter.
2. Have a stable, functioning board of directors that meets at least quarterly.
3. Be based and chartered in Delaware as a nonprofit organization; exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) or 509(a) of the Internal Revenue Code; and eligible to receive donations allowable as charitable contributions under Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
4. Have been providing continuous public arts programming for at least two years at the time of application.
5. Have total operating income of more than $16,000 for the last completed fiscal year.

Please note the following restrictions:
-The Division will not accept applications through fiscal agents.
-No individual may compile or submit an application on behalf of an organization if that individual is a member or relative of a member of the Delaware State Arts Council or Division staff.

Division funds may not be used for these expenses:
-Activities outside Delaware
-Activities for which academic credit is given
-Awards, donations or cash prizes
-Bad debt
-Building, renovating, or remodeling of facilities
-Capital expenditures and non-consumables valued over $3,000
-Traditional circus performers and athletic activities
-Contingency funds
-Expenses incurred outside of the grant period
-Fundraising costs (capital/endowment campaigns)
-Investments of any type
-Private entertainment
-Projects restricted to exclusive participation or enjoyment
-Projects which have sectarian or religious purposes
-Scholarships or research by individuals

Pre-Application Information:

Applicants must submit a Letter of Intent Form through smARTDE no later than January 15, 2021, and receive approval to apply. It is strongly advised that new applicants contact the Division prior to submitting a Letter of Intent Form.

If the Letter of Interest is approved and you are invited to apply, the deadline for StartUp Program applications is 4:30 pm on March 1, 2021.

Applicants will be notified of final funding decisions after July 1, 2021.

New arts organizations must successfully complete the Division of the Arts StartUp program for emerging arts organizations before applying for General Operating Support, Education Resource, or Arts Stabilization Fund grants.

StartUp grants are funded on a matching basis. Matching funds (1:1) must be cash and may not come from the National Endowment for the Arts. Other federal grant sources may be used as a match in accordance with authorizing legislation.

View a smARTDE Demonstration Video:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

Kathleen Dinsmore, Organization Support

Carvel State Office Building
820 North French Street, 4th Floor
Wilmington, DE 19801
Phone: 302.577.8278
Fax: 302.577.6561

URL for Full Text (RFP):

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