Cultural Funding

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Latest News

  • ! The website format has been changed to"lighten" the webpage and attempt to minimize the 404/401 submission errors.
  • ! 404/401 Submission errors: Many are having submission errors on the site. It may be caused by a combination of the speed/set up of your internet, the time-out on the website, and the size of your files. We are aware of the issue and will continue to improve as much as we can to avoid these problems in the future; unfortunately, it will not be in time for this submission cycle. However, these tips have improved/eliminated submission issues for some applicants:
      • Refresh the site right before you begin entering information into the submission form.
      • Reduce the size of your files:
          • This website - https://smallpdf.com/ can assist you in converting file types and/or reducing file sizes. There is also an option for combining multiple PDFs into one, as you may have to do for Attachment E.
          • Printing to PDF (try to print the file, but instead of selecting a printer, choose Adobe PDF/equivalent feature); this will "flatten" the file, making it simpler/smaller
      • Save all documents to the first directory that opens when uploading (when you hit "Choose File"), so you may submit the application before the website times out.
      • Use a faster computer and/or faster internet, if possible. Libraries, internet cafes, and businesses with wifi for customers may be suitable options.
      • Try to submit before the due date, so the website is not overburdened.
      • If you have attempted the steps above and are still unable to submit, please contact Mariely Ortiz at mariely.ortiz@erie.gov with a screenshot of the error so we may direct you to an alternative. Please include your organization's name in the email subject.
  • Please ensure Attachment E includes both your organization's conflict of interest policy and the compelted/signed declarations/disclosure forms for all your board members.
  • Please contact us by email at mariely.ortiz@erie.gov (instead of calling) with questions about the application or difficulties submitting the application. Please do not email files unless directed to do so. Any emails with unrequested attachments will be deleted immediately.
  • ! The program "Preview" on Mac/Apple computers (often the default PDF viewer) removes the formulas in the Long Form Part 8 and the Revenues & Expenses Worksheet for Short Forms. We recommend all applicants use Adobe Acrobat Reader (or other Adobe Reader versions) to prevent file problems. Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded here (free): https://get.adobe.com/reader/otherversions/ (carefully uncheck any programs you do not want that may come with the download)
  • ! Short Form Sections 1 & 3 and Attachment G and K have had minor edits/corrections. Please review the information under Directions & Forms 
  • 2020 applicant briefing is available, in the Applicant Briefing section
  • 2020 Funding Application Available!
  • 2019 funding contracts are being mailed out the last week of February 2019.
  • 2020 Application Process Press Release & Information 
  • REMINDER: The only way for an applicant to confirm whether they have been granted funding for the next calendar year is through the Erie County Budget process. The Budget Books are available here: http://www2.erie.gov/budget/index.php?q=county-budget. The Proposed Budget ("Draft") is provided by the County Executive in the fall and the Adopted Budget ("Final") is approved by the Legislature in December. Arts & Cultural Funding is located under Budget Book A: Operating Funds, under Erie County Department of Environment and Planning.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be located and provide services in Erie County
  • Be a 501(c)(3) organization with tax-exempt status prior to July 2016
  • Have a board-approved strategic plan (Long form: Attachment I; Short form: Section 2 Essay questions Part 3)
  • Have at least ONE of the following definitions of a Cultural Organization as a primary mission of the organization:
    • An organization that operates on a countywide or recognizable community level, which by the nature of its cultural activities and/or collections, is unique, distinctive and of significant quality
    • An organization that provides visitors with access to programs and displays of the performing, visual, literary and media arts, and/or to exhibits and collections, which preserve and interpret our cultural, natural and scientific heritage
    • An organization that particularly serves the cultural needs of significant segments of the County population, thereby contributing to the quality of life in Buffalo and Erie County

Additional Requirements

  • New York State Non-Profit Revitalization Act
    The New York State Non-Profit Revitalization Act became effective July 1, 2014. There have been additions and clarifications issued by NYS since then. It is every organization’s responsibility to stay current with the provisions, knowing also that the law is the minimum standard for good governance. As this Act pertains to all 501(c)(3) organizations, Erie County expects all organizations to certify compliance with the NYS Non-Profit Revitalization Act. Organizations should be prepared to provide evidence of compliance with specific components of the Act.
  • Sunshine Provision
    Please be advised that any information you provide may be subject to public discussion as well as disclosure pursuant to New York State Public Officers Law.
  • Pay Equity Certification
    Please be advised that if your Organization is awarded funding, you must sign the Erie County Equal Pay Certification, stating that your organization is in compliance with federal law, including the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Federal Executive Order 11246 of September 24, 1965 and New York State Labor Law Section 194 (together “ Equal Pay Law”). View the Executive Order
  • Recognition for County Grants
    Please also be advised that if your Organization is awarded funding, you must commit to acknowledging Erie County as a funding source on your organization’s website, marketing materials, and/or other publications. The 2017 Application expanded Attachment G with the addition of a required questionnaire.

    The County Seal can be found here. If you require a larger file for large scale printing, etc., please contact Mariely Ortiz at (716) 858-1916 or mariely.ortiz@erie.gov
 
  • All entities applying for funding are required to have Bylaws, a Conflict of Interest Policy, and a Whistleblower Policy regardless of employee number or budget size.
 
 

Applicant Briefing

An applicant briefing for all interested organizations was held WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. in the Gallery Room at the Theodore Roosevelet Inaugural Site at 641 Delaware Ave, Buffalo, NY 14202.

Directions & Forms

  • Directions
  • Short Form - Organizations applying for consideration of grants for no more than $7,500 AND 2019 funding did not exceed $7,500 may select the Short Form which has fewer required essays and other questions.
      • If your organization was awarded more than $7,500 in 2019, you must complete the Long Form going forward
      • If your organization elects to proceed with the Short Form, please note that the feedback provided from the application review may be minimal.
      • Short Form Documents:
  • Long Form - Organizations applying for consideration of grants greater than $7,500 are required to complete and submit the entire Long Form application with ALL required attachments.
      • Long Form Documents:

Helpful Hints:

  1. You must DOWNLOAD AND SAVE the application documents (above) BEFORE entering any information; otherwise it will not save.
  2. Finish filling out the application, writing essays, and gathering attachments before you begin to enter your information online.
  3. Remember to save your progress on the fillable PDF on your computer as you go along
  4. If you are unable to insert an image into question 9 of Attachment G, you may want to update your Flash Player software and try again.
  5. All attachments must be in PDF format (Samples may be submitted in either PDF or JPG. NOTE: JPEG will not work). If you attempt to attach an excel, or any other file type, the website will reject your application. Arts Services Initiatives (ASI) can provide assistance with your application; please contact them well in advance of the due dates at: http://www.asiwny.org/ or (716) 833-3004)
    • This website - https://smallpdf.com/ can assist you in converting file types and/or reducing file sizes
  6. All entities applying for funding are required to have Bylaws, a Conflict of Interest Policy, and a Whistleblower Policy regardless of employee number or budget size. 
  7. Definitions and Descriptions are available here
  8. To find your prior years' grant amounts, please see the adopted county budgets, Book A, under Environment and Planning. Budget books from 2005 are available here: http://www2.erie.gov/budget/index.php?q=county-budget. For years before 2005, please contact the Erie County Division of Budget and Management at (716) 858-8515
  9. Committees of the board can only consist of board members and bind the board to action; e.g., executive committee, audit committee. (Old standing committees). Committees of the corporation may consist of board and non-board members; e.g., marketing committee, fund development committee. (Old ad hoc committees.) This presentation may assist you in better understanding: Are Your Committees Revitalized? Committee Structures Post Nonprofit Revitalization Act

Process Dates & Deadlines

Process Dates

Updated for 2020 funding process; upcoming years may differ slightly.

Please review the Latest News section above, the Arts & Culture page, or our Facebook.com/ErieCountyDEP for information before contacting us.

Application Release February 22, 2019 
Applicant Briefing February 27, 2019 
Short Forms due April 24, 2019 
Long Forms due May 1, 2019 
Application Review period May - Early July
EACAB Recommendations to County Executive No later than early August 2019 
Feedback letter distribution Tentative: September 2019
Proposed 2020 County Budget release Tentative: October 2019
Legislative Budget hearings Tentative: November 2019
2020 County Budget Adoption Tentative: December 2019 
2020 Contracts Distribution Tentative: late February 2020 
2020 Grants Disbursement Instructions and dates provided in 2020 Contracts

Follow these instructions before contacting us: The only way to find out if your organization has been awarded funding for a certain year is through the Erie County Budget process. The Budget Books are available here: http://www2.erie.gov/budget/index.php?q=county-budget. The Proposed Budget ("Draft") is provided by the County Executive in the fall and the Adopted Budget ("Final") is approved by the Legislature in December. Arts & Cultural Funding is located under Budget Book A: Operating Funds, under Erie County Department of Environment and Planning.

 

Deadlines

Short Form applications must be received by WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 2019.

Long Form applications must be received by WEDNESDAY, MAY 1, 2019.

  • Assistance with the submission will be available until 4:30pm on each due date.
  • Late or incomplete applications will negatively affect your score.
  • Do NOT contact us to confirm your application was received. If your application is submitted correctly through this website, you will receive the following message: "Thank you, your submission has been received." and a confirmation email. 
        • If you do not receive these messages, read through this page, follow the directions/instructions, and resubmit. 
        • If your application is incorrect or incomplete, we will contact you as soon as possible to correct it.

 

Online Submission

All applications are to be submitted via this website. Should this create a hardship for your organization, Arts Services Initiatives (ASI) can provide assistance; please contact them well in advance of the due date at: http://www.asiwny.org/ or (716) 833-3004. You may also contact our department (ECDEP) at 716-858-1916 or mariely.ortiz@erie.gov.

All application information must be entered and submitted in one session. You will NOT be able to save a partial application and come back to it later. Please be mindful that the webpage WILL TIME OUT if your application is not submitted in a timely fashion (save all documents to the first directory that opens when uploading).

REMINDER - Do NOT contact us to confirm your application was received. If your application is submitted correctly through this website, you will receive the following message: "Thank you, your submission has been received." and a confirmation email. 

    • If you do not receive these messages, read through this page, follow the directions/instructions, and resubmit. 
    • If your application is incorrect or incomplete, we will contact you as soon as possible to correct it.

Please note you are required to submit all items marked with an asterisk (*). If you do not submit required items, your application will be rejected. Failure to submit all other items will result in an incomplete application and will have a negative impact on your score.

Submission Tips:

  1. Finish filling out the application, writing essays, and gathering attachments before you begin to enter your information online.
  2. You may fill out the application by hand if you so wish. Make sure all information is easily legible. However, you MUST submit online, on this page.
  3. All attachments must be submitted in PDF or JPG (NOTE: JPEG files will not work) formats only. If you attempt to attach an excel, or any other file type, the website will reject your application (Arts Services Initiatives (ASI) can provide assistance with your application; please contact them well in advance of the due date at: http://www.asiwny.org/ or (716) 833-3004)
  4. Upload your files in a timely fashion or the server will time out trying to upload them. Save all documents to the first directory that opens when uploading, so you may submit the application before the website times out.
  5. There will not be any other confirmation of application receipt than that provided by this website (When your application has been submitted, a webpage will open containing the following message: "Thank you, your submission has been received." and you will receive a confirmation email). 
  • If you do not receive these messages, read through this page, follow the directions/instructions, and resubmit. 
  • If your application is incorrect or incomplete, we will contact you as soon as possible to correct it.
  • We will only contact you, in the following months, if we need additional information.

If you have questions about the application process, contact the Department of Environment and Planning at (716) 858-1916 or mariely.ortiz@erie.gov.

Submit: 

Make sure to review the "Latest News" and other sections on this page to minimize problems during the submission of your application.

Go to the cultural funding application