The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince

The MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince supports arts groups in Metropolitan Chicago with annual budgets between $500,000 and $2,000,000.

All new applications to the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture are to be made through eGrant.net [see link below].

If you have registered on eGrant.net with a funder other than Prince Charitable Trusts, you will also have to register separately with Prince to access our online application system.

Click the tabs below for more information:

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation supports arts organizations in Chicago as an expression of its civic commitment to the community where the Foundation is headquartered and John and Catherine MacArthur made their home. Grants are designed to help sustain the cultural life of the city and region.

In 2003, The MacArthur Foundation created the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince. The fund provides general operating support to mid-sized Chicago arts organizations with proven records of excellence. The fund is administered according to the Prince Charitable Trusts’ selection criteria and processes for operating support grants to cultural organizations. In 2014, the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince awarded $1,450,000 to 48 organizations.

Arts organizations in the city of Chicago with budgets above $2,000,000 may apply directly to Prince Charitable Trusts Chicago for support. Funds are limited and funding is highly competitive. Please see the Chicago Arts and Culture section of this website and contact Benna Wilde, Program Director for Arts and Culture or Sharon Robison, Grants Manager, before submitting a proposal for direct Prince funding.

Eligible Organizations:

Arts and culture organizations eligible to receive these grants include museums, all types of performance groups, visual arts organizations, presenting groups, arts service organizations, community arts programs and a few outstanding organizations that provide high quality arts experiences for young people.

Eligibility Criteria:

Organizations with annual budgets between $500,000 and $2,000,000 will be eligible. The organization must submit audited financial statements that show an operating budget in that range, and demonstrate the high likelihood that it can be maintained during the grant period.

Selection Criteria:

  • Quality of the organization’s artistic program
  • Strength of its board and staff leadership
  • Impact on the organization’s neighborhood, the city or the region
  • Sizes and types of audiences served
  • Strong financial management and evidence of good planning
  • Community and educational outreach activities

Types of Grants:

The majority of grants will be unrestricted grants for operating support. There is a presumption of three-year support, but with annual review. It should be emphasized that these grants will be highly competitive and there will be more qualified applicants than can be supported by the fund.

Geographic Boundaries:

The MacArthur Fund at Prince primarily supports organizations in the city of Chicago. The Trusts are open to proposals from eligible organizations throughout the metropolitan area, but only a small number can be considered each year.

To Begin: use the eGrant.net link at the bottom of this web page.

A “Welcome to eGrant.net, the electronic gateway for Prince Charitable Trusts” page will open. You will be asked to Register your organization by choosing a login (which must be at least six characters) and password before proceeding to the application. Instructions for choosing a login and password will be on that Welcome page.

The login and password you choose will need to be used each time you sign in to eGrant.net to edit pending requests or to create a new request. If you have registered on eGrant.net with a funder other than Prince Charitable Trusts, you will also have to register separately with Prince to access our online application system.

After registering, you will go to “Welcome to the Menu for Prince Charitable Trusts Grant Application” On the left side of the page under the “Applicant Menu” click on “Opportunities” which will take you to the Grant Application Instructions. You will be asked to fill out Applicant Information which replaces the Trusts’ Cover Sheet, used in previous submissions.

After completing the Applicant Information, you will be directed to the page titled Grant Application: Grant Information. It is on that page that you will insert information about the specific request you want to be considered by the Trusts. All grants from the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince are for general operating support. The first field asks for a brief Summary of Grant Request, similar to the summary that you previously entered on the Prince Cover Sheet. You will also attach your proposal narrative in .pdf form. The last page is a list of attachments that Prince Charitable Trusts requires. In addition to basic organization information, eGrant.net will ask you to provide the same information you previously submitted to the Trusts. Attachments are to be submitted in .pdf file format. Required photos and logos will be in .jpeg format.

Here is the information you’ll be asked to supply:

  1. A summary of your organization’s mission and main activities (250 words or less)
  2. A summary of the grant request (250 words or less)
  3. The proposal narrative of 3-5 pages in length in Times New Roman 12 point type (as a .pdf attachment). The proposal should include:
    • A brief description of the history, purpose and activities carried out by your organization
    • A description of what you propose to do with Prince funding
    • A statement as to the need for support, what you intend to accomplish and how
  4. A list of foundation and corporate supporters and the amount contributed for the current and previous fiscal years (as a .pdf attachment)
  5. A current and previous year’s operating budget (as .pdf attachments)
  6. A current and previous year’s project budget if applicable (as .pdf attachments)
  7. A copy of the most recent audited financial statements (as a .pdf attachment)
  8. A list of your board of directors (as a .pdf attachment)
  9. Your organization logo in .jpg format (color is preferred, if available)
  10. A photo illustrating your work in .jpg format. One photo is required; up to two additional photos may be submitted (color is preferred, if available)
  11. Optional Attachments: you may upload additional support materials (e.g., reviews, articles, reports, etc.)
  12. URL link to your most recent Annual Report (if available)
  13. A Funders Report generated through the Illinois Cultural Data Project for your most recently completed fiscal year.

Prince Charitable Trusts is partnering with the Illinois Cultural Data Project (IL CDP), a state-wide, collaborative effort of public and private funders throughout Illinois that consists of an online system for collecting and standardizing historical financial and organizational data. Prince Charitable Trusts, along with other funders in Illinois, now requires applicants to complete a Data Profile annually through the IL CDP website (http://www.ilculturaldata.org). You will use the information you enter into the Data Profile in your application to Prince Charitable Trusts, as well as for other participating funders throughout the state.

The IL CDP will provide the cultural community with consistent, reliable, comprehensive data on arts and culture in Illinois, and enable organizations to view trends in their data, benchmark themselves against peer organizations, and enhance their financial management capacity.

For more information, visit the Illinois Cultural Data Project.

IMPORTANT: Because eGrant.net will be looking for all listed attachments and will not allow submission of a request without all the attachments, we ask that you set up a “stand-in” for the other attachments by creating a separate pdf document typed with the phrase, “This attachment not required.” and attaching that stand-in document in the other boxes. An example of this would be the request for project budgets for the current and previous years, which is not relevant for general operating support.

eGrant.net is set up to allow you to prepare the request in advance of actually submitting it. You may save your work as you proceed so that you do not have to complete the full request all at once and can go back to edit it before submitting it. eGrant.net provides several reminders about saving your work as you proceed. You may submit your request only during the submission period. Once you submit your request, it cannot be edited further.

  • Within one month of a deadline, organizations will be informed in writing about whether the proposal request falls within the guidelines of the MacArthur Fund at Prince.
  • Once a proposal has been accepted for consideration, the organization will be notified if further information is needed, a reviewer will be assigned and a site visit will be scheduled. Each applicant will receive a site visit, and where applicable, a reviewer will attend a performance.
  • Within five months of the proposal submission deadline, organizations will receive written notice as to whether the request has been funded.

Groups that were awarded three-year grants in October, 2015 submit interim reports on June 20, 2016.

Groups that were awarded one-year grants in October, 2015 submit new applications on May 2 and final reports on June 20, 2016.

For Interim reports –
Please submit the following:

  • The Prince Charitable cover sheet (you may omit summary of grant request). A copy is available by emailing Sharon Robison (srobison@prince-trusts.org).
  • Narrative description of activities funded by the first installment of the grant and plans for the upcoming year (three page maximum).
  • Audited financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year. If your most recently completed fiscal year is between January and May, you may submit an audit from the prior year, but the reviewer may request a more recent audit during the review process. For those whose fiscal year is completed by December, please have the audited financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year to us no later than September 1.
  • Current fiscal year operating budget with year to date actuals, and an operating budget for the upcoming year, if available.
  • A Funders’ Report generated through the Cultural Data Project for your most recently completed fiscal year.

Technical Requirements:

  • Please send all interim and final report materials via email in a single .pdf file to Sharon Robison, (srobison@prince-trusts.org). Pictures and logos should be sent in .jpeg format.
  • Be sure the name of your organization is in the title of any file you submit and each individual document within the large file.
  • If you have technical questions about submitting the file electronically, please call Sharon Robison at (312) 216-1962.

For Final Reports –
Please submit the following:

  • The Prince Charitable Trusts cover sheet (you may omit summary of grant request). A copy is available by emailing Sharon Robison (srobison@prince-trusts.org).
  • Narrative Description of activities funded by the grant (two page maximum)
  • A statement in which you reflect on your organization’s primary achievements and challenges during the grant period. Please be as thoughtful as you can (two-page maximum)
  • Audited financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year. (If your most recently completed fiscal year is between January and May, you may submit an audit from the prior year.) For those whose fiscal year is completed by December, please have the audited financial statements for the most recently completed fiscal year to us no later than September 1.
  • Current fiscal year operating budget with year-to-date actuals.

We understand that you will have submitted some of this information as part of your new application for funding, but for technical reasons, please submit all required reports in your interim or final report as well.

Technical Requirements:

  • Please send all interim and final report materials via email (except the .jpeg files) in a single .pdf file to Sharon Robison, (srobison@prince-trusts.org).
  • Be sure the name of your organization is in the title of any file you submit and each individual document within the large file.
  • If you have technical questions about submitting the file electronically, please call Sharon Robison at (312) 216-1962.
  • The Trusts make grants only to charitable organizations that are exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and are classified as public charities under Sections 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2).
  • Organizations in the metropolitan Chicago area are eligible for grants made through the MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince.
  • The Trusts do not fund projects that promote or proselytize any religion. While we do fund the projects of faith-based organizations, those projects must be secular in nature.
  • The Trusts do not fund organizations that discriminate on the basis of ethnicity, race, color, creed, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any veteran’s status.
Q.
If an organization meets the criteria for the MacArthur Fund, should it make two applications to Prince Charitable Trusts?
A.
No. Groups make only one application to the Trusts. All procedures will be the same as they were for applying to PCT. There are no special forms or criteria (other than budget size) for the MacArthur Fund.
Q.
If an organization’s budget does not fall between $500,000 and $2,000,000 can it still apply to PCT for operating support?
A.
Yes. Mid-sized organizations with annual budgets over $2 million are eligible for PCT support. (See the Chicago Arts and Culture section of this website)
Q.
Can a Letter of Intent or a Proposal for operating support be submitted at any time?
A.
No. PCT does not require or accept letters of intent. Proposals will be accepted once a year for the May 1 deadline, but not more than 1 week in advance of that date.
Q.
Can I apply directly to the MacArthur Foundation and the Prince Charitable Trusts?

A.
No. Organizations between $500,000 and $2,000,000 in size will not be supported directly by the MacArthur Foundation. They can receive support only through the MacArthur Fund administered by the Prince Charitable Trusts.

Q.
If an organization is eligible for support, but is not funded by PCT, can it apply to MacArthur?
A.
No

Q.
Are there any differences in eligibility criteria or procedures for organizations that may be funded by the MacArthur Fund and other organizations eligible for PCT support?
A.
Only one very small difference. MacArthur funds may be used to support a few producing organizations in the Chicago metropolitan area. PCT funds only in the city of Chicago.

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