Apply Now: NYSCA Stabilization Program for Small Arts Organizations
NYFA and New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) program aims to help address operational issues that often stifle organizations’ long-term planning and sustainability.
New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON) have launched a new pilot NYSCA Stabilization Program for Small Arts Organizations that is designed to help participants to identify and solve a significant concern that is impeding their growth or development. It aims to help address operational issues that often stifle organizations’ long-term planning and sustainability. The program, generously supported by New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), provides organizations with a comprehensive organizational assessment and individualized consulting support to implement best practices.
Current, former, and non-NYSCA funded organizations with operating budgets up to 1 million dollars are eligible. BIPOC-led, community-based, or rural arts and cultural organizations working in all arts disciplines or with underserved communities are encouraged to apply. NYFA will serve organizations located in Mid-Hudson, Long Island, Capital Region, Mohawk, and North Country. A sister program, administered by the New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON), will be available to organizations based in Central, Western, and the Southern Tier of New York State.
Applicants’ individual consultancy will be developed in response to the initial assessment and their specific operational needs. The program may provide services for 3-8 months, which will consist of the following key components:
- Organizational Assessment – To assist in identifying and prioritizing potential areas of growth, accepted organizations will participate in a comprehensive organizational assessment guided by NYFA or NYCON. This is intended to provide the organization with additional detail for their consultancy, and reveal strengths, as well as activities to boost their sustainability post-consultancy.
- Consulting with Expert Professionals – Organizations will craft a scope of work that describes a significant barrier to their growth, and key deliverables or interventions they’ll pursue in partnership with a consultant. Organizations will assign a staff liaison to be the point person responsible for the execution and implementation of key tasks or policies. Consultants will be chosen based on the administrative or operational needs of the organization. Priority will be given to BIPOC consultants or consultants with whom the organization has worked in the past.
- Coaching for Executive Leadership (NYFA grantees only) – The Executive Leader will receive weekly one-on-one Executive coaching sessions to support the continued growth of their leadership team. By focusing on leadership capacity alongside operational needs, the organization will experience more integrative support, creating a platform to meet holistic organizational goals.
Consultants and coaches may address any administrative or operational issue facing eligible organizations. They cannot offer artistic or curatorial advice, and in most cases their services will be rendered virtually. Significant progress should be attainable within the suggested time frame of 3-8 months.
Upon successful completion of assessment and consultation, participants will be regranted funds to assist in further stabilizing their nonprofits. Re-grants can be up to $10,000, and may cover the purchase of a particular software or equipment, continued professional development, or additional consulting or coaching services, etc. This regranted support cannot be the central solution to the issue described.
Applications will be assessed by NYSCA, NYFA, and NYCON staff on the following:
- Specificity of the proposals.
- The feasibility of having a meaningful impact during the duration of the consultancy.
- Demonstrated capacity by organizations to take on the additional consulting work and while continuing their normal operations.
- How well an applicant’s desired outcomes align with the goals of the program.
Participants who are accepted into the program may be asked for follow-up materials that provide more detail on their current and past activities related to the proposed project. All participants will be required to submit interim and final surveys.
Applications will open on Tuesday, October 17, and will be reviewed in two rounds.
Round 1 Deadline: Thursday, November 16, 2023, 5:00 PM ET
Round 2 Deadline: Thursday, February 1, 2024, 5:00 PM ET
Proposals can request 3-8 months of services to start as early as January 2024 and end no later than August 2024. See below for the full grant timeline.
- Thursday, November 16, 2023: Round 1 Application Deadline
- December 2023: Round 1 Intake/Selection Process
- January-August 2024: Round 1 Consulting/Coaching Delivered (3-8 month projects)
- Thursday, February 1, 2024: Round 2 Application Deadline
- February 2024: Round 2 Intake/Selection Process
- March-August 2024: Round 2 Consulting/Coaching Delivered (3-6 month projects)
- June-August 2024: Final Reporting
NYFA will host two informational webinars for prospective applicants:
NYCON will also host informational webinars for prospective applicants:
Rural and BIPOC-led community-based organizations are strongly encouraged to apply.
- BIPOC is an acronym for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
- We define “community-based” as: Non-profit, non-governmental, or charitable organizations that represent community needs and work to help them. CBOs may be associated with a particular area of concern or segment of the community.
- Rural communities are defined as having populations of less than 30,000 and not being part of an urban or suburban cluster.
- 501(c)3 or Fiscally Sponsored arts organizations with a budget under $1 million.
- Located Outside New York City.
- Current and former NYSCA grantees and non-NYSCA funded organizations
- Commitment to attending all meetings assigned by NYFA/NYCON staff, consultants, and coaches.
- Board sign-off and Board Chair attendance at initial onboarding meetings.
Where Do I Apply?
- Organizations from Mid-Hudson, Long Island, Capital Region, Mohawk, and North Country are eligible to apply through NYFA.
- Organizations in Central, Western, and the Southern Tier of New York, should apply through New York Council of Nonprofits (NYCON).
- Organizations based in the five boroughs of NYC are ineligible for this opportunity.
For the application, we ask organizations to provide:
- Contact Information for Staff and Board
- Main Contact – The main contact for your Organizational Assessment and Consultant if paired, who will be responsible for executing activities set by the consultant. They must be available for all consulting meetings, working sessions, and meetings with NYFA staff. They should also complete the Demographic information at the end of this application.
- Support Contact – A staff member who will potentially support their colleague, the Main Contact, by helping with the work that may need to be delegated due to the additional consulting activities.
- Board Chair – Board members (or equivalent head of an advisory body) are notified if organizations are selected for the program and are asked to sign off on program participation.
- Organizational Information (address, mission, discipline, audience, operating budget, etc.).
- A narrative Scope of Work that details the barrier you face, as well as the types of support you would like a consultant to provide.
- A description of specific ideal outcomes from the consultancy.
- A proposed timeline for the proposed consultancy.
- A projection for the ways the impact of this consultancy may reach beyond the consulting period.
Organizations may apply to address whatever barrier to their success they currently face. As an example, here are some projects that applicants could request support for:
- Strategic Planning, Theory of Change
- Digital Marketing Strategy
- Fundraising Strategy – Individual campaigns, Capital campaigns, Institutional fundraising, Grant writing, research strategy, etc.
- Diversity Equity Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Strategy
- Leadership or Management Training
- Board, Staff, or Volunteer Development
- Arts Education Curricular Design
- Executive Coaching, Strengths Coaching
- Survey Design, Dissemination, and Data Processing
- Digital Asset Management, CRM Systems