Grants for Organizations

Grants for Organizations (GFO) provide operating support that strengthen and sustain Maryland's arts infrastructure.

The GFO granting program provides general operating support to nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations, as well as units of government, that produce or present ongoing arts programming that is open to the public. GFO grantees not only provide access to the arts in their communities, but they create audiences for the future, uplift communities, and stimulate the economic impact throughout the state.

In Fiscal Year 2021, the Maryland State Arts Council awarded GFO grants to 229 arts organizations and programs across the State totaling $15,023,780.

MSAC relies on a diverse array of experts from across the state of Maryland to do the important work of evaluating applications. MSAC selects Grants for Organizations (GFO) panelists with a focus on diversity of experiences, diversity of location, and expertise in the disciplines of the organizations under review. Panelists must be Maryland residents. 

What does a panelist do?
Selected panelists: 

  • Participate in two training sessions - one in November, and one at a mid-way point in the winter
  • Review and evaluate applications on MSAC’s online grants management system, SmartSimple.*
  • Complete assigned extension assignments (Artistic Site Visits and In-Depth Conversations)
  • Participate in one GFO panel meeting (March/April 2021)
  • Panelists receive compensation of $50/training meeting, $50/completed extension assignment, $200 for all online application reviews, $100/panel meeting, and travel stipend if applicable.

*Each panelist can expect to review up to approximately 25 applications and to complete up to approximately 12 extension assignments each. The average commitment of hours varies based on the total number of applications. The majority of work happens on the panelists’ own time from late November 2021 through the panel meeting in March/April 2022.

What We’re Looking For:

  • Independent artists, arts administrators, fundraisers, arts enthusiasts, and students interested in the grantmaking process
  • Individuals to represent expertise in the following panel disciplines: 
  • Dance
  • Multi-Disciplinary Arts
  • Music (specifically those with experience in presenting Music, such as those associated with performance venues, radio stations, concert associations, etc.)
  • Individuals to fill a multi-disciplinary Performing/Literary Arts panel (including those with backgrounds in Music, Theatre, Dance, and Literary) and a Visual Arts/Media/Folk and Traditional panel
  • Individuals representing the wide geographic diversity of the state of Maryland - we are especially looking for individuals from the Western, Southern, and Eastern Shore regions
  • Individuals who have some flexibility and time in their schedules to allow for daytime and/or evening availability of the applicants.

Panelists must have access to a computer with internet connection to complete reviews.

How do I apply to be a panelist?

  • Submit your application via MSAC’s online grants management system, SmartSimple. 
  • Click Apply Now to log in or create a free account in SmartSimple (you will need to be registered as an Independent Artist to apply).
  • Under Funding Opportunities, select "Public Call."
  • Select "Panelist" from the drop down options and click "Save Draft" to populate the application.
  • Select “Grants for Organizations” as the Grant Program.
  • Complete the application, and click “Submit.”

As additional information is available this document will be updated for the purpose of guiding the upcoming Public Editing Process. Click here to read the Equitable Funding Model Research packet.

Opportunities

GFO Grants provide general operating support to nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations, as well as units of government, that produce or present ongoing arts programming that is open to the public. Read more
New GFO applicants must complete an Intent to Apply application to determine eligibility. Read more