Catalyst Grants

Catalyst Grants

A Catalyst Grant is a one-time matching grant to support a major cultural project undertaken by partnering organizations and/or artists in Upper Manhattan. Eligible cultural projects must have the potential to attract major visitorship and build visibility for Upper Manhattan. Catalyst Grants may support participating organizations’ and artists’ marketing, public relations, audience development, and data capture expenses, as well as administrative and artistic fees associated with the project. Partner organizations do not have to be located in Upper Manhattan, but only UMEZ-eligible organizations will be eligible to receive UMEZ funds.

In addition to eligibility requirements and restrictions, lead applicant must also observe the following criteria:

Size of Grant Grants are expected to range from $25,000 to $50,000.
Length of Grant One year or less.
Matching Requirement One-to-one. (e.g., the lead organization requesting $50,000 from UMEZ for the project must show a total project budget of at least $100,000). No in-kind expenses or matching funds are allowed. Matching funds must be secured prior to the start of the grant.
Minimum Annual Operating Budget $250,000 (applies to lead applicant only).
Application Deadline LOIs are considered on a rolling basis, but the project start date must be at least six months away.
Filing and Financial Requirements At least one participant, serving as the lead applicant, must be tax-exempt under IRS Code section 501(c)(3) and meet other UMEZ eligibility criteria. The lead applicant will be required to submit the last three years of audited or reviewed financial statements (based on NYS requirements) and the last three years of IRS 990 Forms.
Staffing Requirements Lead applicant must have at least one full-time staff member.  All participating professional artists must be guaranteed a fee, indicated in the project budget.
Board Requirements Lead applicant must have an active, functioning Board of Directors.
Programming Requirements Lead applicant must have at least three years of cultural programming in Upper Manhattan.
Fund Disbursement Funds are disbursed in installments based on project expenses. 10% of the total funding amount is withheld as a reimbursement pending the final project report.

















Applicants for a Catalyst Grant must be able to devote significant staff time to grant management. The following is a sample timeline for receiving a Catalyst Grant: