Davis Arts & Culture Grant

The Davis Arts & Culture Grant is a one-time grant program, offered by the Yolo Community Foundation and funded by the City of Davis with funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. The goal of the grant is to stabilize the City’s nonprofit arts & culture sector, which saw a significant negative economic impact due to the pandemic. The grant will therefore take the form of unrestricted general operating support, with the intention of providing financial relief to eligible nonprofits, to help them on the path back to financial sustainability. As part of this grant program, the Yolo Community Foundation will also provide non-financial capacity building support (e.g., training programs) that serves the same objective. More information about the capacity building programming will be available once the grants are allocated.

The proposal that was funded by the City Council outlined three distinct groups of nonprofit organizations:

  • Organizations with brick-and-mortar facilities: These organizations typically had significant fixed costs during the pandemic, as they were unable to hit pause on rent/mortgage and maintenance costs, even as the facilities sat empty and revenues evaporated. More recently, as the organizations have prepared for reopening, they have been significantly impacted by inflation and supply chain challenges. Finally, many of these facilities serve the sector at large, as other arts & culture nonprofits rent them for performance or exhibition space.

For the purpose of this grant, facility is defined as a building that an organization owns or rents on an ongoing basis (i.e., year-round), is financially responsible for (e.g., rent/mortgage, mainten7ance costs, expense of adapting the space for programmatic uses, etc.), and uses for programming. Eligible examples include a space for public performances or classes, a gallery, clustered art studios, etc. It does not refer to a space used strictly for program administration (i.e., an office), storage, etc.).

  • Organizations without facilities but with paid employees: These organizations often struggled to keep paying employees in the face of significantly decreased revenues.

For the purposes of this grant, paid employees refers to full- or part-time year-round W2 employees that run the organization – e.g., administration, management, fundraising, etc. It does not refer to staff members hired for a defined period of time to deliver a specific program – e.g., actors, accompanists, etc.

  • Organizations without facilities or paid employees: These organizations were often able to significantly reduce expenses as long as revenues were decreased; however, they now require support to get back to operating at full capacity and achieve long-term sustainability.

For the purpose of this grant, arts & culture is defined as the creative expression of beliefs, customs, institutions, values, goals, and other products and manifestations of human work and thought, shared within and among communities, passed on from one generation to the next through experiences and learning.  May include visual art, dance, theatre, writing and other literary arts, performance, music, traditional arts and crafts, oral traditions, and other forms of human expression.

Please note that, while the funding is intended as general operating support, grant recipients must use the funding in a way that complies with America’s Rescue Plan Act requirements: The funding must be spent by December 2024, and it must be spent in such a way that it serves the grant recipient’s mission, serves Davis residents, and addresses the negative economic impacts the pandemic had on the recipient organization.

This grant opportunity is closed.

Please note that the requirements articulated below were developed for a previous round of the grant opportunity. Details for future rounds may differ.

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To be eligible for consideration, organizations must:

  • Be considered a 501(c)(3) public charity, 501(c)(3) private operating foundation or be fiscally-sponsored by an organization that meets this requirement.
  • Applicant must spend more than 50% of its expenses to serve City of Davis residents. (This could include programming, staff and business functions that facilitate serving Davis residents, etc.)
  • Applicant must spend more than 50% of its expenses on arts & culture. (This could include arts & culture programming, staff and business functions that facilitate arts & culture, etc.)
  • Applicant must demonstrate that it suffered a negative financial impact due to the pandemic. 

Applicants will be evaluated based on how effectively they convey the following in their applications:

  • How significant was (or is) the negative impact of the pandemic on the organization’s financials?
  • To date, how significantly has the organization impacted the Davis community? This includes:
    • How many community members does the organization serve?
    • How significant is its impact on participants?
    • Has the organization’s programming been broadly accessible to community members?
    • For organizations with a facility, this may include the extent to which they have utilized their facility to serve the Davis arts community.
  • Is it likely that the organization will continue to have a positive impact on the Davis community in the future (assuming it receives funding through this grant)?

*Please note: When responding to the grant application questions, it is encouraged to keep responses as concise as possible. 

Through this grant, the Yolo Community Foundation will disburse $500,000 to Davis arts & culture nonprofits. The grants will be distributed to organizations in three tiers, as follows. The following grant sizes are estimates and may change based on the number and strength of applications in each tier. Organizations may receive partial funding, based on the strength of their application or on the size of their organization; grants will typically not be more than 50% of a recipient’s 2019 expenses (or 2021 expenses, whichever is greater).

  • Organizations with a facility: $30,000-40,000
    • To be eligible in this tier, organizations must demonstrate that renting or owning a facility had a significant negative financial impact during the pandemic and/or that they utilize their facility to serve the Davis arts & culture community.
  • Organizations with paid employees and no facility: $10,000-20,000.
  • Organizations with no paid employees and no facility: $5,000-10,000.
  • Applicant must demonstrate that it suffered a negative financial impact due to the pandemic.
Activity Date
Grant Launch September 15, 2022 
Grant Applications Due October 13, 2022, 11:59PM PST
Grant applicants notified of results Late November
Capacity Building Programming January - June 2023


Click here to apply!

Proposals will only be accepted through our online application. No email or paper applications will be accepted. 

To apply, applicants must create or profile in the Foundation's grants portal via the link below. Please make sure your organization’s legal name associated with your tax ID number and mailing address are current in your grant organization profile. If you are a fiscally sponsored organization, please make sure your fiscal sponsor name and tax ID number is current in your grant organization profile. 

For questions about the Davis Arts & Culture Grant program, please contact info@yolocf.org. For technical assistance, contact grants@sacregcf.org.