Seeding Cultural Treasures FAQ & Glossary
On this page, you can review common questions received from applicants about the Seeding Cultural Treasures program, and term definitions that may help you fill out your application. If you have additional questions, please contact us
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who is funding this initiative?
A: This initiative is being funded by Bush Foundation, Ford Foundation, Jerome Foundation, and The McKnight Foundation.
Q: Who is eligible for this application period?
A: This round of the SCT initiative is providing funds and technical assistance for arts and culture organizations that have 501(c)(3) status, are fiscally sponsored, and/or are units of tribal government in Minnesota and/or the 11 Tribal Nations within its border. We are specifically prioritizing organizations located in and serving Greater Minnesota communities (outside of the 7-County Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metro geographic area, consisting of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington Counties). We are aiming to widen the reach of the SCT program to arts and culture organizations serving Greater Minnesota, and this focused Request for Proposals (RFP) will help us achieve that goal.
This RFP is exclusively open to organizations located in and serving Greater Minnesota. However, Propel Nonprofits will also review a select number of proposals received in 2022 that were scored highly by reviewers but were not funded by the SCT program, including organizations located in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metro area. Some of those organizations will be considered for support in this phase. Organizations will be notified if they are being considered for funding in this round and will have an opportunity to update their application submissions.
Q: Does an organization have to have 501(c)(3) status or fiscal sponsorship for two years to apply?
No. Organizations must have been providing arts and culture programming for at least two years, but they are not required to have been a 501(c)(3) or fiscally sponsored for at least two years.
If you are interested in applying but are not currently a 501(c)(3) or fiscally sponsored organization, we will still accept your submission to participate in the program on the condition that if selected, you become fiscally sponsored within 60 days of notification of your selection.
Q: Can these funds be used to hire a BIPOC staff member to remove the need for an unpaid BIPOC staff member?
A: The funds are general operating funds, so there is no stipulation for what they can be used for. Your organization would just need to meet the eligibility criteria.
Q: How stringent are the eligibility requirements for the operating budget? What if an organization fits the other criteria but has an operating budget of over $500,000?
A: Per our discussions with the Design Team that helped to create the eligibility criteria, arts, and culture groups with operating budgets less than $500,000, whose main focus is art and culture, have fewer opportunities to qualify for funding. That is where we are focusing to try to address that need.
Q: Would funds that we use to regrant to our communities be included in a nonprofit definition of operating budget? I’ve seen this both ways…
A: Because those funds could either be seen as part of program expenses or separated out as grants, we recommend you apply for this opportunity if you meet the other eligibility criteria.
Q: Are past/current grantees eligible to apply?
A: Those organizations that have been selected as an America’s Cultural Treasure or Regional Cultural Treasure are not eligible to apply. Grantees of Propel’s initial Minnesota round of Seeding Cultural Treasures are also not eligible to apply.
Organizations that have received services or funds through a different program at Propel are eligible to apply.
Q: If our fiscal sponsor has received a Cultural Treasures grant, does that disqualify us?
A: No. If you did not receive a grant in one of the prior programs, you are eligible to apply even if your fiscal sponsor is a recipient.
Q: How many awards will be given? What is the total amount of funds to be awarded?
A: We plan to award up to 14 new grants, with $700,000 being distributed in this grant round.
Q: Can the grant award be used within any time span over the 2.5 years?
A: Propel will work with the organizations to determine how they want to receive the grant funds. The only expectation is the organization will continue to be actively involved in the cohort for the entire period regardless of how they elect to receive the funding.
Q: In terms of the number of dollars requested, is it all or nothing? Will there be partial funding?
A: This is still being discussed by the Selection Committee. We are encouraging organizations to ask for the amount they need (within the $50,000 to $70,000 range) when they complete the application.
Q: When will grant awardees be notified?
A: We will be notifying those selected for the cohort on September 15, 2023.
Q: I am interested in fiscal sponsorship. Can you help me in that process?
A: If you want to learn more about fiscal sponsorship in general, click here for a video from Propel. If you want to learn more about fiscal sponsorship at Propel Nonprofits, click here to view our program’s web page.
Organizations can be fiscally sponsored by any 501(c)(3) to be eligible for this grant. One example of another potential fiscal sponsor is Springboard for the Arts: click here to learn more about their Incubator program for arts organizations.
Q: How is Propel supporting organizations that are not 501(c)(3) organizations or currently fiscally sponsored?
A: At this time, based on IRS tax laws, grants must be made within specific guidelines for a charitable purpose, and currently the means to do this is through 501(c)(3) organizations. Propel is committed to continue to learn and engage with other intermediaries and philanthropic organizations on this topic.
If you need help finding a fiscal sponsor to be eligible for this program, please contact us for additional support.
Glossary of Terms
Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)
A term adopted to replace People of Color in an effort to undo Native invisibility, anti-Blackness, dismantle white supremacy, and advance racial justice and highlight the unique relationship to whiteness that Indigenous and Black (African Americans) people have, which shapes the experiences of and relationship to white supremacy for all people of color within a U.S. context.
BIPOC-led-and-serving organizations are those in which:
The Executive Director/CEO identifies as BIPOC
At least % of board members identify as BIPOC
The organization demonstrates a significant prioritization of arts and culture to serve BIPOC arts communities or a specified/defined community of color
A nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) status who applies for financial support on behalf of another organization or group to receive benefits of a tax-exempt status. Fiscal sponsors do not have to be BIPOC-led for this initiative.
Arts and Culture Organizations
Arts and culture organizations are defined as those creating and/or fostering artistic practices or who are culture bearers, as well as organizations that have a major focus in using arts and creativity to place-make or problem-solve, such the intersection of arts and ___ (arts and health, arts and medicine, arts and community development, etc.).
Culture bearers practice intergenerational lifeways and living, evolving cultural art practices that educate, exchange, and share to preserve ancestral knowledge.
Emerging means groups that have been in existence for at least two years. Groups do not have to have their 501(c)(3) determination or have worked with fiscal sponsors for two years to be eligible, but they need to have been engaged and impacting their community through arts and culture for at least two years.
Refers to group of individuals formed by Propel Nonprofits to serve as the grant selection committee. The selection committee will be trained by Propel to review and select grant recipients for the Seeding Cultural Treasures program.
We ask applicants to share information about the race and ethnicity and gender identity of their Executive Director/CEO and Board of Directors. We are using the options for these categories that Propel uses across all our programs, and applicants should feel free to select the options that align with their understanding of each category. Applicants should also feel free to select the ‘other’ option and provide additional information, and to reach out to program staff with any questions.