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  Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply for a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts?

The New York State Council on the Arts awards grants to nonprofit organizations incorporated and doing business in New York State, Indian tribes in New York State, and units of government in municipalities in New York State.

Individuals and unincorporated groups may not apply but an eligible nonprofit organization, known as a fiscal sponsor, may apply on behalf of an individual or unincorporated group. Please see the definition of fiscal sponsor in the glossary for more information. This year Fiscal Sponsors may submit no more than 20 applications total on behalf of individuals or unincorporated groups.

How do organizations apply to NYSCA for funding?

New applicant organizations begin the process by creating an organizational profile. Click the "First time users start here" link (the green box at the top right) for instructions.

Returning applicant organizations use their username/password combination to log into their NYSCA on-line home page. Then follow these three steps to make a complete grant request to NYSCA.

Log in to your NYSCA on-line home page. Update and submit your organizational information form.

Complete the entire Application process for your grant requests by the deadline, using the on-line grant application system.

Does the Council support individual artists?

Yes, but not directly. The Council can only accept applications from non-profit organizations. However, the Council encourages organizations to sponsor grant requests on behalf of artists. For more information, refer to Individual Artists application guidelines. NYSCA funds are also provided for the Fellowship Program of the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Which Disciplines should we apply to?

Most NYSCA grants support activities in a single arts discipline. So, for example, if you are a dance company, you will most likely refer to the Dance application guidelines. However, you may also have a project in another discipline, such as Film, in which case you may also want to make a request to the Electronic Media and File discipline.

For multidisciplinary/interdisciplinary projects, decide which is the principal arts form and apply through that discipline. We strongly recommend that you consult with NYSCA's staff to help guide you to the most appropriate category.

Most important, read the Application guidelines!

Where do I find the Application guidelines?

The Council's guidelines are posted on the NYSCA website. Click the "About NYSCA grants" link for general information about eligibility, funding policies, and more. Then click the "Program guidelines" link for information about specific programs and funding categories.

Is this a totally paperless application process?

Almost. There are a few items that we still request on paper, such as some application support materials.

New applicants must also send proof of their non-profit status and basic financial information with their signed certification form in order to be given an account in our system.

May I submit a registration/grant application by mail?

No. The Council accepts on-line applications only.

What can we do if we miss the registration deadline?

If you miss the registration deadline, your organization will not be able to apply for funds in that fiscal year. We strongly encourage applicants to begin the application process early by establishing an organizational profile in the on-line grant application system at any time during the year.

When and how will I know if my organization is awarded a grant?

Grant decisions are made at Council funding meetings. Applicants are notified of grant decisions via email approximately three weeks after the Council meeting. The steps and schedule are described in the "About NYSCA grants" link.

Using the On-line Grants System

How do I access the on-line NYSCA forms?

Click the "login" link on the NYSCA home page and enter your NYSCA username and password. If successful, you will land on your organization's NYSCA home page. You will see "Welcome, (your organization name)!" at the top.

New applicants to NYSCA should read the About NYSCA grants and Program guidelines sections, then click on the First-time users start here! link for instructions on creating a new user account.

I lost/forgot/don't have the username or password.

If you have applied to NYSCA or received a grant in the past five years, you should already have an organizational username and password. If you do not have this information, or need reminding, please click the help button in the orange section at the top for instructions.

New applicants to NYSCA should click on the 'First time users start here' link to create a new user account. Follow the instructions.

How do I change my password?

The first time you log in, or whenever you click the 'Change Password' link on your organization's NYSCA home page, you will see a screen that asks you to enter your "old password"; and to enter your "new password" twice.

The "old password" is the one you received from NYSCA, or is simply the password you have been using up to now. Enter that password in this box.

The "new password" is your choice of any 4-8 alphanumeric characters. Enter your new password in this box. (NYSCA passwords are NOT case sensitive.) Re-enter the same new password in the box below. Press 'Submit'.

I don't see a 'Registration Form' link on the left navigation bar!

First, make sure you are logged in and looking at your NYSCA home page. If not, see "Logging In" information above.

If you are successfully logged in, there are two reasons you may not see the 'Registration Form' link.

- You have not updated and submitted the 'Organizational Info' form and the 'Organization Budget' form. Once you do that, the link will appear, unless ...

We have an overdue final report. Can we register new grant requests?

Before starting registration, click the 'Organization Info' link on the left navigation bar. Step through each page of the form, updating information where necessary. Click the 'Submit' button at the end.

If you do not see the 'Registration Form' link, return to your NYSCA home page. Click the 'Final report' link on the left navigation bar. Overdue final reports will be displayed in red. Once you submit all overdue final reports, you will then see the 'Registration Form' link and can register your new grant request(s).

Do not wait until the last day!!

The Project Description field only allows 300 characters. I need more!

No, you don't. We want only one to three brief sentences here to summarize the project. You will have a chance to describe the project at greater length (but please try to be concise!) in the Application Narrative portion of the application form, which is due at a later date.

Do we have to register our ongoing multi-year grants?

Yes. Organizations with ongoing multi-year grants must log in to the system, update and submit their organizational information, and register their intent to continue the grant(s). We have made this process very simple.

  1. Log into the grants system.
  2. Click the 'Registration Form' link on the left navigation bar.
  3. Indicate whether there are any significant changes in the activity or program that is receiving multi-year support. Click 'yes' where requested, then enter the information on the following page.
  4. If there are no significant changes, simply click the "Complete registration" button.

Staff has told me that I need to submit an Organizational Budget along with my grant requests.

Click the 'Organizational budget' link on the left navigation bar. Click the 'Edit' button to enter your organization's budget information.

If you are a returning applicant, your information from last year will appear in the middle column. Please update if necessary.

Enter your current year's organizational budget information in the right hand column. Give your best estimates where appropriate.

Click the 'Submit' button at the end of the form.

I want to work on the entire application form off-line.

The on-line application form is designed as an "interview" format, which steps you through the application questions one screen at a time. As a result, there is no "form" to download and fill out. However, every section offers ways to 'View/print' the form, either during your work or before you start. Using this function, you can work on your budget figures or application narrative responses before entering them into the system.

I need more space to type in my answers to the questions.

Each text box lets you enter up to 1000 characters of text. A character is a letter, a space, a comma, a new line, etc. (Note: your word processing program may not count characters the same way we do.) Please try to be concise and address only the information requested in the question.

Aren't we supposed to get emails from NYSCA?

Yes. The on-line system automatically sends out emails informing you of deadlines, schedule changes, grant awards, and other important information. These emails are sent to your organizational contact's email address that appears in the 'Organization Info' form. If you are not receiving NYSCA emails, check the address in that form and update it if necessary.

Where do we get help?

There is a 'Help' button or link in the orange section at the top of every page. Clicking this button lets you submit a help request to our help desk staff. Our goal is to respond to every help desk request within one work day. (We don't work on weekends or holidays.)

Also, look for the 'help bubbles' that appear when you hover your mouse cursor over any underlined field name. (This may not work with all browsers.) Also, clicking on most field names will pop up a new window with more detailed help text.

And, as always, your NYSCA staff person is available for your discipline-related questions.


  2004 New York State Council on the Arts.