The Arts Work Fund for Organizational Development is a funder collaborative created to help strengthen the management and operations of small arts and cultural organizations in Chicago and Cook County, Illinois.
To that end, the fund currently is inviting applicants for its Idea Lab Grants program, which gives organizations located in and serving Cook County the opportunity to use creative thinking to identify solutions to organization-wide challenges or their growth needs.
Grants will be awarded to arts organizations in support of activities aimed at identifying, implementing, and refining new strategies with the potential to have far-reaching effects in helping them do their best work. Activities supported include the development and testing of promising ideas or new approaches to solving chronic organizational challenges or to pursuing emerging opportunities (e.g., building audiences, diversifying income, shifting fundraising strategies, new business or operating models, or engaging new communities). Collaborative efforts also are eligible.
In 2019, four or five grants of up to $25,000 per year for up to two years will be awarded.
To be eligible, organizations must be located in and serving Cook County, Illinois; have annual operating expenses of between $50,000 and $800,000 and a three-year operating history after incorporation as an Illinois nonprofit; and be tax exempt as defined by section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Letters of Inquiry are due July 15. Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal by August 30, 2019.
See the Arts Works Fund website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.