Review Process

Staff Review

Applications are first reviewed by United Arts staff for completeness. Only complete applications are forwarded to grant panel members for review. Staff does not score applications during the review or vote during appropriations.

Peer Review Panel

Each grant application in the Arts for Municipalities, Cultural Access, School Planning & Innovation, School Projects, and Youth Arts grant categories is carefully reviewed and scored by a grant peer review panel of volunteers. The grant panels are category-based and applications are evaluated based on established criteria for each grant category.

Panels are composed of artists, arts professionals, and community members from a variety of disciplines and nonprofit/business expertise who reflect the diversity of the region. Each panel is chaired by a United Arts board member and facilitated by United Arts staff.

Grant applications to the Arts Services and New Generation grant categories are reviewed by United Arts staff who then makes funding recommendations to the United Arts Board of Directors.

Financial Review Panel

The finance review panel is a stand-alone committee that is responsible for evaluating the financial management of each applicant. To determine this, the finance review panel will review audits/internal financial reviews and IRS Form 990 for each applicant.  These data points help evaluate the following:

  • If the organization is running a deficit
  • If the administrative costs are within limits
  • The financial stability of the organization
  • The fiscal responsibility of the organization

After reviewing the available information, the finance review panel will assign a score for the “Financial Management of Organization” criterion.

  • Good (10 points): No financial concerns; the applicant is financially stable and fiscally responsible
  • Stable (5 points): No immediate financial concerns, but there is room for improvement in the applicant's fiscal outlook
  • Needs Attention (1 point): More attention necessary to improve financial performance; applicants usually have current financial concerns and a negative outlook

Appropriations Panel

The appropriations panel is composed of the United Arts Board Chair, Vice Chair for Grants, and each Board member who served on a grant panel. The appropriations panel recommends, by a majority vote, grant amounts based on grant panel scores, panel notes, and available funds. These recommendations are submitted to United Arts’ Board of Directors for final approval. The role of the grant and appropriations panels is advisory to the Board; the power to make decisions on both policy and funding rests with the Board, whose decisions are final.

Review Process Dates

  • April 2017
    Financial Panel review
  • April 25-26, 2017
    Youth Arts Grants panel meetings
  • May 2-3, 2017
    Cultural Access Grants panel meetings
  • May 4, 2017
    Arts for Municipalities Grants panel meeting 
  • May 9-10, 2017
    School Planning & Innovation Grants panel meeting
    School Project Grants panel meeting
  • June 2017
    Appropriations panel meeting
  • June 2017
    United Arts Board of Directors final approval of grant awards
  • July 2017
    Notification of grant awards mailed