Who is eligible?

Any nonprofit organization serving New York State constituents that is incorporated in or registered to do business in New York State is eligible for grant support. Municipal government units or Indian tribes in the State are also eligible.

Who is NOT eligible for grant support from NYSCA?

Individuals and unincorporated groups are not eligible. However, an eligible nonprofit organization may apply as a fiscal sponsor on behalf of an individual or unincorporated group.

Specific Eligibility Requirements

What are the specific eligibility requirements for all applicants?

All requirements below must be met upon application as well as during the grant award contract and payment process. Organizations may be required to provide proof of compliance during any stage of the grant process: application, review, award contract or payment.

Nonprofit incorporation status

An applicant must show that it is incorporated as a nonprofit organization. If an organization is incorporated elsewhere, it must be registered to do business in NYS through the NYS Department of State and must have its principal place of business located in New York.

Federal Employee Identification (FEI) Number

Organizations with salaried employees or organizations that pay fees to artists, consultants, or contractors are required to have a Federal Employee Identification (“FEI”) number issued by the Federal Internal Revenue Service.

State Charities Registration Number

The Council cannot authorize payments to an organization without a Charities Registration Number unless the organization is exempt from the registration requirement.  To receive this number, nonprofit organizations must register with the Charities Registration Bureau at the New York State Attorney General's Office.  

Applicants unsure of their Charities Registration status should contact the Charities Registration Bureau or consult legal counsel.

If an applicant’s Charities Registration is not current, the applicant will be notified by e-mail at the address provided in the Organizational Info Form portion of the application. If the issue cannot be resolved within 14 calendar days of the e-mail, the organization will become ineligible for grant support.

State Department of Taxation and Finance

Organizations with outstanding liabilities with the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance are not eligible for funding from the Council. Applicants may be required to provide proof that any such liability has been paid.


All applicants must be Prequalified with New York State through Grants Gateway at least five days prior to the application deadline. To Prequalify, register with Grants gateway,  fill out the online application and submit all required documents.

For existing NYSCA grantees, document vaults must be current and prequalified at the time an application is submitted in order for them to remain eligible for funding.

Organizations with Public University Affiliations

Applicants with close public college or university affiliations will be examined on a case-by-case basis to determine eligibility. The Council is prohibited from funding public colleges and universities. Therefore, applicants must demonstrate a purpose that is broader than the exclusive support of a public college or university or any component. They must also establish clearly whether the applicant supports an institution that is related to, but is not a full component of, a public college or university. Please download and complete this form to help determine eligibility. Such applicants are strongly advised to contact Council staff well in advance of the registration deadline to determine their eligibility.

How Many Grants Can I Apply For?

In FY21, organizations are typically limited to two grant requests each. Each ongoing multi-year grant counts as one request. Please note that requests in the following categories do not count towards an organization’s limit of two requests.

Request Limit Exemptions

  • Regional Economic Development Council initiative
  • Architecture and Design Program - Independent Projects category 
  • Dance Program – Rehearsal Space and Residencies category 
  • Electronic Media & Film Program – Workspace, Art & Technology category
  • Electronic Media & Film Program – Art & Technology Initiative (see Workspace)
  • Facilities Program - All categories 
  • Folk Arts Program - Apprenticeships category 
  • Folk Arts Program - Regional and County Folk Arts Programs category 
  • Individual Artists Program – All categories 
  • Literature Program –Translation category 
  • State and Local Partnership Program – Decentralization category 
  • All Programs - Regrants and Partnerships category 

Funding Restrictions

NYSCA is unable or unlikely to fund:

  • Accumulated deficits and debt reductions
  • Activities not open to the public, for example, activities restricted to an organization's membership. Funded activities must be open to the public and promoted as such.
  • Competitions and contests
  • Components of an organization's budget that are not directed towards programs in New York State
  • Entertainment costs for receptions, openings, and fundraising benefits/events
  • Major expenditures for the establishment of a new organization
  • Operating expenses and fellowships at professional training schools that are not open to the general public
  • Operating expenses of privately owned facilities (such as homes and studios)
  • Out-of-state travel expenses
  • Programs of public school districts or their components or affiliates
  • Programs of New York State agencies or departments
  • Programs of public colleges and universities except under limited circumstances. Entities with close public college or university affiliations will be examined on a case-by-case basis to determine eligibility. Please download and complete this form to help determine eligibility. Such applicants are strongly advised to contact Council program staff in advance of the registration deadline to determine eligibility.