Applicant Resources

If you are a first-time applicant or you've applied before but need a refresher on the application process, visit our YouTube Help Playlist of workshops and other help resources from the last cycle. Among the helpful videos are a recording of a grant application workshop, How to Make a RISCA Budget with Jori Ketten and application walk-throughs for our grants.

If this is your first time applying for a grant from a RISCA, here are some things we want you to know before you get started:

  • RISCA staff are here to help you throughout the grant process. We provide several grant support options, from one-on-one meetings to grant workshops (in person and online) to drop-in hours for last minute application support. Information about them can be found on each individual grant page. We also have pre-recorded grant workshops from past cycles and other helpful videos on our YouTube Channel.
  • If possible, reach out to RISCA staff early if you would like one on one grant support. You can always reach out to RISCA staff for one-on-one grant! As you can imagine, we get a high volume of requests and have a limited time for one-on-one meetings, particularly the week prior to the grant deadline. We recommend reaching out to the program director for the grant program you are interested in applying to early if you want to meet one on one. Program directors typically start scheduling meetings early February for the April deadline, and early August for the October deadline.
  • We recommend you read these grant guidelines more than once, as they will answer 95% of your questions. That way, if and when you do talk to a program director, you can spend your time together focusing on your application. There are many exceptions to this piece of advice: if you need in a different language or are unable to read or process these guidelines due to a learning disability, then please feel to reach out the grant program director and they can assist you.
  • If you have a disability or are not comfortable writing or communicating in English, you may request accommodations. Applicants who need assistance completing an application should contact the relevant program director in advance of the deadline. They can provide or coordinate whatever assistance you require. For individuals with learning disabilities for whom writing a grant is prohibitive, RISCA program directors can arrange for transcription support if an applicant discloses their needs. For individuals who are not comfortable writing or communicating in English, program directors can arrange for the provision of translation support for your application. To allow for timely completion of your application, we recommend you notify the program director with your accommodation requests at least three weeks prior to the application deadline.
  • Our number one piece of grant writing advice: follow the directions and answer the questions asked directly. The questions being asked in the grant applications are directly tied to the evaluation criteria and the evaluation rubric panelists will use when reviewing applications. This sounds obvious, but about half of the applications we receive don’t do those two things.
  • RISCA staff can provide support beyond grants. Managing grants is just one facet of what the program directors do at RISCA. We are charged with stewarding the arts and culture ecosystem in Rhode Island and responding to needs in the field. You can feel free to reach out with questions you have or ideas you want feedback on at any time. As a state arts agency, we offer learning programs and coordinate events and convenings to connect people together. Check out our calendar of events.

Click here to download the pdf: Information for First-Time Applicants.

All grantees need to have an approved vendor profile in the Rhode Island Ocean State Procures (OSP) system. You can register online by visiting the Division of Purchases website. The Vendor Self-Registration Guide provides step by step directions to walk you through the registration process.

 If you need help or technical assistance with your OSP vendor registration and/or account, email or call 1-866-889-8533.

The federal government requires all organization have a System of Award Management Unique Entity Identifier (SAM-UEI). Arts organizations applying for grants from us will need a SAM-UEI to submit your application. We recommend you request a SAM-UEI as soon as possible to ensure you have it by the application deadline.

  • If your organization has applied for a grant directly from the federal government before (e.g. the National Endowment for the Arts), and therefore has a registration, read the Already in (pdf)
  • For all other organizations, visit the website for the latest information and instructions on how to obtain a SAM-UEI.

Note: the registration is free – but there are scammers out there. Make sure you are doing this process through a .gov website.

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