Community Engagement
In-Kind Matching
Persons with Disabilities
Public Funding Imperatives
Underserved Populations
Evaluation Criteria Definitions

Community: A collection of people, places and organizations that are connected through some external factor, such as geographic location or cultural affinity.  

Community Engagement: An active, two-way and long-term relationship in which one party motivates another to get involved or take action—and both parties experience change. Mutual activity and involvement are the keys to community engagement. Community Engagement promotes consistent community relationships that are a step beyond conventional programmatic partnerships. Consistent community engagement is an integral and multi-layered part of the work culture of the arts provider; it is not activity based, such as in collaboration or marketing to diverse audiences, nor is it solely program-based. (Definition adapted from the National Guild for Community Arts Education.)

Diversity: The demographic makeup of a group of people that recognizes all dimensions of human identity and difference.  

In-Kind: In-kind contributions are goods and services that are donated to the project by individuals or organizations other than the applicant. To qualify as matching resources, these items also must be listed in the expense budget as in-kind costs. The dollar value of these non-cash donations should be calculated at their verifiable fair-market value. In other words, in-kind gifts should be a mirrored in your budget (expense and income). For example, if you have in-kind printing worth $1,000 - it's in-kind income because it's a donation and it's an in-kind expense - what you would have paid for the printing.

Many applicants mistakenly designate as in-kind contributions items that are actually cash contributions. For example, applicants often list their own contributions to the project (such as supplies, rent, and staff salaries) as in-kind. These items are considered cash contributions. They do not qualify as in-kind because they are being "contributed" by the applicant, and not a third party. For an applicant's staff salary on a project to qualify as in-kind, an employee would have to donate his or her time beyond the regularly compensated work schedule.

In-Kind Matching: Some Indiana Arts Commission grant programs allow applicants to use in-kind support for up to 50% of their match requirement (consult your program guidelines for matching requirements.)  To project and record in-kind support, here is a template that may help. If you use donated space, supplies, and/or volunteer services (i.e., in-kind contributions) as part of your match, you need to maintain proper documentation. For help in doing this, see our sample format for recording in-kind (third party) contributions. You may want to speak to your accountant or bookkeeper regarding recognition of in-kind support for the purposes of your financial statements

Persons with Disabilities: The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a person with a disability as one who: Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; Has a record of such an impairment; or Is regarded as having such an impairment.

Public Funding Imperatives:

  • EXCELLENCE, because all should be able to experience the highest possible artistic quality.
  • AUTHENTICITY, because all artistic endeavors have value.
  • FAIRNESS, EQUITY AND ACCESS, because all should have the opportunity to benefit.
  • INCLUSION, because all should feel welcome.
  • EDUCATION, because all should be changed through the experience.

Underserved Populations: People lacking access to arts programs, services, or resources due to isolated geographic location, low income, age, race/ethnicity, cultural differences, disability or other circumstances. 

Evaluation Criteria Definitions

Artistic Quality: The extent to which an artistic activity demonstrates quality through one or more of the following considerations: artistic intent, inquiry, competency, authenticity, process or impact.

Arts Education: The extent to which the applicant organization can demonstrate strategies designed to transfer specific training, skills, abilities and/or knowledge in the arts through publically recognized standards (e.g. workshop leader has appropriate experience; education standards are integrated if a school-based activity.)

Community Engagement: The extent to which the applicant can demonstrate:

  1. An active, two-way and ongoing relationship between the applicant and the community in the planning, participation and evaluation of the proposed project;
  2. Efforts towards community inclusion such as ensuring fair access and a diversity in participants including individuals with disabilities and other underserved populations.

Organizational Excellence: The extent to which the applicant organization can demonstrate sound fiscal management and administrative policies and a demonstrable commitment to continuous improvement, preservation, and development of the art form.

Project Management:  The extent to which the applicant organization can demonstrate the ability to successfully design and implement the project through effective planning, financial management, staffing and evaluation.