Organizational and Professional Development Grants


Organizational Professional Development Grants help create healthy, successful and resilient arts organizations. These are capacity building grants for improving management practices of eligible nonprofit arts organizations. Grants are awarded in two categories: Category 1 range from $1,000-$5000 and Category 2: Next Step is one grant of up to $25,000.

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Nonprofit arts organizations based in Fairfax County, the City of Fairfax, and the City of Falls Church are eligible to apply in the following two categories.

Category 1: Organizational and Professional Development Grant

These grants help support and create greater organizational capacity to anticipate, prepare and adapt so that organizations can deliver and fulfill their mission. Possible Projects can include the following activities:

  • Financial management training;
  • Program evaluation;
  • Communications, marketing and rebranding;
  • Professional development training or conferences;
  • Facilitation of a board retreat;
  • Upgrading technology, including new computers, website upgrades and design, and software.


Category 2: Next Step Grant

Designed to be more intensive and tackle major issues, it provides technical assistance and funding to carry out a transformative capacity building project by providing consultant support before, during, and after the project. To apply, organizations must first submit a Letter of Intent and  requires a substantial commitment from both staff and board of the selected organization. Possible Projects include:

  • Planning (strategic planning, fundraising plans, communications, growth opportunity, or business planning)
  • Board Development (Board Training, Governance Structure, Board Engagement Strategies)
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Marketing (plans or campaigns)
  • Strategic Relationships (mergers, partnerships)
  • Internal Operations (Financial management, websites)

Application Review Process

Organizational and Professional Development Grants are awarded through a competitive process. Staff review each application to ensure its completeness and the applicant’s eligibility. Applications are then reviewed by a panel composed of arts professionals with experience in a variety of disciplines.

The panel meetings where each application is reviewed are open to the public, and applicants are encouraged to attend and observe. Following the panel meetings, the Grants Committee, a standing committee including members of the ARTSFAIRFAX Board of Directors, makes funding recommendations based upon the panel’s scores for approval by the ARTSFAIRFAX Board of Directors.


key dates


  • July 31, 2019: Organizational and Professional Development Grant Information Session.
  • August 1, 2019: Final report due date for organizations awarded FY 2019 Organizational and Professional Development Grants are due. Reporting forms must be completed online.
  • August 30, 2019: Due date for Letter of Intent for the Next Step Grant.
  • September 25, 2019: Organizational and Professional Development Grant deadline.
  • October 30, 2019: Organizational and Professional Development Grant Panel.
  • December 2019: Organizational and Professional Development Grant announcement.

Additional Resources

Image Caption: Investments in improving management, as well as infrastructure are fundamental to a sustainable and vital cultural infrastructure. For the Workhouse Arts Foundation addressing the challenge of how an organizations takes steps toward becoming a dynamic performing arts venue began with an ARTSFAIRFAX Organizational and Professional Development award, which enabled key staff to learn from some of country’s and worlds’ premiere arts presenters.

Next Step Grant Selected Consulting Partner for FY2020