Welcome to the Division of Cultural Affairs Fast Track Project Grant Guidelines. We're glad that you are applying for a grant from the Division. These guidelines are incorporated by reference into Rule 1T-1.040, Florida Administrative Code, and detail policies and requirements for the application and administration of Arts and Cultural Grants Program grants.

Grant Forms

The following forms must be used in the administration of all grants in these guidelines and are hereby incorporated by reference and available from the Division at

# Title Form # Effective Date
1. Grant Application, Fast Track Project CA2E157 4/2017
2. Fast Track Grant Award Agreement CA2E163 4/2017
3. Final Grant Report CA2E004 4/2016

Program Description

The Fast Track Project Grant Program is designed to provide expedited access to funds supporting small organizations through arts and cultural projects including but not limited to artist residencies, performances, or exhibitions.

This program is not intended to fund the general programming activities of your organization.

Grant Period and Deadlines

All proposed activity must take place within the grant period. There are two (2) application deadlines yearly for this program. Applicants may only receive one grant per fiscal year from this program.

  1. Deadline: March 1

    Panel Date: early May
    Council approval and notification of awards: late May
    Funding Period: July 1 through December 31
  2. Deadline: September 12

    Panel Date: early November
    Council approval and notification of awards: late November
    Funding Period: January 1 through June 30

Grant period extensions must be approved by the Division.

Request Amount

Organizations must have a last completed fiscal year's total operating budget of $150,000 or less and can request from $1,000 to $2,500. See Basic Eligibility for additional information.

Basic Eligibility

All applicants must meet the following basic eligibility requirements at the time of application.

  1. Have the required legal status;

  2. Agree to comply with all application requirements:

    1. Complete all proposal activities within the grant period;

    2. Make programming and activities open and accessible to all members of the public (see accessibility and non-discrimination);

    3. Match the grant amount requested, at least dollar for dollar (see request amount and match requirements); and

    4. Include only allowable expenses in the proposal budget (see allowable and non-allowable expenses);

  3. Agree to comply with all grant administration requirements (see How to Manage Your Grant):

    1. Provide all information needed for the grant award agreement

    2. Sign and return the grant award agreement within 30 days;

    3. Request approval for any changes to the awarded grant;

    4. Submit timely and accurate reports (see grant reporting);

    5. Maintain complete and accurate grant records (see maintaining grant records);

    6. Comply with the requirements of the Florida Single Audit Act;

    7. Credit the State of Florida and Division of Cultural Affairs for funding (see crediting the Division); and

    8. Give notification of international travel at least 30 days before travel begins.

In addition to these basic eligibility requirements, all applicants in non-compliance at the time of the deadline will be deemed ineligible to apply. There are also specific eligibility requirements for the Fast Track Project Grants Program. Eligible applicants must have a:

To meet the legal status requirement, an applicant organization must be either a public entity or a Florida nonprofit, tax exempt corporation as of the application deadline.

Public Entity
A Florida local government, entity of state government, school district, community college, college, or university. Private schools, private community colleges, private colleges, and private universities are not public entities and must be nonprofit and tax exempt to meet the legal status requirement.
Nonprofit, Tax Exempt
A Florida organization that is both:
  1. Nonprofit: incorporated as an active nonprofit Florida corporation, in accordance with Chapter 617 or Chapter 623, Florida Statutes; and

  2. Tax exempt: designated as tax exempt as defined in section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended. Staff will verify status in Guidestar at

The Division of Cultural Affairs will verify that the applicant is registered with the Division of Corporations as of the application deadline. If the applicant is not registered in Corporations by the application deadline, the application will be deemed ineligible.

If the applicant is registered in Corporations but their status is not "active," the applicant must correct the status within 10 calendar days of notification or the application will be deemed ineligible.

For more information on corporate status, visit or call the Division of Corporations, profit and nonprofit information line at (850) 245-6052. To verify corporate status, you can review your corporate record online through the Sunbiz document search tool.

For more information about tax exempt status, see Exemption Requirements - Section 501(c)(3) Organizations on the Internal Revenue Service website. (

  1. All applicants must provide a DUNS number. You can request a DUNS number at
  2. Nonprofit, tax exempt applicants must provide a letter from the IRS stating that the applicant is tax exempt under 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4). Public entities are not required to provide an IRS determination letter.
  3. All applicants must provide a copy of the Substitute W-9 with the grant contract. This can be found at

The IRS determination letter must be included in the application package (postmarked by the application deadline). If the letter is not received, the Division will notify the applicant. The applicant must provide the IRS determination letter within 10 calendar days (postmarked) of notification or the application will be deemed ineligible.

Application Requirements

Accessibility and Non-Discrimination

The Division of Cultural Affairs is committed to making the arts and culture accessible to everyone, including:

Organizations seeking support for activities that will not be open and accessible to all members of the public, regardless of sex, race, color, national origin, religion, disability, age, or marital status are not eligible for this publicly funded grant.

Grant Proposal Budget

The Proposal Budget expenses must equal the Proposal Budget income.

Match Requirements

Applicants are only required to have 50% match (cash or in-kind). There is no limit on the amount of in-kind that can be included in the proposal budget.

This is called match. Some expenses can only appear in the Proposal Budget as match. (see Match Only Expenses).

Matching funds may be anticipated at the time of application, but must be received by the end of the grant period. All expenses (both state grant and match) must be paid out (not merely encumbered) by the grant end date.

In-kind (Donated Goods and Services)

In-kind can appear in both the proposal budget and the operating budget. To calculate the value of volunteer services, use the federal minimum wage (see the Wage and Hour Division of the US Department of Labor If the volunteer is professionally skilled in the service provided (such as a photographer donating photography services or a Certified Public Accountant providing a pro bono audit), use the wage rate the individual is normally paid for the service.

The value of all professionally skilled services used as in-kind must be documented in writing by the volunteer. The value of donated goods must also be documented. Records of such documentation must be available upon request.

There is no limit on the amount of in-kind allowed in the Proposal Budget.

The amount of in-kind allowed in the Operating Budget depends on the applicant's Total Cash Income as defined in the application.

If Total Cash Income is $150,000 or less, Total Operating Income may not include more than 25% in-kind.

  • Maximum allowable in-kind = Total Cash Income divided by 3.

If Total Cash Income is over $150,000, Total Operating Income may not include more than 10% in-kind.

  • Maximum allowable in-kind = Total Cash Income divided by 9.

Allowable Expenses

Allowable expenses must be:

Only allowable expenses may be included in the proposal budget. The grantee may be asked to provide documentation such as canceled checks, paid invoices, or other financial documents verifying grant related expenses.

Spending state grant funds on expenses that have not been approved by the Division, even if directly related to the program or project, will be disallowed and could result in a legal demand for the return of grant funds.

Match Only Expenses

No state funds may be used towards operational or indirect/overhead costs which include, but are not limited to:

In addition, no state funds may be used on expenses incurred or obligated before the grant start date, however expenses incurred before the start date and after July 1 may be included as match.

Non-Allowable Expenses

The Grantee agrees to expend all grant funds received under this agreement solely for the purposes for which they were authorized and appropriated. Expenditures shall be in compliance with the state guidelines for allowable project costs as outlined in the Department of Financial Services' Reference Guide for State Expenditures, which are incorporated by reference and are available online at The following are non-allowable expenses for grant and matching funds.

Review Criteria

All applications will be evaluated and scored using the following three criteria.

Excellence (up to 40 points)

Applicants must demonstrate excellence in all aspects of the proposal. Panelists will consider the following application responses:

Impact (up to 40 points)

Applicants must demonstrate the expected impact of the proposal. Panelists will consider the following application responses:

Management (up to 20 points)

This criterion covers administration, planning, and evaluation. Panelists will consider the following application responses:

Panelists will also consider applicant's reporting history and compliance status as of the panel meeting (see noncompliance).


Applications must earn a minimum average score of 80 to be recommended for funding by the review panel.

The maximum number of points an application can earn is 100. Panel members will individually score each application. The average of the individual panelist scores will be rounded to three decimal places. When the fourth decimal is a 5 or greater, the score will be rounded up in favor of the applicant. For example, 79.9995 will be rounded to 80 but 79.9993 would remain 79.999.

Review Process

The application review process includes the following:

  1. Staff Review for eligibility;
  2. Panel Review and scoring;
  3. Florida Council on Arts and Culture recommendations; and
  4. Secretary of State approval.

Staff Review

Division staff will review all applications that meet the deadline for eligibility (see basic eligibility and specific eligibility).

Staff will contact the applicant during the staff review to address issues with eligibility including:

Staff will also contact the applicant if the application indicates support materials are included but no materials are received.

After the application deadline, applications may only be amended at the request of Division staff. Only changes that are requested by the Division will be provided to the review panel.

Panel Review

After Division staff review, the Division will release eligible applications to the grant panel for review and scoring. For this program panelists may be Division staff and practicing artists or other professionals. Panelists will be appointed by the Secretary of State each year based on the panelist resume, knowledge, experience, and active involvement in the cultural community.

The Division is always seeking panelist nominations. Anyone may nominate a panelist (themselves or someone else) at any time by contacting a program manager (see help). Panelists may serve on a specific panel for up to 3 consecutive years. Panelists serve on a volunteer basis.

All panel members must comply with the Standards of Conduct for Public Officers and Employees of Agencies as set forth in section 112.313. Florida Statutes, and voting conflict of interest laws as set forth in sections 112.3143 and 286.012 Florida Statutes.

Panelists independently evaluate each application based on the review criteria detailed in these guidelines. After each panel member has evaluated the applications, there will be a public panel meeting to review, discuss, and score the applications. Panelists must voice their scores in the panel meeting. Only scores voiced during the panel meeting count towards the final average score for an application.

Panel Meetings

Panel meetings are a public process (usually conducted by teleconference) and anyone can participate by attending in person or by calling in via a toll-free number. Participation instructions will be emailed to applicants and posted on the Division's web site. The Division strongly encourages applicants to participate in the grant panel meeting, however it is not required. Participating in the panel process can be very helpful for those that intend to apply for future grants.

Panel meetings for the Fast Track Grants are chaired by a member of the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. If a member of the Council is not available a Division staff member will serve as the panel Chair. Chairs do not vote on applications being reviewed.

A typical panel meeting will include the following:

  1. Call to Order;
  2. Introduction of Panelists and Staff;
  3. Panel Instructions from the Chair;
  4. Preliminary scoring of applications. For each application:
    1. the Chair will announce the application number and applicant name;
    2. applicants may provide a brief update on the application. Updates may only include new proposal information;
    3. applicants will be permitted to respond to panelist questions;
    4. each panelist will voice his or her score;
    5. Division staff will calculate and voice the total points and the average panel score.
  5. Public comment prior to panel consensus on scores:

During public comment, anyone (including applicants) may speak about the applications under consideration. After public comment, panelists may adjust their scores before the final vote to accept all scores.

  1. Panel Recommendations;
  2. General discussion from the panel (policies, procedures);
  3. General comments from the public (limited to 3 minutes or at the Chair's discretion);
  4. Closing remarks from the Chair; and
  5. Adjournment.

Florida Council on Arts and Culture Review

After the panel meeting, the Division will report the panel recommendations to the Florida Council on Arts and Culture in the form of a ranked list. The Council may amend panel recommendations based on new or existing information about the applicant or panel proceedings.

Information that will allow recalculation of the average score by the Council are:

Information that may result in the Council recommending zero funding are:

Council Recommendations

All applications recommended by the Council will be submitted to the Secretary of State for review and approval.


Subject to available funds, Fast Track Project recommendation approved by the Secretary of State will be funded top-down at full request until the funding is depleted.

How to Apply

All application information submitted to the Division is open for public inspection and subject to the Public Records Law (Chapter 119, Florida Statutes).

Application Form

The application must be completed using the Division's online grant system and submitted online by 5:00 pm ET on the application deadline. If a deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the deadline date will be the next business day. Deadlines and a link to the application form will be posted on the Division's web site.

Applicants may request that a submitted application be electronically un-submitted at any point before the application deadline. The application must be re-submitted by the application deadline to be considered.

Grant applications to the Division will have two parts: an application form and an application package.

Application Package

The application package must contain the following:

If support materials are included applicants must provide 5 sets with a cover sheet. See support materials for more information.

Do not include printed copies of your electronic application form in the application package.

Mailing Instructions

The application package must be postmarked and mailed to the Division on or before the deadline. Deadlines and a link to the application form will be posted on the Division's website. Applications that include less than five (5) copies of support materials and/or are postmarked after the grant deadline will be deemed ineligible. All support materials postmarked after the grant deadline will not be forwarded to the panel.

If the application deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the application package must be postmarked by the following day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

The Division recommends that applicants purchase a certificate of mailing or similar receipt as evidence of the date mailed. The use of express package delivery services is not necessary since the deadline is a "postmark deadline." Mail application packages to:

Division of Cultural Affairs
Florida Department of State
500 South Bronough Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0250

Support Materials

Support materials may be considered in the panel review and scoring. Submitting support materials is highly encouraged.

Support materials may include, but are not limited to:

You may submit any combination of support materials. For example, you could submit:

Support materials should include a cover sheet with the following information:

Please submit only high quality materials that support your application and only as many as you need. Required attachments do not count towards the 10 upload limit.

It is your responsibility to verify and receive permission for the use of any copyrighted materials. You are also responsible for considering accessibility of your materials.

File Formats

Panelists are not required to own specific software and the Division makes no guarantee that panelists will be able to view your digital materials. To increase the chances of file compatibility, make sure files are in one of the following formats.

Uploading Instructions

Support materials must be uploaded in the online system by the application deadline. Attachments and support materials will not be accepted by another other method including email and fax.

You may include up to 10 uploads for your support materials in addition to your attachments. You can include more than one item in an upload. You are not required to upload multiple copies. You must describe your materials as you upload them.


For general information about the Division of Cultural Affairs and to access grant information, panel details and resources, visit our web site at:

For information about the Fast Track Grants program, contact:

Sarah T. Stage
(850) 245-6459