Begin Main Content Area

Strategies for Success
Intermediate Level


The primary focus of the Intermediate Level of Strategies for Success is capacity building. This level is designed for independent arts organizations or arts programs within social service, community and non-arts organizations interested in developing professionally staffed arts programs with active boards of directors. Grantees may need administrative and programmatic stabilization. In the past, areas of assistance have included support for staff, specialized staff training, long-range planning, and creating programmatic initiatives. The intent of the funded staff position is to assist the organization in developing professional staff who are committed to the growth of the organization. The PCA awards up to $7,500 for implementation or augmentation of up to two staff positions, up to $2,500 for programming, and up to $2,500 for consultant funds for a maximum total of $12,500. Applications are accepted annually for a maximum of 4 years.


  • Federal I.D. Number and determination as a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization or a pending application
  • Formal board of directors with committee structure and regular meetings
  • Formal bookkeeping system, regular office hours and accessible place of business
  • Evidence of successful fund raising
  • Demonstrated consistent community and audience support
  • Annual programming that is an artistically significant and effective presentation of cultural activities
  • Three consecutive years of operation
  • At least one staff position working a minimum of 20 hours per week
  • An annual budget of approximately $24,000-$100,000



  • Partial match required. Grant award funds allocated to the implementation or augmentation of one or more staff positions must be matched on a dollar-for-dollar basis.
  • Participating organizations should discuss with their board of directors the impact that a consultant will have on the growth of the organization and plan accordingly. Participating organizations must have their organizational development consultant complete and submit a progress report on an annual basis.
  • All Intermediate level participating organizations must participate in at least 3 virtual and/or in-person organizational development activities/workshops.
  • Participating organizations should identify at least one representative who will attend an annual orientation meeting with the Preserving Diverse Cultures Division Program Director.

Funding Restrictions

PCA funds cannot be used for the following:
  • Capital expenditures, including equipment costing $500 or more per item;
  • Activities for which academic credit is given;
  • Activities that have already been completed;
  • Activities that have a religious purpose;
  • Performances and exhibitions not available to the general public;
  • Cash prizes and awards;
  • Benefit activities;
  • Hospitality expenses, i.e., receptions, parties, gallery openings;
  • Payments to lobbyists;
  • Competitions.

Advisory Panel Review Process

Advisory panels convene every year to review applications and to make recommendations to the Council for support. The advisory panel will apply the following weighted criteria to an applicant’s past and current performance to determine a recommended award amount.

Application Review criteria

Quality of Artistic Product/Process/Service - 35 points
Access to the Arts - 35 points
Management - 30 points

How to Apply


The PCA is making its grants programs more accessible to you through the Electronic Single Application (ESA), a web-based system for use by PCA applicants. Once you register, the system takes you through the application process for the grant program of your choice and allows you to submit all components online. All applications to the PCA, as well as Grant Award Agreements (GAA) and Final Reports are submitted through ESA.

Note: Proceed to #4 if you already have a Commonwealth Vendor Number.

  1. Thoroughly review the PDC Program Guidelines.
  2. Create a DUNS Number (see page 17 in the PDC Guidelines for instructions).
  3. Register and create a Commonwealth Vendor Number (see page 19 in the PDC Guidelines for instructions).
  4. Data collection - The PCA Financial & Activity Report is used to collect your financial and selected non-financial information for the last two years. This form is available for download in the Electronic Single Application (ESA) and must be completed with the most up-to-date information possible. When finished you will need to upload it as an ATTACHMENT in ESA.  
  5. Apply online using the Electronic Single Application (ESA), accessible via You must first register to create an account. 


  • Before preparing an application, thoroughly review the program guidelines, including the eligibility requirements. The guidelines outline eligibility, program objectives and evaluation criteria.
  • Check your browser compatibility. The ESA works with Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. It is recommended that you use the latest version of these browsers.
  • Be prepared to complete and submit your application, in its entirety, by the deadline.


If you need help accessing or are experiencing technical issues within ESA, contact the Customer Service Center: 1-800-379-7448 or

If you have questions about Preserving Diverse Cultures grant programs, including eligibility, application narrative, and required support materials, please contact Dana Payne, Program Director, at 717-525-5544 or