Strategies for Success
The Advanced Level of Strategies for Success focuses on arts organizations that are viewed as institutions within their community/communities that provide consistent arts and cultural programming. Such organizations must document a track record of quality presentations and commitment to and from their community. Allowable projects include fund raising, long-range planning, program development, facility development, board development and expansion. Special programmatic initiatives in the planning stages of the proposed application should also address the long-term stability of the institution. The Advanced Level awards implementation grants of up to $20,000 per year. Implementation grant funds can be allocated to all or one of the three following categories (staff, programming, consultant) for the project in question. Once accepted into this level, organizations may be funded annually for a maximum of three years.
- Minimum annual budget of approximately $125,000.
- Federal I.D. Number and determination as a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization or a pending application.
- Formal, structured board of directors with committee structure and regular meetings.
- At least two full-time, salaried staff members.
- Demonstrated use of volunteers.
- Formal bookkeeping system and annual audit, regular office hours and accessible place of business.
- Established long-range plan (for at least three years in the future).
- Demonstrated marketing program.
- Evidence of structured annual fundraising activities.
- Established community support and awareness.
- Annual programming that is an artistically significant and an effective presentation of cultural activities.
- A minimum of ten consecutive years of operation.
- Must meet all Intermediate Level eligibility criteria.
- 100% 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.
- Participating organizations should identify at least one representative who will attend an annual orientation meeting with the Preserving Diverse Cultures Division Program Director.
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;
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
PCA ELECTRONIC SINGLE APPLICATION (ESA)
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.
- Thoroughly review the PDC Program Guidelines.
- Create a DUNS Number (see page 17 in the PDC Guidelines for instructions).
- Register and create a Commonwealth Vendor Number (see page 19 in the PDC Guidelines for instructions).
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.
- Apply online using the Electronic Single Application (ESA), accessible via https://www.esa.dced.state.pa.us. You must first register to create an account.
PREPARING TO USE ESA
- 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.
HELP WITH ESA
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.