Arts Impact Endowment (AIE) Grant - Universal Basic Income


For any questions about Arts Impact Endowment (AIE) Grants, please contact Deputy Director of Programs, Joanne Lee at or 415-252-2238.


A translation of this grant application is available upon request; however, only applications in English will be accepted.

Una traducción de esta solicitud de aplicación está disponible a petición; sin embargo, solamente se aceptarán solicitudes en inglés. Favor comunicarse con Lorena Moreno al 415-252-2211 ó para una traducción al español.


Ang pagsasalin sa Tagalog ng aplikasyon para sa pagkalooban na ito ay makukuha kung hihingilin. Ngunit ang aplikasyon sa Ingles lamang ang aming tatanggapin. Para sa tulong, maaring i-contact si Sandra Panopio, 415-252-2217 o

APPLY NOW!   PRINT aie universal basic income GUIDELINES (PDF) 

PRINT aie universal basic income INSTRUCTIONS (WORD DOC)

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Important Dates
Information about Arts Impact Endowment Grants
Who Can Apply
Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria

Important Dates

Grantseeker Information Session October 16, 2020 at 1 p.m.
One-on-One consultations October 5  – October 30, 2020
Applications Due October 30, 2020 at 12 p.m.
Panel Review November 2020
Funding Recommendations November 2020
Commission Approval December 2020
Grant Period January 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022
Final Report Due  July 30, 2022

About the Arts Impact Endowment (AIE) Grant - Universal Basic Income

The vitality and vibrancy of San Francisco depends on the dedication and determination of its arts and cultural communities. These communities and their representatives worked to support the passage of Proposition E in November 2018. With 75 percent voter approval, Proposition E restored the historic hotel tax allocation for the arts, and stabilized funding for continued deep support for arts and culture throughout the city.   
Proposition E established the Arts Impact Endowment, which is jointly administered by the San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) and Grants for the Arts (GFTA). This funding provides new resources for community-driven priorities. Proposition E charged the SFAC and GFTA with a community engagement process to inform the creation of a Cultural Service Allocation Plan (CSAP) and distribution of funds from the Arts Impact Endowment. This process and plan ensures that the findings are responsive to community needs and reflects equity principles.  

The 2019-2024 CSAP outlined four priority areas that the Arts Impact Endowment will support through the year 2024: 1) Arts Education (40%); 2) Affordable Space (30%); 3) Arts Organizations Core Support (20%); and 4) Individual Artists Support (10%). These priority funding areas were determined after citywide community engagement through targeted mapping activities of key stakeholders and an online poll.
The impacts of COVID-19 are particularly poignant for San Francisco’s arts and cultural communities, and moreover, BIPOC-led organizations. Based on community feedback and recommendations from the Economic Recovery Task Force, and respecting the four priority funding areas of the 2019-2024 CSAP, SFAC and GFTA have repurposed the Arts Impact Endowment to support the recovery of arts and culture nonprofits. 
This Arts Impact Endowment Request for Proposals (RFP) is the first of multiple conduits by which the SFAC and GFTA will resource nonprofit organizations for COVID-19 recovery with a priority for funding the communities described below.

Applicants may only apply for funding specific to those geographic areas or communities outlined within these guidelines. For questions about this grant category, please contact Deputy Director of Programs Joanne Lee at or 415-252-2238.

Racial equity statement

The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) is committed to creating a city where all artists and cultural workers have the freedom, resources and platform to share their stories, art and culture and where race does not predetermine one’s success in life. We also acknowledge that we occupy traditional and unceded Ohlone land. Fueled by these beliefs, we commit to addressing the systemic inequities within our agency, the City and County of San Francisco and the broader arts and culture sector. This work requires that we focus on race as we confront inequities of the past, reveal inequities of the present and develop effective strategies to move all of us towards an equitable future.

Priority funding goes to organizations that foster artistic expression deeply rooted in and reflective of historically marginalized communities. Using both the Cultural Equity Endowment Legislation and the Grantmakers in the Arts’ “Racial Equity in Arts Funding Statement of Purpose,” these communities include: African and African American; Latinx; Asian and Asian American; Arab; Native American; Pacific Islander; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer; Transgender and Gender Variant People; People with Disabilities; and Women. (SF ADMIN. CODE CHAPTER 68: CULTURAL EQUITY ENDOWMENT FUND. Sec. 68.6. PROJECT GRANTS). 

Please note: We recognize that some marginalized communities may not be listed here and encourage applicants to articulate and provide supporting evidence about the marginalization for any community not named above. Please also note the legislation pertains to marginalized communities and not fringe artistic disciplines.  

maximum grant AMOUNT

Up to $870,000. Grant amounts may differ from the request amount due to the level of funding available to the program, demand for that funding, and/or the rank an application receives from the review panel.

How to Apply


Applications must be submitted online. If you do not have access to the internet you may mail your application and you must notify Joanne Lee at 415-252-2238. Emailed or faxed applications are not accepted. In fairness to others, we cannot accept late or incomplete applications. If the applicant does not provide the complete set of information in the appropriate format by the deadline, the application may be deemed incomplete and ineligible. No deadline extensions will be granted.

category and project description

Universal Basic Income (UBI): Support up to $870,000 for a nonprofit organization to develop and administer a Universal Basic Income grant for San Francisco artists and cultural workers to mitigate the financial impact of the coronavirus on their livelihoods and the community arts sector. UBI grants seek to provide immediate financial relief to BIPOC, immigrant, transgender and people with disabilities. Activities include:

  • Develop the UBI grant criteria to prioritize recipients who are the most financially vulnerable.
  • Conduct outreach to San Francisco artists and cultural workers–especially those who have experienced severe reduction or loss of income due to the coronavirus—BIPOC, immigrant, transgender and disabled artists, teaching artists, arts educators, cultural workers and producers, who are of and serve historically marginalized communities.  
  • Administer the UBI grant application process.
  • Administer monthly grant payments over 12-month period.

Grant window: January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022. It is anticipated that successful proposals will be for a term of eighteen months beginning January 1, 2021 with a possible extension for up to one additional year based on extenuating circumstances as determined by the Arts Commission in consultation with the grantee. Any extension is subject to Arts Commission approval and funding appropriation. Arts Commission reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to not exercise an extension option.

Applicants should describe their experience, skills and ability to implement the following:

  • Outreach to artists and cultural workers in historically marginalized communities. 
  • Develop financial relief grant criteria for financially vulnerable populations. 
  • Design grant guidelines and application process that are accessible and low-barrier.   
  • Conduct outreach and produce grant guidelines and application materials in multiple languages (Spanish, Tagalog, Chinese).  
  • Administer and manage grants to individual artists.

Who Can Apply


  • The applicant organization must be tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).
  • The applicant organization is not required to be based in San Francisco; however, priority consideration is given to organizations based in San Francisco.
  • The applicant organization cannot be part of another City agency or department.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a history of providing reputable and equitable grant administration programs for financially vulnerable populations for at least two (2) years prior to this application. 
  • Applicants must provide an 18-month project budget (January 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022). Administrative expenses cannot exceed 10% of the grant.  
  • Applicants must provide an 18-month grant plan (January 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022) with three (3) activities per year and the intended outputs the applicant hopes to achieve.  
  • Applicants must not be in default on any grants or loans from: (1) SFAC; (2) other City departments (including, but not including, the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families, Office of Economic and Workforce Development, Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community Development, and Grants for the Arts), (3) Northern California Grantmakers Arts Loan Fund; (4) Community Vision Capital and Consulting; (5) Community Arts Stabilization Trust; and/or (6) the Center for Cultural Innovation. This default clause was expanded due to the fact that SFAC has fiduciary relationships with these particular organizations.
  • The organization must be willing and able to meet the requirements associated with receiving funds from the City and County of San Francisco. In order to receive a grant payment from the San Francisco Arts Commission, you must become a registered, compliant supplier and meet the City and County of San Francisco's insurance and business tax requirements. For more information about supplier requirements, visit: 

Please note: you will only be required to register as a City Supplier if you are awarded a grant. Insurance and business tax requirements will be explained and made available upon approval of grant awards.

​ineligible expenses

Grant funds may not pay for: 
  1. Deficit reduction;
  2. Start-up money for new organizations.

grantee and insurance requirements

General Liability Insurance: To authorize any grant payment, general liability insurance must cover the entire grant period (January 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022). If funded grantees will need to submit a certificate of General Liability Insurance with an Endorsement Page. 

Workers Compensation Insurance: Workers Compensation Insurance is required for an organization that has employees.

Abuse and Molestation Insurance: Abuse & Molestation Insurance must be added to the Workers Compensation policy if the project involves working with vulnerable populations defined as: minors under the age of 18, seniors over the age of 65 and developmentally disabled populations. 

Auto Insurance: Auto Insurance is required if use of a vehicle is necessary to fulfill the project. 

Waiver of Subrogation addendum is required for projects on ANY City-owned property.

Panel Evaluation & Scoring Criteria

Panelists are instructed to use the following scoring criteria which correspond to the application questions below. Close review of this grid may help you focus your application responses. Please thoroughly review the application instructions for the complete overview of the CEI application questions and guidance.





Grant Administration Experience

(20 points)


Describe your experience providing equitable grant administration programs for financially vulnerable populations.

Applicant meets the two year experience requirement of providing equitable grant administration programs for financially vulnerable populations. 

Outreach to SF Artists

(20 points)


Describe your experience in conducting outreach to SF artists and cultural workers in historically marginalized communities. If you lack SF experience, describe other relevant experience.
What is your demonstrated experience reaching BIPOC and LGBTQ communities?

Applicant demonstrates experience in conducting outreach to San Francisco artists and cultural workers in historically marginalized communities or other similar communities.

Ability to Develop Grant Program Guidelines,
Eligibility and Award Criteria

(40 points)


Describe your past experience developing grant guidelines, eligibility and award criteria, and applications that are accessible and low-barrier for historically marginalized populations, including BIPOC, immigrant, transgender, and disabled populations.
Describe your capacity to produce materials and provide technical assistance in multiple languages.

Applicant has experience developing grant guidelines and application materials that are easily accessible to historically marginalized populations, including BIPOC, immigrant, transgender, and disabled populations.

Applicant demonstrates capabilities to produce materials and provide technical assistance in multiple languages.


Financial and Administrative Systems
(20 points)
20 Describe your financial and administrative systems for administering and tracking monthly payments to grantees. Applicant has strong financial and administrative systems in place to administer and track monthly payments to grantees.

Application Review

Grantees will be selected by a review process comprised of representatives from the San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco Grants for the Arts, and/or other City department staff and funding partners. Panelists will review applications and make funding recommendations. 

Panel Review Attendance and influence

AIE panels are not open to the public. Please note an applicant that is found to have made attempts to influence a panelist in any way will be automatically disqualified.

Funding Recommendations

Based on an evaluation of the applications, panelist scores create a ranking for funding recommendations. Funding recommendations are determined within each grant category.

Funding Approval

Panel recommendations are subject to the approval of the Arts Commission. Typically, recommendations are first reviewed by the Community Investments Committee and then by the full Commission.  

Grant amounts may differ from the request amount due to the level of funding available to the program, demand for that funding, and/or the rank an application receives from the peer review panel.

Arts Commission meetings are open to the public. Agendas are available at 72 hours in advance of a meeting.


Grant award notifications are e-mailed to the address listed on the application and include instructions about the contracting process and orientation dates.


Panelists may take notes during their review. You may contact to request panel comments. Requests are fulfilled in the order they are received.

What's Coming Up

Public Meeting

Executive Committee Meeting

October 25
1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Hybrid: 401 Van Ness | Rm 125 and Online
Public Meeting

Community Investments Committee Meeting

October 17
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Hybrid: 401 Van Ness | Rm 125 and Online
Public Meeting

Visual Arts Committee Meeting

October 18
3:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Hybrid: 401 Van Ness | Rm 125 and Online
Public Meeting

Community Investments Committee Meeting

October 17
1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Hybrid: 401 Van Ness | Rm 125 and Online