Access to the Arts

St. Louis, MO

Thriving arts and cultural organizations make the St. Louis region a vibrant place to live and work. The Monsanto Fund’s Access to the Arts support is designed to help arts organizations provide opportunities for underserved children and adults in the performing, visual or literary arts. Our Access to the Arts grants help organizations reach underserved groups and communities, identify the barriers – real or perceived – that keep them from participating in the arts, and implement strategies to reduce barriers and engage them in arts education experiences.

We accept Access to the Arts applications from organizations located in one of the 16 Missouri or Illinois eligible counties during two periods annually. The first period ranges from January 1 and closes February 28 at 11:59:59pm CT. The second period ranges from July 1 through August 31 at 11:59:59pm CT.

The application is now closed. Please check back with us when the application reopens on July 1, 2017. To preview a read only version of the application or complete an Impact Report, select the appropriate link below:

Preview Application

Complete an Impact Report

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Eligibility
  • Process & Timeline
  • Program Information
  • Reporting

What types of organizations are eligible to apply for grants in this funding program?

Organizations who hold a 501©3 tax exempt status and have been operating as a 501©3 for a minimum of two years.

Organizations who are units of government under Section 170©(1), such as public schools, libraries, villages and municipalities.

Organizations must be located in one of the 16 Missouri or Illinois eligible counties below:

Missouri:

  • City of St. Louis
  • St. Louis County
  • St. Charles
  • Washington
  • Lincoln
  • Franklin (Includes Sullivan City, MO)
  • Jefferson
  • Warren

Illinois:

  • Madison
  • St. Clair
  • Monroe
  • Macoupin
  • Jersey
  • Bond
  • Calhoun
  • Clinton

Schools are NOT eligible to apply, however non-profits who have programs in schools are eligible to apply.

Organizations applying for support must have been in operation for two or more years.

All organizations working in schools must upload a completed Partnership agreement.

Organizations applying for support must have been in operation for two or more years.

Partnership Agreements (also known as Memorandum of Understanding) – When are they required to be submitted with my application?

1 -All nonprofit organizations that offer student educational enrichment programming or teacher professional development in science, math or arts IN SCHOOLS must upload a completed Partnership Agreement between the non-profit and the school. When the non-profit is a public school, the agreement should be with the school district. When the non-profit is an independent or charter school, the agreement should be with the entity that governs the organization, (for example, the board of directors or other authorizing body).

2 -All nonprofits sharing responsibility for implementation of the project with another organization must upload a completed Partnership Agreement between the non-profit and the other implementing organization which outlines the roles and responsibilities of both parties for implementation and timeline.

What must the Partnership Agreement include?

1 – For non-profits working in public schools: a statement as to how this program supports the district’s academic strategy and creates value to the district and how the district plans to hold the organization accountable for the outcomes of the program. The agreement must outline the roles and responsibilities of both parties for implementation and the timeline.

2 - For non-profits working in independent or charter schools: a statement as to how the program supports the academic strategy for the school and adds value to the school, and how the entity that governs the organization (e.g. board of directors) plans to hold the organization accountable for the outcomes of the program. The agreement must outline the roles and responsibilities of both parties for implementation and the timeline.



How do I apply for a Monsanto Fund Grant?

All applications must be completed online.



What is the deadline for grant applications?

Organizations can view and familiarize themselves with the grant application any time throughout the year. Annually there are two cycles to apply for Access to the Arts program. The first cycle begins on January 1 and ends at midnight CT on February 28. The second cycle begins on July 1 and ends at midnight CT on August 31.



Can I apply for a grant to fund a program already started?  When must my program start and when is it expected to be completed?

All funding requests must be for program activities that start after funding decisions are made. Grant seekers applying for grants in the first cycle should have a project start date no earlier than June 1, and those applying during the second cycle should have a project start date no earlier than December 1. All programs must be completed within one year of the start date.



What additional information will I need to submit with my grant application?

All grant applications are expected to upload the following documents, as applicable:

  • Partnership Letter for nonprofit organizations working in the schools
  • Most Recent Audited Financials (if applying for a grant over $10,000). Unaudited financial statements, balance sheets will not be accepted. Applications from organizations receiving a “Qualified Opinion” on an audit may not be considered for a grant. Consideration depends on the seriousness of the findings, as this type of opinion can be an indicator that the information provided was limited in scope or the organization being audited has not maintained generally accepted accounting principles or sound financial management.
  • Project Goals, Objectives and Outcomes Worksheet
  • Project Budget Worksheet for projects one year or less OR Project Budget Worksheet for projects greater than one year. Each worksheet requires a Program Revenue and Program Expense tab be completed. The Program Revenue tab asks for the revenue sources that will fund the program and the Program Expense tab asks for a full description of expenses associated with the project.

Why are audited financial statements required for grants greater than $10,000?

Audited financial statements are the verification by an independent accounting firm that an organization’s financial statements are presented fairly, in all material respects, and provide reasonable assurance that the statements have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the US.



How do I submit an application?

  1. Log into the application and click the "Start a New Application" link located at the bottom of the Welcome page.
  2. Within each section of the application you can either click the "Save and Proceed" button at the bottom of each page until you’re at the end of the application, or click the last link in the timeline at the top of the page.
  3. You are brought to the “Review Your Application” page. (You cannot proceed to this page until you have completed all required fields on each page.)
  4. Click the "Submit" button. Once submitted you can no longer make any changes. If you have questions, click on the "Need Support" button at the bottom of each page.


When and how will we be notified if we will be receiving a grant?

Grant decisions will be communicated by email.  Notifications will be sent in June for the first cycle and in December for second cycle.

What will Monsanto Fund not fund?

  • Individual aid or personal support
  • Underwriting deficits
  • Fraternal, labor or veterans organizations, unless the project benefits the general public
  • Benefits, dinners, advertisements
  • Religious, politically partisan or similar groups
  • Endowments
  • Activities that directly support Monsanto Company marketing programs
  • Projects in which the Monsanto Company has a financial interest or could derive a financial benefit through cash or rights to intellectual property
  • Organizations that discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation (real or perceived), or any other characteristic protected by applicable United States federal or state law.


What is the average grant award?

The average grant for Access to the Arts is $20,000.  Monsanto Fund typically will not support grants that are larger than 25% of your organization’s operating budget.  Please remember, grant requests of more than $10,000 require your organization to submit the most recent Audited Financials.  If you do not have Audited Financials, the maximum grant you can apply for is $10,000.



Can we apply for a multi-year grant?

We rarely fund multi-year grants.



What types of programs are eligible for an Access to the Arts grant?

The Monsanto Fund seeks to support programs that reach underserved adults and/or young people, identify the barriers – real or perceived – that keep them from participating in the arts, and implement strategies to reduce barriers and engage them in arts education experiences. Preference will be given to arts experiences that are ongoing rather than one-time events and can demonstrate a change over time in awareness and interest in arts among young people and/or adults. For school-aged students, preference will be given to programming that is tied to and integrated with educational goals. Funding is not intended to cover the purchase or creation of new artwork.



What kinds of arts programs does Monsanto Fund support?

Monsanto Fund’s Access to the Arts programs are focused on broadening opportunities for underserved children and adults in the performing, literary or visual arts.



Must the program we are applying for be a new program or can it be an existing program?

You can apply for either a new program OR an existing program. If it is an existing program, please describe current successes as well as how you were able to fund the program in the past and why you need funding from the Monsanto Fund at this time. If it is a new program, provide evidence why you think this project will be successful.



Can our organization apply in more than one category in the same funding cycle, i.e. Access to the Arts AND Math and Science K-12?

We recommend that organizations choose one grant category to apply for. Given the great need and our limited resources, it is highly unlikely that the Monsanto Fund will fund two applications from the same organization in the same year.

For the programs with two cycles a year (Access to the Arts and Math and Science K-12) can we apply during both funding cycles?

Monsanto Fund will only make one grant per organization per year.  If you apply in one funding cycle and do not receive a grant, you can re-apply in the next funding cycle. If, however, your organization applies and receives a grant from the Monsanto Fund, you should reapply during that funding cycle the next year, not the funding cycle immediately after.



Can we apply for a planning grant to help develop our arts access or arts education programming?

The Monsanto Fund grant should be used for execution of a program. Once you receive the grant, you may spend some time planning how best to implement the program, but this grant is not intended to support the time needed to conceptualize, design, or develop a program.



Will Monsanto Fund grants cover overhead costs?

Yes. Up to 20% of the requested grant amount can be utilized for overhead costs.



Will Monsanto Fund grants cover program evaluation?

Yes, Up to 5 percent of the requested grant amount can be utilized for program evaluation. We support evidence-based programs.



Can funds be used for staff salaries?

Yes. The Monsanto Fund grant can be used to pay for staff salaries.



What do reviewers look for in applications?

To learn more about how grant proposals are scored, and for tips on how to write a compelling application click here. All proposals should include the following:

Project Description

  • Clear project goals
  • Clear project details, including the specific activities and timelines

Project Participants

  • Clear description of who will benefit from the proposed project, including numbers of participants
  • Clear description of why the target population is in need of the proposed project or services

Project Impact

  • Clear and realistic project goals
  • Clear description of how the project’s progress will be assessed, and what indicators will be used to determine impact
  • Clear description of how the project’s activities and impact may continue beyond the life of the grant

Project Budget

  • Clear description of how the grant will be used, including clear calculations and relevant cost explanations


Is there someone I can talk to about my proposal?

We will provide an opportunity for a conference call with grant seekers to answer questions during the January - February application open period only. We encourage current and prospective grantees to participate.



If we are not selected, will the Monsanto Fund provide feedback on our application?

We are unable to provide feedback on individual applications.

My application was returned. How do I resubmit?

  1. Login to your previously submitted application and make the requested changes.
  2. Within each section of the application click the “Save and Proceed” button at the bottom of each page until you are at the end of the application, or click the last link in the timeline at the top of the page.
  3. You are brought to the “Review Your Application” page. (You cannot proceed to this page until you have completed all required fields.)
  4. Click the "Submit" button. Once submitted you can no longer make any changes. If you have questions, you can click on the "Need Support" button at the bottom of each page.

Can I make changes to my project upon funding?

All changes to the  project or budget must be submitted and approved by the Monsanto Fund in writing.  Prospective changes should not alter the original intent of the grant funded by the Monsanto Fund.



What are the specific reporting requirements?

Grantees will be asked to report to the Monsanto Fund at the midpoint and at the end of the grant period. An online template will be provided to grantees to report the outcomes of project goals and report financial expenditures. Grantees will be notified by email when impact reports are available and when reports are due.



My grant award is paid in two installments. What do I need to do for my second installment?

You must complete an interim impact report to receive the second installment of your grant award.  You must have expended at least 70% of the portion of the Monsanto Fund grant funds you have RECEIVED before subsequent payments will be made.