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Funding Process Overview

New Changes for the 2017 Tier III Application Cycle

* These procedural changes were adopted by the SCFD Board of Directors in 2015 by adopting resolutions which are summarized below. The complete resolutions can be located here. These policies increase transparency and accountability to the public and ensure that organizations are following nonprofit best practices. There are no changes for the 2016 grant cycle; the current requirements will remain the same until 2017.  Please remember that while these requirements will NOT take effect until the 2017 grant cycle, they need to be implemented during your current fiscal year and will be required for your organization to submit the correct documentation during the 2017 grant application cycle, which will be based on your most recently completed fiscal year (i.e., likely your 2016 fiscal year). Applications missing the required forms will be deemed incomplete. Please note that these changes may or may not affect your organization depending on factors listed below.  If you have any questions about these new policies, please contact the SCFD office at 303-860-0588. 

  • Resolution 15-03 No later than December 31, 2016, every eligible local government entity must have adopted a formal resolution evidencing creation of the scientific or cultural agency seeking SCFD funds and must have a special revenue fund, or similarly segregated fund, separate and distinct from the local government’s general or other funds such that the special revenue fund can be separately audited. The following documentation is required in addition to the regularly required grant attachments:
    1. Evidence that the SCFD-funded scientific or cultural mission-based agency has been created through the adoption of a formal resolution.
    2. Creation of or documentation showing the SCFD-funded scientific and cultural agency has a special revenue fund, or similarly segregated fund, separate and distinct from the local government’s general fund or the larger government department’s fund.
  • Resolution 15-04 The SCFD Board of Directors adopted a resolution that requires all Tier III organizations to submit either the IRS Form 990 EZ or the full Form 990 with their grant application for Tier III funds. IRS Form 990 N (postcard) will no longer be accepted
  • Resolution 15-06 All Tier III organizations with operating budgets of $500,000 and above must submit externally, independently prepared financial documents with their grant applications. Organizations with budgets between $500,000 and $750,000 will be required to submit a financial review, and organizations with budgets over $750,000 will be required to submit a financial audit, with their grant applications as a requirement to apply for Tier III funds.

                          For more information about a financial review, click here.
                          For more information about audits, click here.


Prior to applying for funding, organizations must have first received eligibility from SCFD. To learn more about eligibility requirements please visit the Seeking Funds page. Organizations must maintain all eligibility criteria in order to remain eligible for funding. Eligibility may be periodically reviewed by SCFD. Eligibility does not guarantee funding.

Grant Application & Interview

Funding at Tier III is based on an annual grant process. Although there is one Tier III Grant Application, each of the seven counties that make up the SCFD district have individual grant guidelines that must be met in order to receive funding. Please thoroughly read the county guidelines for each county your organization plans to apply to for funding. Also, make sure to attend a Tier III Grant Application Workshop where the application process is explained.

Grant applications are due to both the SCFD office and the respective county by the grant deadline. Each individual county has a separate grant deadline and there is also a separate deadline for multi-county applicants. Incomplete and/or late applications will not be accepted.

After the grant application has been received, county cultural councils set interview dates and meet with grant applicants. This is an opportunity for applicants to further explain their grant applications, financials and programming to the councils. These interviews are open to the public. It is recommended that applicants attend an interview session prior to their own interview in order to be better prepared. See the Tier III calendar for grant interview dates, times and locations.

Grant Distribution

After all grant interviews are completed, each county cultural council determines the annual distribution via a "funding plan," at the allocation meeting. A funding plan includes the name of the organization, the title of the grant request, amount requested and amount recommended. The funding plan is then sent to the county commissioners for approval. Each September, the funding plans are presented to the SCFD board of directors.

After the funding plans have been approved, the SCFD office processes checks for grant recipients. Each county hosts a check ceremony in October to distribute grant award checks. See the Tier III calendar for dates, times and locations. Funds can be used from the time they are awarded in October and must be spent by December 31st of the following year (15 month period).

Final Grant Report

Organizations are required to report on funds received 15 months after the SCFD funds are disbursed. One report must be completed for ALL SCFD funds received in ALL counties. Current year applications will not be accepted if an organization has a delinquent final report.