Important Changes to the Center's Grant-Making Strategy

24 May 2013

The Pew Charitable Trusts has announced a new culture funding strategy. Click here for the full March 21 press release and read below for highlights and a list of answers to frequently asked questions about upcoming changes.

Evolution, Not Revolution

In mid-March, the Pew Board approved a major restructuring of their support for culture, placing The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage at the heart of its support for culture in this region.

These changes streamline administrative structure, reduce overhead costs, and result in greater resources going directly to the cultural community.

It means the Center's annual grants budget will increase from $8 million to $10 million.


These changes do not go into effect until October 2013, and will affect the 2014 cycle of grant making.

The Center will honor all panel grants made in 2013 under our current structure, and all of our present and ongoing commitments. The Center hopes to roll out new and detailed guidelines to our constituents by early fall 2013.

Project Grants

The Center will continue to make project grants, consolidating them into the categories Performance and Exhibitions & Public Interpretation.

Maximum grant sizes will move from $250,000 to $300,000, an increase of 20 percent.

An additional 20 percent for general operating costs will be added to project grants, more readily aligning our support for artistry and operations.

The consolidation also removes limits on the funds designated for specific disciplines, focusing instead on the most promising projects across the full spectrum of cultural practice.

Selection Process

We will continue to adjudicate these grants through a panel process. We will continue to have clearly stated criteria, articulated through a series of indicators, against which projects will be evaluated.

Introducing Advancement Grants

The Philadelphia Cultural Management Initiative (PCMI) will be phased out with this year's grants cycle. Building on PCMI's success, however, the Center is introducing a new funding category, Advancement Grants, to support organizational development.

These Advancement Grants will be up to $500,000.

They are designed to support a multi-year line of work that will enable organizations to respond to present challenges and to make crucial changes to ensure their future viability and vitality.

Advancement Grants will be available to organizations with a proven track record of success in receiving Center project grants and/or the Philadelphia Cultural Leadership Program. They will be reviewed by senior staff at the Center and The Pew Charitable Trusts as well as evaluated by outside experts in organizational development. The final funding decision will be made by the Board of Directors of The Pew Charitable Trusts.

In Summary

These changes are a reaffirmation of Pew's commitment to culture in our region and an acknowledgement of the impact of the Center's work to date.

The consolidation streamlines management and oversight structures, resulting in more funds flowing directly to the cultural community.

The new grants structure opens up possibilities for more ambitious and innovative projects both within and across disciplines that reach and engage a range of audiences.

Management support has changed to better respond to present-day organizational challenges.


Frequently Asked Questions

When will these structural changes take effect and what is the general timeline for applying for a grant?

These changes will go into effect October 2013, and will affect the 2014 cycle of grant making. Click here to read the Center's 2014 guidelines.

Will you still award capacity building and professional development grants?

Capacity building and professional development grants will continue to be available as they align with the Center's strategic goals for its new approach to grant making.

Will it still be possible to apply for a planning grant?

Yes. Planning grants will still be offered. They will be known as Discovery Grants in the future.

What's happening to the Heritage program?

The Center will continue to support heritage through its project grant process within the Exhibitions & Public Interpretation area. Under Exhibition/Public Interpretation we will continue to entertain both public history and preservation projects.

What will happen to my outstanding Center project grant?

The Center will honor all project grants made in 2013 under our current structure, and all of our present and ongoing commitments.

Are outstanding Philadelphia Cultural Leadership Program (PCLP) grants committed for 2015 still being honored?

Yes. All standing commitments from The Pew Charitable Trusts will be honored.

Will the number of grants awarded by the Center per year change?

The Center's grant-making process is always competitive. The number of grants awarded varies from year to year and depends upon the quality of the project applications.

Can an organization or individual still apply for multiple project-grants in different categories?

Organizations and individuals can simultaneously apply for grants in both the Exhibitions & Public Interpretation and Performance areas provided they meet the threshold eligibility requirements and have completed all prior reporting requirements on previous Center-funded projects.

When applying to the Center with a project that contains both performance and exhibition/public interpretation elements, which of the new consolidated grant areas should I apply within?

Center staff will be happy to work with constituents to decide which grant category best fits your application.

Will Advancement Grant criteria be similar to PCLP criteria?

Click here to find the Center's 2014 guidelines, which include Advancement Grant criteria.

Will an organization's financial stability be a qualifying factor in receiving an Advancement Grant?

An organization's capacity, financial and otherwise, to successfully undertake the work of an Advancement Grant will be considered as a qualifying factor.

Are education and service organizations eligible for Advancement Grants?

Yes, as are science museums, natural history museums, and arboreta, provided they meet the basic threshold criteria for application.

What will be the typical grant period for an Advancement Grant?

A two- to three-year arc of work is expected to be the typical Advancement Grant period.

Are all Advancement Grants $500,000?

No. $500,000 is the maximum award possible. The determination of the request by any organization will be made in consultation with Center and Pew Charitable Trusts staff.

Do Advancement Grants include staff support for smaller organizations?

Yes. Advancement Grants may include staffing support along with programming and infrastructure needs.

What about the Pew Fellowships?

The Center will continue to award Pew Fellowships of $60,000 each to 12 Philadelphia artists per year.