The Donor Circle for the Arts RFP

Effective immediately:

To be responsive to the extraordinary circumstances in light of the COVID-19 crisis, we will not be accepting proposals for Media Arts and Theatre in the coming months. Our commitment to supporting artists and arts organizations, however, remains steadfast. And we will be directing resources for arts nonprofits via the COVID-19 Regional Nonprofit Emergency Fund.  The application to receive support from this fund can be found here.

Sparking Creativity in our Community

The Donor Circle for the Arts is proud to have granted more than $752,500 to emerging arts organizations in our region since its inception in 2008.

Eligibility criteria for arts groups requesting funding:

  • Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations and individual artists with nonprofit fiscal sponsors
  • Based in Santa Clara or San Mateo counties only
  • Annual budget of $1,000,000 or less
  • Fits into one of six categories (Arts Education programs within each discipline will be considered)
    1. Theatre
    2. Music
    3. Dance
    4. Visual Arts
    5. Media (e.g. film, digital media, etc.)
    6. Literary Arts (e.g. spoken word, poetry, etc.)
  • All or portions of the organization’s mission must be to serve an underserved population (must be more substantive than simply donating tickets to underserved groups). If the organization’s main mission does not serve an underserved population, then the grant for which they apply must be designated to a specific project that does.
  • Seeking project and/or general support grants
  • Organization representatives must be able to meet in person with the Donor Circle for the Arts on designated meeting date

RFP Application Process

Please follow the application process outlined in the Request for Proposal document. Limit applications to no more than two pages; late applications will not be accepted.

Download RFP

2019/2020 Schedule

Donor Circle for the Arts meetings are held from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (subject to change)

  • May 15, 2019 – Visual Arts (application due April 15, 2019)
  • August 14, 2019 – Dance (application due July 1, 2019)
  • October 16, 2019 – Literary Arts (application due September 1, 2019)
  • March 11, 2020 – Music (application due January 30, 2020)
  • June 10, 2020 – Media Arts (application due April 30, 2020)
  • October 14, 2020 – Theatre (application due September 1, 2020)

Please email questions to

Additional Resources for Arts Organizations