Arts Organisations Investment Program

Program guidelines

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Objective

The Arts Organisations Investment Program aims to build strong Western Australian arts, cultural and creative sector organisations that support the vibrancy of our State and celebrates this internationally.

It invests in a portfolio of small to medium organisations that:

  • create and present high quality and the best of its type arts, cultural and creative experiences
  • create work that is original, innovative and authentic that respects cultural tradition, or promotes social awareness and cohesion
  • broaden and deepen community access and engagement in arts, cultural and creative experiences
  • reflects the diversity of the State through telling Western Australian stories
  • have strong connections with and presence in communities increasing the reach, depth and diversity of audience engagement
  • collaborate with others to create new sustainable ways of working together
  • leverage opportunities and funding from a range of sources and partners develop and operate in a financially, environmentally and socially sustainable way.

Program dates

The 2022 Arts Organisations Investment Program provides successful organisations 3 years of funding commencing on either:

  • 1 July 2023 for Financial Year Organisations
  • 1 January 2024 for Calendar Year Organisations.

The funding round opens 6 September 2022.

Applications must be submitted through the Online Grants portal by 4pm 20 October 2022.

Organisations will be notified in writing approximately 19 weeks after the closing date.

The Arts Organisations Investment Program has a minimum funding request of $100,000 per annum.

Funding categories

Service

The Service category supports organisations that provide state-wide or geographically specific services to artists, cultural practitioners, creatives or an artform; or provide opportunities for engagement and participation in arts, cultural and creative activities for specific cohorts.  

Program funding will enable service organisations to:

  • generate collaborative partnerships and innovative practice within and across sectors to develop new opportunities for creatives, cultural practitioners and communities
  • facilitate knowledge sharing, networking opportunities and skills development
  • maintain and develop strong connections and presence in their communities
  • develop industry-leading resources and best practice for a sustainable, empowered and dynamic sector
  • represent and advocate on behalf of the sector and/or artform.

Producing and Presenting

The Producing and Presenting category supports organisations to develop, produce and/or present professional arts, cultural and creative programs or provide state-wide or geographically specific services to artists, cultural practitioners, creatives or an artform; or provide opportunities for engagement and participation in arts, cultural and creative activities for specific cohorts.

Program funding will enable Producing and Presenting organisations to:

  • create high-quality and creative experiences that are innovative and original
  • broaden community access and engagement with diverse WA cultural and creative experiences
  • create collaborative partnerships within and across sectors to leverage new opportunities, funding and support
  • support creative employment opportunities that attract and retain WA talent.

Eligibility

The Arts Organisations Investment Program supports professional arts, cultural and creative organisations that:

  • are not-for-profit
  • have been legally constituted for a minimum of two years
  • are based in Western Australia, or a national organisation offering significant benefits to Western Australians
  • have formal governance and professional operational infrastructure
  • have annual financial budgeting processes and reporting systems with accounts independently audited annually.

Who can’t apply

  • academic and training institutions*
  • local government authorities*
  • organisations whose primary focus is the delivery of competitions, awards or fundraising activities
  • film, television, radio, animation and screen culture organisations
  • private sector entities with a commercial outcome
  • volunteer and/or unincorporated organisations.

*The Arts Organisations Investment Program will also consider, on a case-by-case basis, applications from organisations that are directly supported or owned by an academic and/or training institution or local government authority. To be considered under this exemption, an organisation must separately, and with a degree of autonomy, present professional and/or curated arts and cultural programs that primarily deliver arts and cultural outcomes.

How to apply

Apply using the Online Grants web portal.

To decide which category is most suitable for you, refer to the category objectives.

You will need to enter applicant information and choose your category, plus provide the following:

  • statement of how your organisation responds to the program objectives 
  • strategic plan
  • budget
  • organisation outputs
  • support material.

Statement of how your organisation responds to the program objectives

Demonstrate how your organisation’s program and activities align to the program objectives, as outlined in these guidelines. Applicants are required to provide this statement as part of their online application, with a 1500-character limit. 

Strategic plan

Your strategic plan should outline what you plan to achieve and demonstrate alignment with the objectives of the program. As a guide, the length of the plan should be no more than 20 pages. It is a high-level outline of what you want your organisation to deliver annually over the next three years; who it will be delivered to; and how you will measure your success annually and overall. It should demonstrate good planning, financial and risk management and strategic marketing.

The timeframe of your strategic plan for calendar-year organisations is 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2026, and financial-year organisations 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2026.

Key components of a good strategic plan include an outline of your purpose and artistic vision addressing why your organisation exists. It should include your overall strategic approach and how you plan to resource this approach, taking into consideration the context and environment your organisation operates in. The department has developed an Outcomes Framework for the program, to ensure that the program aligns with WA Government policy commitments, and to enable a strategic approach to identifying cultural, social and economic outcomes from its investment. Please note, it is not a requirement for organisations to align strategic plans to the Arts Organisations Investment Program (AOIP) outcomes framework

A financial overview supporting how you are going to implement strategies that underpin your vision is important. This section must include an overview of your organisation's current financial situation, a high-level financial forecast (income, expenditure and balance sheet) for each year covered by the plan. The forecast figures will support and demonstrate the statements made throughout your entire plan. An outline of key business risks is recommended. It is essential to include your governance framework illustrating how decision-making and responsibilities are allocated. For an example, please refer to the  Strategic Plan Framework (PDF 509 KB) that has been developed by the Australia Council. Use of this framework is not mandatory and is only suggested as a guide.

Budget

You will be required to provide an indicative budget through the online portal for your first year of funding (calendar year 2024 or financial year 2023-24). Please note that your strategic plan should include a reflection of your historical financial performance and financial forecast for each year covered by the plan. 

Organisation outputs

When applying, all organisations will be required to provide anticipated Organisation Outputs through the online portal for the first year of funding (calendar-year 2024 or financial-year 2023-24).

Outputs are specific measurable things generated by your activities. This information will be considered as part of your application and provide further clarity about your activities for the assessor. The outputs also provide important data for the department for research, analysis and advocacy purposes.  All organisations are different, and some sections/outputs may not apply to you. You only need to provide outputs for the categories and items relevant to your activities. 

If successful, you will be required to report on the outputs you have submitted.

    Support material

    Support material forms an important part of your application. It is recommended you pay close attention to the support material you choose to ensure it offers the best support for your application. You can upload your support materials with your online application.

    If you are submitting audio and/or video files you must upload them to file streaming sites like Vimeo, YouTube, Bandcamp or SoundCloud that do not require a log-in to access. Please do not use Dropbox to deliver audio, video or other files. You can find instructions on how to use these sites at the following links:

    Units of support material

    6 minutes of audio or video

    Previous work or interviews, Acceptable formats and limitsconfirmations, presentations that support your application.

    Acceptable formats and limits
    • Web links only
    • Maximum 3 links
    • Maximum 6 minutes total listening/viewing time (all files).

    Audited accounts (mandatory)

    The financial statements must be audited by an independent auditor in accordance with the Australian Auditing Standards.

    Acceptable formats and limits

    One PDF document (maximum file size 5MB document).

    15 pages of text and images

    15 pages of text and images (combined total number of all pages in documents submitted for assessment):

    • short biographies/profiles for key creative or artistic personnel
    • organisation profile
    • letters of peer/industry support
    • reviews, media reports or articles on your previous work
    • marketing and/or promotional plan
    • images.
    Acceptable formats and limits

    Maximum 15 A4 pages in PDF (maximum file size 5MB per document).

    How your application will be assessed

    Applications must meet the program objective and are assessed by a panel of industry peer assessors. All applications are assessed against four criteria: 

    • quality
    • reach
    • good planning
    • financial responsibility.

    The panel of peer assessors will recommend a portfolio of small to medium arts, cultural and creative organisations that meet the program objective.

    The department may provide moderation advice to the Minister for Culture and the Arts taking into consideration a balance of policy objectives, artform, sector role, size, geographic spread and community reach.

    The panel recommendation and the department’s moderation advice will be submitted to the Minister for Culture and the Arts for approval.

    The four assessment criteria (quality, reach, good planning and financial responsibility) have different weightings that reflect their priority in each category. Each criterion has a subset of dimensions and definitions to provide guidance. You are strongly encouraged to address the most relevant ones in your application.

    Producing and presenting

    Quality (weighting 40%)

    Dimensions: imagination, authenticity, originality, inquisitiveness, excellence, captivation, relevance, innovation, challenge, risk and rigour.

    The extent to which your organisation and the work that it produces and/or presents:

    • explores new possibilities, views and/or artistic approaches
    • promotes curiosity and interest in artist and audience
    • is highly regarded within a local, national and international context
    • respects cultural tradition and/or is unique in the State.

    Reach (weighting 20%)

    Dimension: diversity, platform, collaboration, leverage, number and growth

    The extent to which your organisation:

    • attracts, maintains, develops and diversifies new audiences or markets in WA, nationally and internationally
    • creates work that has long-term impact and relevance for target audience/participants, geographic area or communities of interest
    • engages productively with creative practitioners and communities of practice
    • generates employment, income and opportunities for WA artists and arts workers.

    Good planning (weighting 20%)

    Dimensions: realistic, achievable, demonstrated research and/or consultation, evaluation, sound governance.

    The extent to which your organisation:

    • identifies and delivers realistic and achievable outcomes
    • provides opportunities of employment for WA creatives
    • develops appropriate administration and management
    • has governance experience, expertise and a Board Code of Conduct
    • facilitates entry and progression opportunities that increase the diversity of the sector workforce and leadership
    • demonstrates a strong commitment to a diverse and inclusive board, leadership, artist representation, and employment of creatives
    • has procedures to ensure compliance with relevant legislation, and best practice, to ensure the safety of children.

    Financial responsibility (weighting 20%)

    Dimensions: value, comprehensive budget, financial stability.

    The extent to which your organisation:

    • demonstrates sound planning, effective use of resources and accurate costings
    • builds the long-term resilience and sustainability of the organisation
    • averages income from sources other than the department
    • represents value for money — the cost is realistic in regard to the scale and impact of program/project.

    Service

    Quality (weighting 35%)

    Dimensions: imagination, authenticity, originality, inquisitiveness, excellence, captivation, relevance, innovation, challenge, risk and rigour.

    The extent to which your organisation:

    • demonstrates strong advocacy and professional representation
    • provides specialist advice information or arts related services
    • supports professional development and provides training opportunities
    • facilitates networking opportunities
    • directs resources to capturing and sharing best practice programs and methods
    • demonstrates support for its activities from its cohort
    • works with sector partners to identify participants from under-represented groups and help them to take advantage of skills and leadership development. 

    Reach (weighting 25%)

    Diversity, platform, collaboration, leverage, number and growth.

    The extent to which your organisation:

    • engages productively with creative practitioners and communities of practice
    • generates and promotes employment, income and opportunities for WA artists and arts workers
    • attracts, maintains, develops and diversifies new audiences or markets in WA, nationally and internationally
    • delivers projects that have long-term impact and relevance for target audience/participants, geographic area or communities of interest.

    Good planning (weighting 20%)

    Realistic, achievable, demonstrated research and/or consultation, evaluation, sound governance.

    The extent to which your organisation:

    • identifies and delivers realistic and achievable outcomes
    • provides opportunities of employment for WA creatives
    • develops appropriate administration and management
    • has governance experience, expertise and a Board Code of Conduct
    • facilitates entry and progression opportunities that increase the diversity of the sector workforce and leadership
    • demonstrates a strong commitment to a diverse and inclusive board, leadership, artist representation, and employment of creatives
    • has procedures to ensure compliance with relevant legislation, and best practice, to ensure the safety for children.

    Financial responsibility (weighting 20%)

    Value, comprehensive budget, financial stability.

    The extent to which your organisation:

    • demonstrates sound planning, effective use of resources and accurate costings
    • builds the long-term resilience and sustainability of the organisation
    • leverages income from sources other than the department
    • represents value for money — the cost is realistic in regard to the scale and impact of program/project.

    General information

    Create an online grants application

    The Online Grants web portal is optimised for use with recent versions of Google Chrome, Edge, or Safari in combination with Window or Mac OSX.

    You will need to register for an account in Online Grants if you have not applied before. If you are already registered, please check your information under the Account Details tab (top right).

    Throughout the online grant application form you will find help text to guide you through the questions and the process of applying online.

    Help iconOnline Grants help text is available by hovering your mouse over the question mark symbol.

    To make sure your work is being saved, please use the ‘Save & Next’ or ‘Save & Previous’ buttons instead of the browser forward and back buttons.

    Final check

    Make sure everything you need for your application is included because once you submit your application there is no opportunity to add or amend anything.

    Submit your application

    When you have completed all sections, click ‘Submit as Final’. It is very important you are completely satisfied your application is completed before you click ‘Submit as Final’.

    A system-generated email confirming the successful submission of your application will be sent to your registered email address within 15 minutes of submission. This email confirmation is evidence that you have submitted your application by the due date and time, and it is your responsibility to contact us immediately if you do not receive it.

    If you do not receive confirmation, contact onlinegrantsupportca@dlgsc.wa.gov.au quoting your application name and time of submission, and a staff member will investigate the status of your application. Claims relating to application submission errors after this time will not be investigated.

    The department does not accept applications:

    • by email
    • that do not adhere to support material limits and format requirements
    • that are submitted late
    • where the organisation or key personnel have an overdue acquittal.

    Notification

    Organisations will be advised in writing of the outcome of your application approximately 19 weeks after the closing date. All successful applications will receive contracting information in due course.

    The program will offer three-year fixed term agreements. Funding agreements will commence 1 January 2024 for organisations on a calendar-year cycle, and 1 July 2023 for organisations on a financial-year cycle.

    Reporting requirements

    Organisations funded through the program are required to provide regular reporting to the department each year, including the following:

    • proposed budget, annual program of activities and organisation outputs for each upcoming year of funding
    • half yearly financial reports
    • audited financial statements
    • annual report
    • update of management and governance
    • actual budget and organisation outputs
    • Culture Counts (for relevant organisations).

    The department uses these reporting mechanisms to monitor the progress of the organisations and deepen its understanding of the role and value of the arts.

    Arts Organisations Investment Program (AOIP) Outcomes Framework

    The AOIP Outcomes Framework will ensure that the program aligns with the broader policy commitments of the WA Government, and will enable a strategic approach to identifying cultural, social and economic outcomes from its investment. Its objective is to support the demonstration of the program’s contribution to building strong WA arts, cultural and creative sector organisations that support the vibrancy of our State. 

    The AOIP Outcomes Framework is intended to identify outcomes from the AOIP program overall. Organisations applying through the program will not be required to deliver against all of the secondary outcome areas. Organisations will be able to respond to the outcome areas most appropriate to activities and area of practice.

    Culture Counts

    The department, along with its project partners Pracsys Economics and the Intelligence Agency in the UK, developed Culture Counts to collect and measure standardised quality metrics from organisations, their peers and audiences by interview and online through mobile devices or computers.

    Culture Counts will be available to organisations funded through the Arts Organisations Investment Program and will be supported to integrate Culture Counts into their artistic and business processes.

    All Producing and presenting organisations will be required to use Culture Counts for a sample of agreed activities. With Service organisations also encouraged to use the system.

    Assistance for applicants

    If you need more information, please read the program guide.

    Grants Officers are available via telephone and email to answer queries about applications and suitability of activities to specific programs.

    If you need extra assistance due to disability, language barriers or any other factor that may disadvantage you in completing your application, please contact us.

    The advice provided by Grants Officers does not guarantee the success of your application.

    Due to the high number of applications received, each funding round is highly competitive. 

    All applications are considered on their own merits and against the assessment criteria and program objectives.

    Contact us

    Online Grants portal technical support

    For help to use the portal or for technical issues, email the Online Grants Support Team: onlinegrantsupportca@dlgsc.wa.gov.au

    Grants Officers

    For help relating to the grant programs, including advice or assistance with your application, email the Grants Officers: grantsprogramsca@dlgsc.wa.gov.au

    To assist us in directing you to a relevant member of the team, please specify which program or category your enquiry relates to in the subject line of your email.

    Assistance for people with disability

    The department is committed to supporting applicants with disability. Information can be provided in alternative formats (large print, electronic or Braille) upon request.

    If you require special assistance in preparing your application, please call 61 8 6552 7400 or toll free for regional WA callers on 1800 634 541.

    Family, friends, mentors and/or carers can attend meetings with you.

    If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, contact us through one of the following:

    Interpreting assistance

    For interpreting assistance in languages other than English, telephone the Translation and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50 and ask for a connection to 6552 7400 or 1800 634 541.

    Regional applicants

    Toll free (country WA callers only) 1800 634 541.

    Email the Grants Officers: grantsprogramsca@dlgsc.wa.gov.au

    Page reviewed 08 August 2022