Update March 24, 2021: The March 11, 2021 deadline has now passed and the LOI portal has closed to new submissions. Organizations that submitted LOIs have now be informed of whether their projects have been advanced to the full proposal stage later this month. Those selected to submit a full proposal will have 4 weeks from the invitation date to write and submit their proposal. We expect to make awards announcements in May. An anonymous jury of experts in the field will be solely responsible for the final awards decisions. Because of the volume of applications we received, we are unable to give specific feedback to every organization that submitted an LOI. However, we have created a page detailing the characteristics of a successful LOI to help inform future submissions for this or other Thoma Foundation grants.
The Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation is pleased to announce a new grant program for Digital Changemakers in the Arts. Five grants will be disbursed among small and midsize cultural organizations in Arizona, Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma, or Texas. Each individual award of up to $100,000 will support initiatives that reimagine the role and use of technology to achieve the organization’s mission, and successful projects will be eligible for renewed funding.
This grant aspires not only to help organizations execute cutting-edge digital projects, but also to raise the bar on what is perceived as possible for smaller institutions to achieve by funding examples that inspire institutions nationwide. Because the Thoma Foundation views technology, wisely deployed, as a tool of equity and accessibility, we are seeking applications from a broad array of cultural organizations, including but not limited to museums, cultural heritage centers, tribal organizations, libraries, and local arts councils. Please note: applicants must engage with visual/material culture in a significant capacity; we do not fund organizations that work exclusively in the performing arts.
Funds can be used for myriad purposes, including but not limited to curating digital exhibitions, improving overall audience engagement with the organization, digitizing collections, and improving accessibility to content and services. All projects should set realistic, measurable goals, and have a concrete plan for evaluating their achievements. Successful projects will advance or facilitate institutional learning, incorporate digital and technological best practices, reach a broad public audience, and create a lasting impact. This is not an emergency grant; rather it is meant to help resilient cultural organizations meet the increasing demand for digital engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Grantees who achieve successful results and demonstrate efficient use of funding will be eligible to renew their grants, and to receive additional support of up to $100,000.
The projects funded through this grant may help to refine or evolve an organization’s existing digital strategy. Eligible applicants will already have a set of guidelines that details how the use of digital technologies advances the organization’s broader mission and values. These guidelines may be part of an internal working document only or a piece of the organization’s formal strategic plan.
The deadline for this grant is March 11, 2021. Click to access the application portal.
Have questions? Please read our Digital Changemaker FAQ page. Want to run an idea by us before submitting a full proposal? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and our grants team will be happy to workshop ideas with you OR sign up here for our Zoom Open Hours.