Armed with research and data from a range of sources, creatives and arts organizations can demonstrate how the arts enrich the economic, social, and educational fabric of the community. Data on the arts in healthcare, education, workforce development, and quality of life can help make a case for increased resources to advance an artist’s or organization’s mission.


We are partnering with the Applied Materials Foundation to encourage artists, creative entrepreneurs, and arts organizations to arm themselves with data and third party research reports to expand the reach of their messaging and strengthen their case for support.

Building off of the content and inspiration from the Making the Case mini‐conference (June 19), DataArts’ recent San Jose workshop (May 23), and last year’s X‐Factor Pitch Camp (November 1 and 3), the Messaging with Data Project Grants Program provides an opportunity for artists and nonprofit arts organizations to apply for funding to refine audience and donor communications and incorporate action‐oriented data into messaging. Eligible projects will pilot the use of national, state, or local research results, published reports, or trend studies to communicate value to a group or subsection of an artist’s or arts group’s current or potential stakeholders. As discussed at the X‐Factor Pitch Camp, a good case includes numbers and stories.

Examples of projects might include: incorporation of statistics around the impact of arts‐rich education in a donor event presentation; inclusion of economic impact data in a sponsor packet; a new annual report with comparisons to national trends; a brochure or direct mail piece using Americans for the Arts’ data on the benefits of arts to quality of life; or a communications audit to ensure a website uses consistent data. Projects may include multiple communications vehicles during the extended grant term of September 2017 to December 2018.

Grant funds may be used for consulting, design, printing, communications training, website design, and/or other direct costs of marketing, fundraising, or promotional activities. All projects must include a learning loop—how any learnings from this project will be incorporated to strengthen future work. (Learning loops were discussed at the Art of Evaluation mini‐conference on April 10.)


We plan to award five grants through a competitive application process. Grants will be up to $5,000. Due to the competitive nature of the grants program, partial funding may be awarded.


Eligible individual artists and creative entrepreneurs must:

  • Live in Santa Clara County.

Eligible nonprofit arts organizations must:

  • Have a home base (primary business office or performance/exhibition venue/facility) located in Santa Clara County and have the majority of the arts programming (performances, presentations, exhibitions) take place in Santa Clara County.
  • Have a primary purpose of performing, producing, or presenting arts and cultural activities that are open and accessible to all.
  • Be classified as a 501(c)3 organization by the Internal Revenue Service or be a nonprofit arts organization with an annual operating budget under $100,000 using a fiscal sponsor.
Note: There are no budget size limitations, but preference will be given to organizations with annual operating expenses under $2 million. All funded projects must take place in Santa Clara County.

Expenses that are eligible include:

  • Fees to engage an outside consultant or for communications training.
  • Direct costs, such as marketing, design, events, web communications, or mailings.

Expenses that are NOT eligible include:

  • Projects which have received funding from other SVCREATES’ project grant programs or directly from the Applied Materials Foundation
  • General operating expenses or funding to support ongoing staffing.
  • Projects which have already been completed.
  • Projects which support political or religious purposes, fraternal organizations, or institutions of primary and secondary learning.
  • Endowment campaigns, the purchase of real property, tuition assistance, or debt retirement.
  • Arts activities that are fundraisers for non-arts related causes.

How to Apply

Please read all guidelines and instructions before beginning the application. E-mail the completed application (and other applicable attachments) to by the extended deadline of 5pm on Friday, July 21, 2017.

If you have questions about the program or the application, please contact us at: Audrey Struve,, (408) 998-2787 x204