As arts organizations strengthen focus on mission, articulate program goals, and work to increase impact, they want to be able to measure what matters and learn from evaluation results. Evaluation doesn’t have to be a burden, and in fact, it can be tailored to help advance strategic priorities and to do so with limited resources. We held a Mini‐Conference on April 10, 2017, “The Art of Evaluation,” brought David Scheie of Touchstone Center for Collaborative Inquiry to San Jose to guide local arts organizations in putting together an evaluation plan that is doable and useful.


We are partnering with the Applied Materials Foundation to encourage arts organizations to experiment with evaluation tools and learning loops, to help fund those experiments, and to provide training to share and nurture those strategies.

Building off the content and inspiration of “The Art of Evaluation” Mini‐Conference, the Program Evaluation Project Grants provide an opportunity for nonprofit arts organizations to apply for funding to support a pilot evaluation project. The proposed project will seek to answer a strategic question aligning with the organization’s mission and strategic priorities. The project will include: a survey of a program, audience, or artist; survey analysis; and organizational learnings.

Examples of projects include: evaluation of artist satisfaction with a particular exhibition process; audience reaction to a production or season; donor satisfaction with communications; or student participation in education programs. All projects must include a learning loop—how the findings will be used to inform future planning.


We plan to award grants to four to six organizations in Santa Clara County through a competitive application process. Grants will be up to $2,500. Due to the competitive nature of the grants program, partial funding may be awarded.


Eligible nonprofit arts organizations must:
  • Have a primary purpose of performing, producing, or presenting arts and cultural activities that are open and accessible to all
  • 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
  • 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
Ineligible organizations include:
  • For profit arts organizations
  • Colleges or universities
  • Local governments
  • Institutions of primary and secondary education

Note: All funded projects must take place in Santa Clara County. There are no budget size limitations, but preference will be given to organizations with annual operating expenses under $2 million.

Expenses that are eligible include:
  • Fees to engage an outside consultant
  • Staffing support for survey activity
  • Direct costs, such as marketing, surveying, web communications, and mailings
Expenses that are NOT eligible include:
  • Projects which have received funding from other SVCREATES’ 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 deadline of 5pm on Thursday, May 11, 2017.

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