Knight Arts Challenge Philadelphia: What do we mean by matching funding?

Arts / Article

Nervous about the term “matching funding?” It’s not as scary as you think.  Past Knight Arts Challenge winners have met their fundraising goals in a variety of ways, including through special events, Kickstarter campaigns, and finding additional support from corporations or other foundations.  Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions on the topic.

What do you mean by “find other funding to match” the foundation’s gift? In order to have the greatest impact in our community, we’re committing our $9 million to motivate others to add their financial support for the arts. The concept is simple: if the project will cost a total of $10,000, then you must find at least $5,000 from somewhere else, as the foundation’s maximum contribution will be $5,000. (This is only an example to demonstrate how matching funds work. There is no pre-set maximum contribution from the foundation.)

Will Knight assist winners with a strategy to match their grant? Knight Foundation will work with you towards the successful completion of your program if you receive a Knight Arts Challenge grant. When possible and when appropriate, we will provide contacts and letters of recommendation for your project

Can I use existing money from my organization or my own funds to match the grant? No. We’re seeking new money for the arts. That means you need to get others to put up funds just like ours. Generally, only cash contributions from new sources to your organization or project will count toward the match.  Matching funds can come from any source – individual donors, philanthropic foundations, fundraisers, etc.

At which point must the funding match be made? The initial application does not require any financial information – so for now, just focus on your idea!  A budget will not be requested until the following round if you are successful in moving through as a finalist.  If you are chosen as a winner, you’ll have approximately one year from the time you receive the grant to match our funding. If it is a multi-year project, you will have about a year to match each year’s grant amount.

Is it always a $1 to $1 match? Generally, yes.  Under rare circumstances (and generally for very small groups) we will consider matching at a higher level. Likewise, we might require a larger outside contribution for every dollar we put in if your organization already enjoys solid financial support.

As an individual or business, not a nonprofit, do I have to have a fiscal sponsor to receive funding from Knight? If you are an individual or a for-profit organization you will need to receive grant funds through a fiscal agent. However, that is not something to worry about at this stage in the contest. We will help you take care of that as we move towards making a grant. Go ahead and submit your idea!

Apply here by Oct. 31