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Indiana Arts Commission

IAC > FAQs FAQs

Below you will find frequently asked questions about applying for grants, tips for use and navigation of the IAC's Online Grant System, an overview of the panel appeal process, definitions (e.g. in-kind, etc.) to assist in application completion, and more!

Please contact the IAC at 317-232-1268 for further assistance.

Online Grants System

Is the IAC's Online Grant System secure?
The latest TLS/SSL encryption standards are utilized for account/application access within the IAC's Online Grant System. This standard ensures that no confidential information can be easily intercepted during a user's session with Culture Grants Online™. The software provider's servers identify themselves using public keys. These public key certificates are issued by VeriSign, a leader provider of Internet security infrastructure.

How do I access the IAC's Online Grant System?

  1. Go directly to the IAC's Online Grants System at http://indiana.cgweb.org/.
  2. Log on to the IAC website - www.in.gov/arts - and click on "Access Online Applications and Reports" under the Grants header on the left navigation.
  3. Log on to the IAC website - www.in.gov/arts - and click on "For Applicants", "Grant and Program Guidelines" on the left navigation. On the "Grant and Program Guidelines" page, select the program of interest and read through the instructions on that program's page for "How to Apply".

What will I need to register for the IAC's Online Grants System?

  • A valid e-mail address. All communications regarding your application/grant will be sent to this address. Applicants/Grantees are responsible for keeping this information up-to-date.
  • A Profile - Creating a profile in the online grants system allows you to create grant applications, access grants that are in progress and receive grant related communications from the IAC. Organizations registering in the online system should create only one set of logins/profile and share it. 

When do I use the IAC's Online Grants System?

  • When you are ready to submit a grant application.
  • When you are ready to submit reports. Please note that some programs will use separate forms for reporting. Please review the guidelines for your program requirements or contact the program staff for assistance.
  • When you need to access a PDF of your application or final report.
  • When your contact information (individual or organization) changes.

When NOT to use the IAC's Online Grants System

  • When you are deciding which grant programs are right for you and you need to review program guidelines and requirements. For program details, click here.
  • When you are trying to find panel information or deadlines. To review this information, click here.

Computer/Technical Requirements

What software/hardware do I need to use the IAC's Online Grants System?

  1. High Speed Internet Access 
  2. A Current/Up-To-Date Web Browser - Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome, etc. Make sure you are using the most recent version of the browser or you may encounter issues.
  3. Windows XP or Mac OSX or Higher - Older operating systems will support older browsers that may not be compatible with websites.
  4. The most recent version of Adobe Acrobat Reader - This is a free application that you will need to preview the application as a PDF. Visit the Adobe website to download Acrobat Reader. 
    • If you are having issues viewing PDFs and have not updated your Adobe Reader software, update your software, restart your machine, and try accessing the PDF again. 
  5. I have a dial-up internet connection, will the IAC's Online Grants System work for me?
    No. The slower internet speed will cause delay in uploading artistic documentation and navigating through the site, which will result in timing out and losing data. While it is possible to access the system with a dial-up connection, we cannot be responsible for related issues.

What if I don't have a computer?
If you do not have a computer, there are several options that you can use to access the system. Many local libraries offer free internet access or you can schedule a time to visit the IAC office to complete the application. If you need IAC assistance to complete an application, you must schedule a time to visit our office that falls at least two weeks before the deadline date.

I have an Apple computer. Can I use the IAC's Online Grants System?
Yes. The IAC's Online Grants System is operating system independent. If you are using a MAC and experience issues, try deleting your cookies and restarting your machine.

Managing Your Online Account/Profile

My contact information has changed, how do I update it?
Once you have created a profile in the IAC's Online Grants System, you will be able to log in to update your information at any time. If you are awarded a grant, you are responsible for keeping the IAC informed of any change in your contact information.

Applying for a Grant

Where can I find program information, application instructions, etc.?
The IAC's Online Grants System  is not intended as a replacement for the IAC website. You will still need to access www.in.gov/arts for news, announcements, program information, application guidelines, etc. 

Do I need a DUNS number?
Yes. All organizations must have a DUNS number to apply for a grant. D&B numbers are the basis by which Americans for the Arts tracks nonprofits and for-profits for its important research reports on Creative Industries: Business & Employment in the Arts. The federal government (which includes the National Endowment for the Arts) requires organizations to provide a DUNS number as part of its grant applications. Go to http://www.dnb.com/get-a-duns-number.html to apply for a DUNS number.

Completing an Online Application/Final Report

I'm an artist with a disability. Is there someone who can assist me?
Yes. The IAC staff is always available to help individuals with more specific needs. Please contact Kristina Davis at 317-232-1279 or kdavis-smith@iac.in.gov for assistance.

What if I miss the deadline?
The IAC's Online Grants System will accept applications until 4:30 p.m. on the deadline date. After that time, applications will be considered late and ineligible for submission. We strongly suggest you complete your application before the deadline date to avoid any problems that may occur as we cannot make exceptions to this rule.

Can I print out a copy of my application?
Yes. We encourage you to print and keep a copy of your submitted application for your reference. We also suggest printing a copy of your application to review before you submit. Click on the application PDF preview to print a copy of your application.

Can I work on my application at any time?
Yes. The IAC's Online Grants System is available 24 hours a day. The IAC will put out press releases and e-newsletter announcements to notify applicants when applications open. If for any reason the system is not accessible to you, please contact the IAC for assistance. 

Can I save my work and come back to the application?
Yes. If you want to stop working on your application click on the "Save" button at the bottom of the page and logout. The next time you login to the system, you will select your "in-progress" application and continue working. The online system will allow you to access any page of your application for editing until you hit the "Final Submit" button.

Can I cut and paste text for my application from Microsoft Word or another text editor?
Cutting and pasting directly from MS Word does not format correctly and can cause issues with character count. For instance, an apostrophe will end up coming out as a code (%u2019), same for bullets, dashes/hyphens, and open/close quotes.   The best way to transfer your text is to “clean” it. Highlight your text, and then go to ‘Edit’ > ‘Clear’ > ‘Formats’. This should remove most of the Microsoft Word code/formatting. You should then be able to paste your text into the online grants system.  To verify your application is free of code and all text appears correctly, click “Preview application” to view a PDF of your application. Go back into the online grants system and edit out any unwanted code or to adjust text. 

The best way to avoid this problem is to type directly into the application. You can then copy and paste text from the online grants system into Microsoft Word to spell check.

What happens if I exceed the character count?
If you exceed the character account for a question, the IAC’s online grant system will not let you submit the application/final report until the character count is within the set amount. If you have copied and pasted your text and the character count is giving you an error even though the number is slightly below the allowable amount, you will need to adjust your text until the error goes away or delete your text to remove the extra spaces created by pasting and key in the text.

Do the budget income and expenses totals need to match on my application?
Yes. Make sure your income and expense totals match. If there are separate categories for in-kind and cash, those areas added together make up the total income/expenses.

Why are there blank boxes in the budget table under the other categories?
The blank boxes provided are for each applicant to enter their own categories. If these boxes are not provided, applicants should put any amounts outside of the provided categories into the "Other" category.

What file formats can I upload into CGO?
Unless the application you are completing includes a page requesting artistic documentation (see guidelines for more information), CGO will only allow you to upload PDF, DOC (Microsoft Word 97-2003), or .XLS (Microsoft Excel 97-2003) files. Please read the question instructions for requested/recommended file types.

Do I need to submit a hard copy of my application?
Clicking the submit button electronically sends the IAC/RAP a copy of your final application. You do not need to send a hard physical copy.

How will I know if my application has been received?
You will get an e-mail from the IAC's Online Grants System during each step of the grant application process. E-mails will be generated when applications are started and put “In Progress” and when they are submitted. If you do not receive notices when submitting an application, please notify the IAC/RAP immediately so we can ensure your application has been submitted.  

Once I submit my application, can I continue to edit it?
No. Once your application is submitted to the system it can no longer be edited. If you notify the program manager before the deadline date, the application can be reopened for you to edit. If there is something missing from your application after submission and the program manager asks you to amend it, the application will be released back to you through the system so you can edit. You will be allowed to edit only certain portions of the application at this time.

Submitting Artistic Documentation

How do I know if my application requires artistic documentation?
Review your guidelines carefully to identify what kinds of documentation are required and how they need to be submitted. Some programs will not require documentation, some will require it to be mailed, etc. so please read the guidelines carefully and contact the program manager if you have questions. 

How do I know how to format my artistic documentation?
Applicants are required to submit artistic documentation in the format noted in the program guidelines. The IAC is available to assist you with PDF and image formatting if needed. Please keep in mind that we assist applicants on a first come, first serve basis, so if you wait until the deadline day, we may not be able to get back to you in time.

Definitions

In-kindAn in-kind donation is a gift of goods and services. In-kind goods and services are typically goods and services that your organization would have to otherwise buy if they hadn't been donated. The value of the donated supplies or services may be recorded as the amount that your organization would have to pay for similar items.

In-kind gifts should be a mirrored in your budget. You should have a line item for "in-kind" in both the income and expense sections of your budget (in-kind income = in-kind expense). For example, if you have in-kind printing worth $1,000. Then you would list "in-kind printing- $1,000" in the income section.  And you would list "in-kind printing- $1,000" in the expense section.

When you receive an in-kind gift, the donor will often send you a note or letter placing a value on the gift. For example, when an artist donates an original art piece for your silent auction, they will often tell you that the value is X dollars. Many, many organizations will then send them a thank you/acknowledgement letter saying, Thank you for your generous gift of your original art valued at X dollars." THIS IS WRONG. Never place a value on an in-kind gift. Even if the value is told to you by the donor, and they ask you to send a letter with that value, you still can't. By law, non-profit organizations cannot provide a value of an in-kind gift to a donor.

The following CANNOT be claimed as in-kind services:

  • services that are designed to be provided by volunteers;
  • periodic volunteer services for fund raising;
  • professional personnel engaged in research or training activities without pay or with a nominal allowance;
  • value of time donated by the organization's board of directors and board committee members in carrying out governance activities; and
  • services that are provided free or at reduced cost as a condition of employment (such as the use of employee-owned vehicle, etc.)

Applicants must keep a written record of each contribution of in-kind donations of materials and services; this record must be maintained so that it can be audited. The written record should include: organization name, donor name and signature, date, description of the donated item or service, the value of the donated item or service (as assigned by the donor) and the signature of the person receiving the donation on behalf of the organization.

UnderservedPeople lacking access to arts programs, services, or resources due to isolated geographic location, low income, age, race/ethnicity, cultural differences, disability or other circumstances. 


Demographics

A resource for statistical data is www.stats.indiana.edu. Data from each Indiana County is available. You may determine the percent of each characteristic in the county or counties served by the application and then apply that percentage to the number of people actually participating in your project.

The Americans with Disabilities Act defines a person with a disability as one who: Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; Has a record of such an impairment; or Is regarded as having such an impairment Troubleshooting

Online System - Tech Tips

If you're having trouble completing a task we recommend trying one of the options and repeating the task to see if it fixes the issue. If issues persist, contact the grants manager for assistance.  

Trouble Loading a Page or Accessing Data:
  • Close your internet session and open a new one
  • Clear your cache/history
  • Make sure you are using the most recent version of your browser and update it if you are not (Restart your machine before trying again)
  • Look behind the window you have open to see if the file or item opened in another window

Trouble Uploading a File:

  • Check your file format. Does it match what we are accepting?
  • Use a different browser and see if it makes a difference (Firefox or Chrome are great to try if you are using something else)
  • Check your file size. Anything 8MB or over will not upload.

Panelist Comments/Feedback

Applicants are welcome and encouraged to attend panels. Applicants who cannot attend a panel can request written feedback or listen to panel audio at http://www.in.gov/arts/2675.htm.

Panel Appeals

What is the appeal process? 
The reconsideration and appeal process is designed to review the method and fairness of the IAC decision concerning a grant application. This process is not intended to impose a different panel’s choices/judgment over the original panel’s decision. Dissatisfaction with the denial of a grant or the amount of an award is not sufficient reason for an appeal.    Applicants may request reconsideration of a funding decision if the applicant can demonstrate:

  • The panel or review team used incorrect review criteria; and/or
  • There was influence by an IAC staff person or IAC volunteer panelist having a conflict of interest; and/or
  • Required information submitted by the applicant was withheld from consideration.

Applicants must send a formal letter to the IAC Executive Director stating the reason for reconsideration, based on one or more of the three points above, and evidence of the grounds for the appeal. The letter must be received in the IAC office within 30 days of notification of the IAC grant award in question. If deemed viable, an appeals committee, appointed by the IAC Chair, will review all requests for appeal and make recommendations to the full Commission at its next business meeting. All decisions of the Commission are final and may not be appealed further.

Grantee Paperwork

What kind of paperwork do I have to complete to receive money from the State of Indiana?
Each grantee will receive a list of paperwork they are responsible for completing with their grant agreement. A Vendor Form must be completed and submitted with the grant contract for the IAC to process your contract for approval. Click here for more details on paperwork requirements.

Do I have to provide my Tax ID/FEIN?
Yes. All grantees must submit their tax identification information. We request this information in our Online Grants System. If you are selected as a grantee, you will also provide your Tax ID on the Vendor Form for registration as a vendor of the State. The Vendor Form is required by the State so payment can be made via direct deposit. The State of Indiana no longer issues payment by paper checks.  

Am I responsible for paying taxes on the money I receive?
Yes.  All grantees must claim the money as income on their taxes. Grantees will receive tax form 1099-M (MISC) from the State of Indiana at the end of each calendar year for monies received within that calendar year. Because the Indiana Arts Commission's fiscal year runs from July 1 - June 30, the first and final grant payments are generally made in 2 different calendar years, which means the full grant amount may not be claimed all at once.

Any questions regarding tax forms should be directed to the Office of the Auditor of the State at 317-232-3300.

Foreign (outside of Indiana) Corporations  
If a business is already incorporated in another state and is "doing business" in Indiana as defined by the Indiana Code, then it must obtain a Certificate of Authority from the Secretary of State to do business in Indiana as a foreign corporation. Form: Application for Certificate of Authority of A Foreign Corporation available from the Secretary of State, Fax-on-Demand System, or State Information Center. The form is available at http://www.in.gov/sos/business/2426.htm. More information can be found on the Indiana Secretary of the State website.

Grantee Project Changes

What if my grant project changes?
During the grant period and prior to making a change to the project, grantees must notify the IAC of any changes that may affect the funded project by contacting the program manager. If the change is a variance of 10% or more, a project modification will be requested. A change would include a budget variance of 10 percent or more in any line item, or 10 percent overall, or any changes from your original proposal regarding personnel, project dates (timeline), or scope of activities, etc. IAC program staff will provide details on how to submit a project modification and review the changes before giving written approval. Grantees may be required to return all or a portion of the grant money to the IAC if this procedure is not followed. Review your program guidelines or contact the IAC for more information on how to complete a project modification.

Grant Reports

All grantees are responsible for submitting a final report by the deadline date noted in the guidelines. Failure to submit a final report could result in grant funds being rescinded. Final reports are available in the IAC's online grant system unless the guidelines note otherwise.

Payments

Grant payments are made in two separate deposits. The first deposit is made up front after all grantee paperwork has been processed and the contract has been approved (This generally takes at least 60-90 days) and the second is made after the final report has been submitted and approved by the program manager. More information on the percentage of each distribution is available in the program guidelines.

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