Professional Development Grants for Organizations

This program has been suspended for 2016-17 due to lack of funds.
We hope to offer it again in the future. 

Professional Development Grants is a capacity-building program supporting the governance, leadership, technology and professional development needs of non-profit arts and culture organizations based in Hillsborough County. Applicants are encouraged to make a long-term commitment to continuous improvement and to develop skills that result in benefits not only to the organization, but to the larger arts community. See the program guidelines for details on eligibility, funding restrictions and grantee obligations.


The Arts Council accepts applications in the following categories:

Broadening operational capacity (up to $4,000)

When an organization finds itself in a situation where expansion of existing capacity is necessary to improve efficiencies or continued growth, the Arts Council provides funding to obtain resources or expertise to guide and implement operational upgrades. Applications should be clear about long-term maintenance when presenting first time activity For example, expenses related to an upgrade of technology to launch a donor relations management system for the organization or consultant services to implement an online volunteer engagement program would be eligible under this category.

Strengthening governance and leadership (up to $4,000)

Healthy organizations are vital to the stability of the arts and cultural community. The Arts Council recognizes that smaller organizations may lack the resources required to continue growth and evolution through the strengthening of infrastructure. Applications should include long-term benefits and maintenance. Examples of eligible activity include expenses related to a board retreat, strategic or long-term planning or an external financial audit, compilation or review.

Supporting professional development (up to $2,000)

The ability to continue enhancing the skills of staff members is integral to the growth of an organization.  Small grants to offset the costs of professional development opportunities for organizational staff will be accepted. For example, traditional business skill seminars or discipline-specific conferences would be eligible for support under this category.


The first application deadline is Feb. 1, 2016 and the first Monday of the month and thereafter until funding is exhausted. Applications with accompanying support materials are due by 5:00 pm on the first Monday of every month for projects/requests occurring after the 1st of the following month. Projects must end 90 days from that date.

  • Feb. 1 application deadline for requests occurring March 1-May 31.
  • March 7 application deadline for requests occurring April 1-June 30.
  • April 4 application deadline for requests occurring May 1-July 31.
  • May 2 application deadline for requests occurring June 1-Aug. 31.

Upon request, Arts Council staff will review and evaluate draft applications up to one (1) week before the grant application deadline. Review requests must be received via email by 5:00 pm, no later than one (1) week before the grant application deadline.


2016 PD Guidelines (pdf)

2016 PD Grant Application (Word doc)

2016 PD Final Report (Word doc)