FAQ

Sustaining Tulsa’s thriving non-profit arts community through united fundraising and support.

Arts Alliance Tulsa (AAT) is the only non-profit organization in northeast Oklahoma to provide critical supplemental operating funds to advance and strengthen arts and culture in our city.  Like the United Way, AAT offers a unique opportunity for individuals and corporations to impact 40 local and diverse non-profit arts and cultural institutions with ONE contribution.

 

Severe cuts in public funding at the federal and state levels continue to be made negatively impacting local non-profit arts groups, and especially affecting the fine arts programs in public schools. In the past decade, state appropriations to the Oklahoma Arts Council have been cut by 46%.  Recognizing the critical importance of arts education, many local arts organizations have sought to bridge this growing gap with expanded educational programs for children even while struggling to keep their own doors open and lights on.  With the help of Arts Alliance Tulsa, operational support to our member organizations in the form of funding, marketing, data collection and advocacy is part of our unwavering commitment to supplement their resources,  strengthen their infrastructure and ensure their future success.

Arts organizations supported by a united arts funds  have more revenue and twice the net worth of their counterparts in non-arts fund cities.

More than any other sector the arts genuinely support and collaborate with each other in a shared passion. As a member of Arts Alliance Tulsa, organizations are required to meet certain fiduciary and organizational criteria to provide accountability to our donors.  In return, aside from the additional funding, member groups enjoy a valuable platform for building partnerships, sharing ideas and increasing visibility as we work in harmony to reflect, represent and engage the entire Tulsa community.

In its first 3 years, AAT has already awarded more than $1.5 million in unrestricted grants to  supplement the operation of its 40 member organizations. In addition, Arts Alliance Tulsa

  • generates market awareness to introduce new audiences and grow arts attendance;
  • promotes a greater understanding of the economic and social impact of the arts;
  • advocates for equitable and inclusive access to the arts for all Tulsa citizens;
  • advances the importance of the arts in helping children succeed in school and beyond;
  • champions the belief that arts and culture inspire, empower and transform individuals and communities.

Founded in 2015, Arts Alliance Tulsa is the newest of 40 “united arts funds” currently operating in the United States.  A 2003 study by the Urban Institute for Americans for the Artssuggests that those cities with united arts funds have stronger arts organizations than those without. Researchers found that those art organizations supported by a united arts fund had more revenue and twice the net worth of their counterparts in non-arts fund cities.

One gift helps support up to 40 arts organizations! Never stop giving to your passion projects, but this is a great way to support many others important organizations that add to our cultural tapestry.

Before applications are presented to a board-appointed membership and allocation committee, any interested organization must meet the following criteria.

Grant Eligibility Criteria

  • Only EITHER non-profit arts, history, or culture organizations with 501(c)(3) state and federal tax-exempt status operating within the City of Tulsa, that have arts, history, or culture as its primary purpose and that provide those services and programs of significant quality and impact for the general public may apply.
  • Organizations must have completed three full years of continuous operation (application deadline must be at least two years from the date of 501(c)(3) determination).
  • Organization’s activities must be open and accessible to the general public.
  • Organization must be located in, serve, and benefit the City of Tulsa.
  • Organization’s mission must have arts, history, and/or culture as its primary purpose.
  • Organization must have an active board of directors.
  • Organization must have a well-defined annual operating plan and budget and provide any strategic or long-range plan.
  • Organization must have non-discrimination, conflict of interest, and accessibility policies.
  • No fees are charge to any organization applying for an annual grant.

Each organizations must apply every year to be an AAT member. (Within the application, data is also gathered that will allow AAT to begin tracking the true impact of arts on our city, from organizational budgets to economic impact within our city;  the number people served by each organization;  demographics served and numbers of employees.  This will allow us to track our growth, strengths, and weaknesses.)

No organization is “grandfathered” in, so the answer is yes. The number may change if eligibility requirements are not met, if organizations merge, or if less than 40 organizations (our cap) apply.

~Each year new applications are issued and organizations can apply. This will allow us to determine if all organizations are following best business practices and give us the data we need to further support the arts.

It is the job of Arts Alliance Tulsa to vet our organizations so our supporters can feel confident in their donation.

In order for our supporters to feel confident in making an investment in Arts Alliance Tulsa, AAT collects data and verifies that best business practices are followed by our member organizations. A select sub-committee of AAT’s board of directors reviews the applications then selects the most balanced group of grantees possible by using some of the following considerations:

  • What is considered?
    -Does the org meet all eligibility requirements?
    -Do they support art in areas that are unique or in underserved communities?
    -What is the economic impact of this org. on the community at large?
    -What is the reach of the the org. within the community?
    -What educational opportunities do they offer and what is the reach (Numbers participating)?
    -All demographic information is noted.
    -If a returning org,. how did you work with AAT toward a successful campaign result? Were you an active participant?
    -If a returning org., how was your grant used to further your org.?
    -How is the org. working to further itself?
    -Is the org. sustainable?
    -What final combination of orgs. creates the best possible mix of visual arts, performing arts, demographical diversity, uniqueness, impact and positioning of Tulsa within the region.

Annual grant allocations are awarded according to each organization’s previous overall fundraising results.

No. Both organizations are structured similarly.  We both make it possible for a single donations to benefit many non-profit organizations ; but Arts Alliance Tulsa supports Arts and Culture in Tulsa.

We keep dialogue and relationships with the United Way open and aim our campaign to start after United Way has finished theirs. We believe in the importance of both entities and will continue to encourage their efforts in our community.

None of our arts organizations receive funding from The United Way.

Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa is a vital organization for our city which assists many new organizations seeking a path to non-profit status along with a host of educational programming and services. Where the difference lies is in the fact that it does not fundraise or distribute grants for, or to, Tulsa-area arts organizations. They are eligible to apply for an annual grant from AAT and be an Alliance Member.