Grant Evaluation Criteria

Dear Grant Applicants

In the FY2020 grant application cycle, the Newton Cultural Council will be using the form below to help refine our process of fund allocation.

This form is meant to help both you, the applicants, and us, the evaluators. We highly recommend you attempt to rate your own program before submitting your application. 

You will get a copy of this form as feedback when you receive the decision on your grant application.

This form is intended to help us to more precisely and objectively discern between various projects and allocate funds based on the priorities set out by the Newton Cultural Council.


NCC Grant Evaluation Form


PROJECT NAME: ______________________________


Application received by deadline        
Applicant resident of MA        
Dates of project fall within 18 mo from July this yr – Dec next yr        
Confirmed venue        
Accessible venue        
  Open to public          
  Programmatic non-discrimination          
        Public school program (if yes – disqualified)
          Request for food/beverages         (if yes – disqualified)
          Personal request for scholarship         (if yes – disqualified)
          Capital Improvement funding requested         (if yes – disqualified)


Stop here if the application has been disqualified due to one of the criteria above.


Please rate each of the following criteria as 1 (Marginal) 3 (Average) or 9 (significant) (feel free to rate each item individually for your own needs, and then give the majority rating as the global rating for each criterion



Review Criteria Score 1-3-9 Weighted Score
Artistic Merit/Quality and Creativity of the Project’s Design (30%)    
·       Is the background or the qualifications of the project lead suggest it will be of high quality or unique/enriching to the community?

·       Is the manner in which the application filled out thoughtful and complete?

·       Are there technical considerations that would impact quality (lighting design expertise, teaching materials, appropriate workshop space, etc)? Have these all been accounted for appropriately in the application?
·       Is the project interesting, innovative and/or particularly original?
Clarity & Feasibility of Budget, Timeline, Evaluation Plans (20%)    
·  Is there sufficient planning?  Does the timeline make sense to ensure quality in project implementation?    
·  Have the participants or intended audience been identified?
·  Have the date, time and venue been set for the project’s completion?  (or is the project already complete?) removed during COVID
·  Are contact names listed for any performances or showings in the area?
Financial Need (15%)    
·  Can the project be successful if only partially funded by NCC?    
·  Has the applicant leveraged additional funding resources
·  Will the project take place without council help? 
· Does a higher proportion of funding go to artist/material (vs. overhead/marketing)
·   Is there a budget and plan for marketing/publicity for any part of the project that is open to the public?
Community Support/Significance to Community Served (15%)    
·   Is the applicant a city/town resident? 
·  Does the project contribute to the cultural vitality and well-being of the community as a whole? 
·   Does the project address a community need?
·   Does the project play a unique role specific to the community?
·  Will the project benefit a significant enough proportion of residents to have an impact that feels valuable? 
Qualifications of Key Personnel (10%)    
·    Are the applicant’s /group’s and/or partner’s credentials satisfactory? (Qualifications are defined as: a previous track record of similar programming, training in the arts/humanities, on-the-ground work in the arts/humanities, or an alternative justification for the programming to be provided as part of the application)  If Org presents as non-profit, has a 990 been filed? Is there an internet presence?



Potential to involve, contribute to, and/or enrich an economically & culturally diverse/underserved population (10%)  
· Does it serve a particular segment of the community?  Does it benefit an underserved population? (i.e. cultural minority, identity, socio-economically challenged, racial minority, or other similar group)    
If this person applied and received an NCC grant in the past, did this person successfully complete the process? (yes/no)