The Impact Program is not accepting new applicants at this time.


April 2017: The Kenneth Rainin Foundation Arts program is embarking on a strategic planning process this year. In these uncertain times, we reaffirm our commitment to the Bay Area arts community. As such, we do not anticipate any major pivots from our priorities around new and experimental work, capacity support and permanent affordable art space. Read more in our Arts Blog: Arts Funding in Tumultuous Times.

Program Description & Guidelines

The Impact Grant Program provides multi-year capacity building support to small and mid-size dance, theater and multidisciplinary arts organizations that have received funding through the Foundation’s NEW Program, formerly the Visibility Awards. The goals of the program are to:

  • Create optimal conditions for art to be made
  • Strengthen individual theater, dance and multidisciplinary arts organizations
  • Strengthen the Bay Area performing arts ecosystem overall


Magic Theatre's The Lily's Revenge

Magic Theatre — “The Lily’s Revenge”
photo credit: Jose Guzman Colon

  • Program is open to past and current Kenneth Rainin Foundation grantees.
  • Organizations must have an annual operating budget between $75,000-$2 million.
  • The  Foundation makes grants to organizations that are exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code and are classified as “not a private foundation” under Section 509(a). The Foundation may upon occasion make grants to government and public agencies, as well as to independent projects that have a qualified tax-exempt fiscal sponsor.
  • If your organization is fiscally sponsored, and you are interested in participating in the Impact Grant program, please contact Foundation Program Staff.
  • Organizations must demonstrate financial health and readiness for capacity building work.
  • The grant program requires a commitment of at least three years of engagement.
  • Organizations may submit applications for either the Foundation’s Impact Grant Program, NEW Program or RENEW Program (by invitation). Applications will not be accepted from a single organization for more than one grant program within the same grant cycle.
  • Special Note: Once awarded an Impact Grant, organizations are ineligible to apply for either the Foundation’s NEW or RENEW Grant Programs during the three year Impact grant period.

Grant Program Details

“The Impact Grant provided stability for our small organization to weather an artistic leadership change, and it helped us experiment and grow our fundraising and marketing.”– Tiffany Cothran, Managing Director, Crowded Fire Theatre Company, Rainin Foundation Grantee
  • The Foundation will provide up to three years of support to build organizational capacity and program effectiveness to improve the health of emerging organizations, or help established groups in navigating critical organizational transitions. The program is not for organizations in crisis.
  • Recipients of the Impact Grant will engage in an organizational assessment process at the start of the funding cycle to determine program and capacity building needs.
  • Each organization will develop a tailored plan outlining programmatic and capacity building strategies, use of one-on-one coaching and outside expertise, and short and long-term outcomes.
  • Organizations will be awarded funds in the range of $25,000 – $50,000 per year. Annual funding amounts will be disbursed following capacity building planning and evaluation, and will be based on an organization’s annual operating budget and capacity building needs.
  • Grantees will participate in a schedule of convenings, technical assistance opportunities and peer exchanges.
  • An additional two years of general operating support is available to organizations that meet their capacity building goals.

Program Activities

The activities of the program include a carefully selected and prioritized combination of services that focus on each organization’s most urgent capacity needs. Some of these activities may include:

  • Organizational development
  • Strategic planning
  • Business and financial planning
  • Facilities planning
  • Leadership training
  • Board development
  • Fund development: grant writing and fundraising
  • Public relations and marketing
  • Technology and media
  • Collaborations/strategic restructuring/innovative business models
  • Legal consultation

The methods employed through the program to implement the activities include:

Crowded Fire's The Bereaved photo credit: Pak Han

Crowded Fire — “The Bereaved”
photo credit: Pak Han

  • Coaching
  • Consulting
  • Convenings*
  • Peer exchanges
  • Publications and research
  • Referrals
  • Trainings/education

Impact grantees will have access to:

  • Financial resources to support:
    • Fees for consultants and coaches
    • Fees for capacity building implementation
    • Matching grant opportunities for fund development
    • Administrative operating support (if needed)
  • Community resource referrals
    • Peer-to-peer learning
    • Networking opportunities
    • Qualified technical assistance providers, coaches and consultants

Please note that the Foundation does not fund:

  • Direct assistance to individuals or individual sponsorships
  • Capital campaign requests
  • Non-profit entities not located and operating primarily in the Bay Area (except for medical research)
  • Start-up organizations
  • Sports, athletic events or league sponsorships
  • Advertising or promotional sponsorships
  • Deficits or retroactive funding
  • Fraternal organizations
  • Organizations that discriminate based on religion, race, sexual orientation or gender

Application Process

Please direct questions to Arts Program Staff.

Impact Grants LOI