CNY Arts, Inc.


Grants Glossary

Terms and Definitions

accumulated deficit
Net loss carried forward from year to year.  Also known as retained losses, accumulated losses

accumulated surplus
Surplus profits retained as a reserve for an organization and accumulated from year to year.  Also known as retained earnings, accumulated earnings, accumulated income 

administrative personnel expense
Total cash payments for employee salaries, wages, and benefits for the executive and supervisory administrative staff, such as program directors, business managers, and press agents; clerical staff such as secretaries, bookkeepers; and supportive personnel such as maintenance employees, security staff, ushers and box office personnel.

Revenue derived from the sale of admission, tickets, subscriptions, memberships, etc., for events for an organization or project.

The legal name of the applicant as it appears on legal documents

applicant cash (a.k.a. out of pocket)
Funds from applicant’s present or anticipated cash resources that applicant plans to allocate to the project or general fund. Documentation in the form of accounting records, receipts and invoices for such allocations must augment fiscal records and are subject to audit.

applicant match (a.k.a. matching requirement)
Amount of proposal expenses that applicant plans to fund from non-CNY Arts sources. This amount must equal at least the Required Match ratio listed in the guidelines for the application category selected.

application category
CNY Arts grant category of funding (i.e. General Operating Support, Community Arts, Individual Artist)

artistic personnel expense
Total cash payments for employee salaries, wages, and benefits for artistic directors, directors, conductors, curators, dance masters, composers, choreographers, designers, filmmakers, writers and other artists, etc.

capital campaign
Money that is raised to acquire or improve a physical asset. The most common use of a capital campaign is for the purchase, construction, or renovation of a building (commonly referred to as “bricks and mortar”).

capital expenditures
Expenses for purchase of buildings or real estate, renovations or improvements involving structural change, payments for roads, driveways, or parking lots, permanent and generally immobile equipment such as grid systems or central air conditioning, etc. Capital expenditures may be used only as part of cash match.

cash reserve
Cash retained by a business that is beyond its immediate needs.  May be in the form of cash or short-term assets such as treasury bills and certificates of deposits.

Application must be signed by the authorized official of organization, and of the Fiscal Unit/Agent if applicable, or the individual artist applicant in order to certify veracity of application.

community-based partner/community partner
For programs where only organizations may apply. If an applicant does not have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS, they may be the applicant of record (and receive funds directly) as long as an eligible 501(c)(3) organization is a community-based partnering supporting the project in some capacity. A written letter of agreement, signed by both the applicant and community-based partner, outlining the relationship and responsibilities must be included as part of the application materials.

contracted services revenue
Income earned by providing contractual services to clients or other organizations.

Cash support derived from contributions by businesses, corporations, and corporate foundations.

decentralization (DEC)
Often referred to as DEC (pronounced deck), the decentralization program is a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts (see NYSCA) administered in all 62 NYS counties. CNY Arts administers the program in Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, and Oswego counties. More information about the statewide program here. 

A fund that is made up of gifts that are subject to a requirement that the principal be maintained intact and invested to create a source of income for an organization.

facilities reserve
Funds set aside or retained by a business to assist in the funding of facilities-related projects. May also be in the form of a building fund.

fiscal sponsor / fiscal agent
For programs where only organizations may apply. If an applicant does not have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS, a fiscal sponsor with such status must be used. A written letter of agreement, signed by both the applicant and fiscal sponsor, outlining the relationship and responsibilities must be included as part of the application materials.

Cash support derived from grants given by private foundations.

government support/grants
Appropriations given for project or operations of an organization by governmental agencies, or the proportionate share of such moneys, allocated to the project or organization.

Items or services for which a fee would normally be paid, provided to the applicant at no cash cost. To be considered in-kind, donated goods/services must be necessary to the organization or project, i.e., these goods/services would be purchased if not donated. Professional services must be donated by a professional working in that profession and valued on the provider’s professional rate.  Refer to specific program guidelines as some programs do not allow in-kind contributions.

All cash expenses for marketing/publicity/promotion. Do not include payments which belong under “personnel” or “outside fees & services.” Include costs of advertising, printing and mailing of brochures, flyers, posters, and food, drink, and space rental when directly connected to marketing. For fundraising expenses, see “remaining operating expenses”.

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)
The NEA is the federal arts agency that provides grants and subgrants across the country. More information about the NEA can be found at

New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA)
Often referred to as NYSCA. NYSCA is the state arts agency that makes grants across New York State and contracts with CNY Arts to provide subgranting or regranting services such as Decentralization regrants or administer statewide regrants such as State & Local Partnerships Technical Assistance or Museums Professional Development Scholarships. More information about NYSCA can be found at 

operational support
Pertaining to the general operations of an organization and not a specific project.

organization profile
Form which requests information about an organization’s mission, constituency, staff/board, and facilities. An applicant’s profile may be updated as needed.

out of pocket
See “applicant cash” (above).

outside fees & services
Total cash payments for the services of individuals who are not normally considered employees of the applicant, but are consultants or employees of other organizations. This includes artistic fees for artists serving in non-employee/non-staff capacities.

primary project discipline
The primary artistic discipline (dance, visual, literary, etc.) of the project or program for which you are requesting funding. This may be different from the applicant’s primary artistic discipline.

private support
General description of funding allocated from private sector sources such as corporations, foundations and individuals.

project activity type
The type of activity for which you are requesting grant support.

project support
Funding for a specific, time- or scope-limited arts activity.

project title
A one-line description of your proposed activity. The project title helps distinguish one application from another, especially when you have applied for multiple grants over time.

proposal information
All the specific information of the project or operational support request including a concise, yet thorough outline of the application narrative.

remaining operating expenses
Includes all cash expenses not listed in other categories and specifically identified with the project. Examples include scripts and scores, lumber and nails, electricity, telephone and telegraph, storage, postage, interest charges, sets and props, equipment rental, insurance fees, fundraising expenses, etc.

Amount of CNY Arts funding for which applicant is applying.

room occupancy tax (ROT)
A hotel tax or lodging tax is charged in most of the United States to travelers when they rent accommodations in a hotel, inn, tourist home or house, motel, or other lodging, generally unless the stay is for a period of 30 days or more.

space rental
Total cash payments for rental of office space, rehearsal space, theatre, gallery, etc.

When an organization receives funds for the express purpose of re-granting them to other organizations and artists. CNY Arts is a regranting agency that regrants New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and Onondaga County funding to eligible arts organizations and individual artists. 

supplies and materials
Total cash payments for items necessary for completion of the project, such as paper, canvas, paint, clay, lumber and nails, photographic supplies, scripts and scores, etc. Itemize these expenses according to the grant guidelines.

support materials
Materials that support your grant proposal, such as work samples or letters of recommendation, to be included with your application. Information on what to submit and in what format is detailed in the guidelines for grants that require or suggest submitting support materials. General guidance is also offered on our Support Materials page.

technical/production personnel expense
Total cash payments for employee salaries, wages, and benefits for technical management and staff, such as technical director; wardrobe, lighting and sound crew; stage manager, stagehands; video/film technicians; exhibit preparers and installers.

Include fares, hotel and other lodging expenses, food, taxis, gratuities, per diem payments, toll charges, mileage, allowances on personal vehicles, car rentals, etc. For transportation not connected with the travel of personnel, such as trucking, shipping, or hauling expenses, include in “remaining operating expenses”.