SMAC Operating Support Grants & The Cultural Data Project

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Beginning July 1, 2015, arts organizations applying for SMAC Operating Support grants will be required to complete Cultural Data Project (CDP) profiles in order to submit a CDP funder report as part of the application process.


What is the Cultural Data Project (CDP)?

cdplogo“The CDP was first launched in Pennsylvania in 2004 as a statewide, web-based data collection system for nonprofit arts and cultural organizations. Based on the success in Pennsylvania, additional states became interested in adopting the CDP. Minnesota joined the project in 2012. Today, the CDP is operating in more than a dozen states, and is the emerging national model for data collection for the arts and cultural sector. Organizations, grantmakers, and researchers alike will have access to the best data available, as reported by the organizations themselves.” — CDP Website


How will SMAC be using the information you enter into CDP?

Applicants will complete their free CDP profiles and submit funder reports to SMAC in mid-August prior to their official applications in October. This information will allow SMAC to determine the amount an organization may request before they begin work on their grant budget. In the final application, this report will also take the place of the two-year financial statement that organizations were previously required to submit.

Arts organizations applying for any other SMAC grants may also submit a CDP funder report instead of a financial statement.


How will filling out a CDP profile benefit your organization?

In addition to enabling you to apply for SMAC Operating Support grants, CDP can be a helpful tool for your organization.

  • Completing a CDP profile every year gives you a picture of your organization over time and allows you to easily produce a variety of reports to use in your own planning and in conversations with your stakeholders.
  • After filling out a CDP profile, you’ll be able to compare your organization to others around the state and the country. For instance, you could find out how many volunteers other organizations of your budget size had last year.
  • The information you provide to CDP is a helpful tool for Minnesota organizations that advocate for the arts. The recent Creative Minnesota Report, which showed how much impact the arts have on our local economies, drew from information in CDP, and Minnesota Citizens for the Arts uses CDP data when they lobby for the arts at the State Capitol. The more arts organizations participating, the better!


Hands-On CDP Workshops

SMAC will be providing workshops throughout the region in June and/or July to help arts organizations fill out their CDP profiles. Organizations will bring the necessary information about their finances, programs, and other operations, and SMAC staff will walk them through the process and be available for questions while organizations fill out their profiles.

If your organization would like to participate in one of these sessions, contact the SMAC office at 507-537-1471 or by May 29.   Dates, times, and locations will be scheduled after we hear from interested organizations.

General workshops about the Operating Support program will be held in late July. Watch for communication from SMAC for more details.


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