Eligibility Requirements for National Service Organizations

To be eligible, the applicant organization must:

  • Meet the National Endowment for the Arts’ "Legal Requirements" including nonprofit, tax-exempt status at the time of application. All organizations must apply directly on their own behalf. Applications through a fiscal sponsor/agent are not allowed. See more information on fiscal sponsors/agents.
  • Prior to the application deadline, have a three-year history of arts programming as a membership organization serving state arts agencies and regional arts organizations. For the purpose of defining eligibility, "three-year history" refers to when an organization began its programming and not when it incorporated or received nonprofit, tax-exempt status.

An organization whose primary purpose is to channel resources (financial, human, or other) to an affiliated organization may only apply if the affiliated organization does not submit its own application. This prohibition applies even if each organization has its own 501(c)(3) status. For example, the "Friends of ABC Museum" may not apply if the ABC Museum applies.

All applicants must have a UEI number, be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM,, and maintain an active SAM registration until the application process is complete, and should a grant be made, throughout the life of the award.