THRIVE! Uplifting Theatres of Color - FAQs

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Doris Duke Charitable Foundations' logo and TCG's logo
This grant program is being offered with generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child abuse, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. For more information, you can visit


Why are funds distributed with 30% to Indigenous theatres, 20% to Black theatres and 50% to all other Theatres of Color?

From the founding of the US, each generation of Indigenous and Black communities have been cruelly impacted by the twin traumas of stolen land and enslavement. These cruelties have evolved into the massive injustices witnessed in all facets of life in the US. According to the Bush Foundation, median white household wealth was nearly eight times that of median Black household wealth in 2019 and nearly thirteen times that of median Indigenous household wealth as of 2000 (the last year for which data is available).

There is strong evidence that injustice has been pervasive in the philanthropic sector as mentioned in the “What are the facts about funding for BITOC?” section above. In addition, The First Nations Development Institute examined support given to Native American organizations and causes from 2006 to 2014 and found that the total grant dollars awarded declined by 29%, a $35 million drop in funding.

THRIVE!’s distribution percentages were jointly created with the Advisory CIrcle. They are designed as one way to combat this erasure and to support a more vibrant theatre ecosystem.

My theatre serves more than one community of color. Where can we note that for the selection panel?

The program recognizes that some theatres may be connecting with and creating programming for multiple communities of color. There is a question on the application form where you will be able to detail your chosen communities. If you are serving multiple communities of color, and not solely focused on the Indigenous or Black community, your application will be considered in the group of applicants receiving 50% of the grant funds. 

My theatre plans to apply for both RESPOND and RECOGNIZE. Can I apply for both with a single application?

These two categories are very different types of grants with different processes and require separate applications. RESPOND is meant to be a very rapid process with a shorter application form that can be completed quickly with minimal attachments and funds will be disbursed in one payment approximately two weeks from submission. RECOGNIZE, with a larger grant amount and the REBUILD component, asks narrative questions and some financial information to help the selection panel with their evaluation. However, if you are applying for both grant categories, the same Statements of Support and Impact may be used.

How do I show in-kind support on our application?

THRIVE! recognizes and values the cultural wealth, community assets, and relationships that have historically been structural strengths of BITOC. RECOGNIZE applicants will have an opportunity to include in-kind contributions, as well as earned and contributed income in the Fiscal Information section on the application form. In-kind support may include use of space, equipment, supplies or meals. Applicants will be asked to provide a best estimate of the value of all in-kind contributions. 

Many of our artists and staff are volunteers. How do we calculate that in dollars and include it in our operating budget?

You can consider all unpaid labor as in-kind donations and include it in your in-kind revenue and expenses on the application form. RECOGNIZE applicants will be asked to show a reasonable hourly rate for compensation no less than the federal minimum wage and describe this in the Fiscal Information section on the application form. Keep in mind that for RECOGNIZE part of the selection criteria is “A commitment to artist compensation”.

We don’t have a formal audit or extensive records of our expenses and income. Are we still eligible?

Formal audits are not a requirement and you can provide a Form 990 filed with the IRS. The e-postcard will not be accepted. RESPOND applicants will be asked for a minimal amount of documentation, which may include but not limited to, bank statements, payroll documentation, Profit & Loss statement, and a balance sheet. RECOGNIZE applicants are asked to provide the total income and revenue for the current and previous year. Try to build a realistic budget based on best estimates of your operating budget that are in line with your local standards for comparable goods and services.

Due to COVID our 2019, 2020 and 2021 expenses and revenue are very different from our typical operations. How can we explain this?

The application form for each grant category includes a section to provide context for how the pandemic affected your budget numbers and how your pandemic year budgets compare to previous years. If there was no programming during these years, you will be able to include figures from 2018.

Where can we find resources about fiscal sponsorship for arts organizations?

If you are unsure about where to find a fiscal sponsor, you might first try conferring with some trusted community foundations or capacity building organizations in your city or state. You can also check out the Fiscal Sponsorship Directory, which allows you to search for fiscal sponsors by state and city.

Some fiscal sponsors that work with individual artists and arts organizations include Fractured Atlas, The Field, NY Live Arts, Fresh Arts.

Our group doesn’t have tax-exempt status. How will payment be made?

If you do not have tax-exempt status, either through your own 501(c)(3) or through a fiscal sponsor, the payment will be treated as a grant to an individual,  the lead contact named on the application form. The  lead contact will need to declare the funds as taxable income. For tax purposes, TCG will issue a 1099 to the lead contact and will not withhold taxes. We recommend that grantees without tax-exempt status seek the advice of an accountant experienced in working with artists and windfall payments.

Is TCG a foundation?

TCG is a not-for-profit service organization that functions as an intermediary between funding partners and the theatre field. TCG is not a foundation but rather a regranting organization that receives funds from outside sources to create and administer grant programs addressing field needs. See TCG website for information about TCG’s other programs and services.

Our organization doesn't have a Board of Directors, but has a different form of a governing body. Can we submit their information in lieu of a Board of Directors?

We recognize that a Board of Directors can take different shapes and names such as a Steering Committee. Some theatre organizations may not even have one if they’re not yet incorporated. You can submit information of those serving on your governing body in lieu of a traditional Board of Directors.