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Seth Eisen | Shaping San Francisco

Most Popular Questions: Getting Started

How much can be requested?

Creative Work Fund grants range in amount from $15,000 to $45,000.

Where's the online proposal form?

It’s in to the grantseeker portal of the Walter and Elise Haas Fund:

How do I register at the grantseeker portal?

Complete the artist or the organizational eligibility quiz to request your grantseeker credentials. .

I'm a lead artist registering at the grantseeker portal. Where do I specify that I'm a lead artist?

Enter “Lead Artist” in the Title field under Personal Contact Information.

I'm a lead artist registering at the grantseeker portal. I don't have a collaborating organization yet. What do I do?

Register anyway. We can associate you with your collaborating organization once you have that information in hand. However, you will need that information before you can complete a letter of inquiry.

I registered as a lead artist and now I need to associate myself with my collaborating organization. How do I do that?

Two steps.




  1. Talk to your collaborating organization contacts to confirm they already have a grantseeker account with us. If they don’t, they may complete the organizational eligibility quiz to request an account.
  2. Once your collaborators have grantseeker accounts, email us with their contact and organization information.

We will connect your account to the collaborating organization and send an update to all.

I registered, but I don't remember my user name and/or password.

About the Letter of Inquiry

I’m an artist working on a project idea of my own, but a friend who is applying with a group of artists asked if I would be part of their project, too. Would that jeopardize my own letter of inquiry?

It is fine for you to participate in both projects as long as you are not the “lead artist” for more than one of them.  However, the Fund tries to support a range of projects and artists; the two projects will be competing against each other; and in a “close call” it might influence a decision.

Do we need to have the exhibition or public space for presenting the finished work fully confirmed before submitting the LOI?

You don’t need to have the site confirmed though you should identify some options that seem plausible.

Could a partnering organization and artist include other organizations in the project?

Yes. Only one organization may be the applicant entity, but another organization may be involved.

What if the organization I want to work with is national or statewide?

That is fine if it has a local office and staff with whom you can collaborate.

What if I want to work with a new organization that does not yet have its 501 (c)(3) nonprofit status?

You may use a fiscal sponsor.  If you choose to do so, the Creative Work Fund will assess the financial stability and organizational reliability of the fiscal sponsor and will evaluate the genuineness of the collaborative partnership between the applying artist and the organization that does not yet have nonprofit status.

I am part of a collective whose members regularly make work together. We have no “leader.” May we apply as a group?

Your group may apply for a collaboration with a nonprofit organization.  One member of the group will need to put his or her name forward as the “lead artist” on behalf of everyone.  For example, Taen Linh Saelee served as lead artist on behalf of the Mien Needlework Group, which collaborated with Asian Community Mental Health Services to create traditional Mien wedding costumes.

I want to collaborate with an organization that previously presented my work or hired me to lead a workshop. Would that be acceptable?

Yes, that would be fine.  A lead artist may not be an employee or a board member of the organization with which he or she is collaborating.  However, having occasionally done a project with or volunteered for the organization is fine.  If you have questions about your eligibility, call the Creative Work Fund.

How should I incorporate my project budget in the letter of inquiry?

Use the Summary Budget form that follows the Narrative section of the LOI.

We encourage applicants to summarize their major sources of income and major costs in 8-12 lines. The readers will want to know that the project budget is feasible and that the project partners are planning to spend two-thirds of the funds on artists’ fees and artists’ direct expenses.

Watch this project budget tutorial on Vimeo.

Most Popular Questions: Grantseeker Portal (For Invited Finalists, Not LOI  Applicants)

I need to upload a manuscript work sample. Where do I do that?

Click the green plus sign in the Request Attachments box. It’s on the right in the grey header of the box. Follow the prompts to select your file, tag it as a “Manuscript” in the drop down box, and upload.

I want to upload an updated artist resume (or project budget, or board roster, etc.) How do I delete the old one?

We don’t permit applicants to delete uploaded materials, but not to worry. If you upload an updated attachment, we’ll only use the most recent one.

When I’m in the grantseeker portal, sometimes the screen tells me there is “1 update available.” What does that mean?

It’s harmless. Our system is alerting you whenever a change has been made to your requests, documents or information there. You can click the“update available” badge to refresh your screen.

I have 20 images for my work sample. Do I upload them all?

You are welcome to. However, for convenience you might consider placing all 20 images in a folder on the web. Cut and paste the link to that folder into your CWF proposal.

If your folder is hosted by a storage service (such as Google Drive, Box, or Dropbox), share the folder per the instructions of your storage provider. Cut and paste the link to the shared folder into your CWF proposal.



About the Creative Work Fund Program

What's the next area of focus for the Creative Work Fund?
The Fund is inviting artists working in all genres and disciplines to apply for its January 22, 2021 letter of inquiry deadline.
Does the Creative Work Fund require matching funds?
No, the Creative Work Fund does not mind being a project’s only source of support. It also does not mind project budgets that are higher than $45,000 as long as the project partners have reasonable plans for raising the balance of funds needed.
Will my proposal be more competitive if I ask for less than $45,000?
Not necessarily.  Project budgets should be reasonable and well-considered.  It’s just as much of a disadvantage to request a grant that appears to be too low to meet your goals as it would be to request a grant that appears higher than is reasonable to complete your project plan.
Can my fiscal sponsor be part of more than one project?
Yes, a fiscal sponsor may be part of an unlimited number of projects.[/expand
I want to apply with an organization that received a Creative Work Fund grant in the past. Is it eligible?
Organizations and artists that received grants in 2017 or earlier are eligible to apply if they have completed their projects and submitted their final reports.
How competitive is the application process?
The Fund likely will receive 150 letters of inquiry from which it will invite 45 full proposals. An estimated 15 grants will be awarded.
What portion of the budget should support artists’ fees?
A minimum of two-thirds of the project budget must be dedicated to paying the artists or covering their direct expenses for creating the work.
Our lead artist is not a native speaker of English. I am afraid that our artist would not be able to complete a final report.

A lead artist may substitute a conversation with the Creative Work Fund director (with an interpreter) if that would be a better method of reporting on the project.

I have a question I don't see here.

Email us or call 415-402-2793.