FAQs

Am I eligible?

Applicant must be an arts and cultural 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization or be fiscally sponsored by one. The loan fund supports a range of art disciplines, including: arts education, dance, folk and traditional arts, literary arts, media arts, multidisciplinary, museums, music, musical theater, opera, presenting, theater, and visual arts.

 What is the interest rate? Are there fees to apply?

The interest rate is below market and we have no processing or application fees.

How often are applications reviewed?

The application process runs in six-week cycles. From the close of each cycle, it takes about four weeks to review and make a decision.

Where does the money come from?

The Arts Loan Fund is composed of and funded by Bay Area Arts funders (see list here).
Approved loans are administered by Northern California Grantmakers, which manages the funds.

What are the risks and what am I responsible for?

All applicants must be able to prove their organization’s ability to pay back the loan. This could be from a confirmed grant award, an upcoming performance, or fundraiser. If a borrower is unable to pay back the loan on time, they must submit a request for an extension, stating the reason why and suggest a new re-payment plan.

What happens if I’m late in making a payment?

The loan falls into default and a 2% penalty on the remaining balance is assessed on the loan if not repaid on the final due date.

I’m concerned about funders looking at my financials, could this affect my chances for receiving a grant? 

Funders understand that keeping positive cash-flow can be especially hard for small to medium arts organizations. Borrowing from the ALF is favorable to credit cards or loans from board members and is a proactive way to manage cash-flow. The ALF consists of steering committee members who want to see arts organizations succeed in the region.

What are the types of loans? How do I know which one to apply for?

The loan products are listed on the ALF website. ALF consultant, Margaret Southerland at margaret@padmaconsulting.com provides free assistance to help you identify the right loan product.

What happens after I apply?

Once you have submitted an application, we’ll promptly contact you to set up an hour-long call to further discuss your request and review your organization’s financial status. The application will then be reviewed by committee members of the Arts Loan Fund. NCG staff will contact you within 48 hours once a decision is made.