Voluntary Arts Contribution Fund

Whether it’s a decision to add a little extra to your property tax bill by using the coupon in your homeowner’s tax bill or making a donation online, everyone can make a difference for San Francisco’s nonprofit arts organizations.

The City’s Voluntary Arts Contribution Fund (VACF) is one of the most cost-effective ways for property owners and other individuals to support the arts. The VACF is unique because 100% of all funds donated by taxpayers and others are passed directly onto the City’s arts and cultural neighborhood groups. Contributions support the very organizations that make the City a wonderful place to live.

VACF funds come to the rescue when groups urgently need equipment or find themselves with emergency expenditures such as the need for safety hardware, new exit signs, wheelchair ramps, special security lighting, etc. In addition to making repairs, the fund can also help the audience experience a more technically exciting show.

Established by the Board of Supervisors in 1984, the VACF allows San Francisco property tax payers to add a contribution to their annual tax bill, or anyone at all to make a donation online, in benefit of the arts. Close to a million dollars has been collected and distributed directly to arts organizations since the fund’s inception. An innovative collaboration among the Tax Collector’s Office, the Board of Supervisors and Grants for the Arts, this program aims to provide an efficient and effective way for citizens to contribute to the City’s cultural activities.

“The term ‘only in San Francisco often is used to identify a silly person or dumb event that any other U.S. city would be ashamed to claim as its own. Sometimes though, ‘only in San Francisco’ connotes a unique winner. Such is the case with a modest program called the Voluntary Arts Contribution Fund. The organization makes it easy for ordinary property owners to become angels to struggling arts organizations, neighborhood centers and schools.”
— Stephanie Salter, San Francisco Examiner

“The city of San Francisco makes it easy for homeowners to support art groups.”
— Jon Carroll, San Francisco Chronicle

“The Voluntary Arts Contribution Fund has made a tremendous impact on LEVYdance’s ability to better serve our community. The grant has allowed the company to upgrade LEVYstudio to ADA standards, making our dance studio accessible to artists with and without disabilities, refinish our floors and paint our walls to provide a welcoming and clean environment to people of various ages who gather at LEVYstudio for classes and rehearsals ranging from Bay Area Flash Mob, Tango, Zumba, Salsa, and Lightsaber combat. VACF has also allowed LEVYdance to upgrade its sound and theatrical lighting, providing a venue for informal showings for emerging artists of varying disciplines. LEVYdance’s quarterly Salon provides artists free rehearsal space to create new work they can present during a casual performance during which the audience can enjoy wine, beer, snacks, and a post-performance dance party. These are all resources our company can provide thanks to the generous support of VACF.”
—Benjamin Levy, LEVYdance & LEVYstudio

To learn more about the application process, please click here.

To see a list of the most recent VACF grantees, please click here.

Not a San Francisco property tax owner, but still looking to contribute?
No problem! Contributions to the VACF can be made online or by check to:

Voluntary Arts Contribution Fund
c/o Grants for the Arts
401 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 321
San Francisco, CA 94102

Please make check payable to VACF. For a list of current VACF donors who generously contributed $100 or more, click here.

Creative Capacity Fund

The Creative Capacity Fund (CCF) Quick Grant Program provides reimbursement funds to nonprofit organizations, arts administrators and individual artists in the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles to enroll in workshops, attend conferences, and to work with consultants and coaches to build administrative and business skills and strengthen the economic sustainability of an organization or arts practice.

Grants for the Arts and the San Francisco Arts Commission, working in partnership with the Center for Cultural Innovation, launched CCF in 2009. The first joint initiative of the City’s two arts agencies quickly expanded to include a state-wide consortium of arts funders who are committed to strengthening California’s creative community by providing professional development opportunities.

For more information on the Creative Capacity Fund, including guidelines, applications, and information on available workshops and service providers, visit creativecapacityfund.org.

San Francisco Neighborhood Arts Collaborative

The San Francisco Neighborhood Arts Collaborative is a joint project of Grants for the Arts, the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Mayor’s Community Challenge Grant Program, the Mayor’s Office of Economic and WorkForce Development and the Department of Children, Youth & Their Families.

This program was developed to provide funding for collaborative arts activities that take place within the geographic boundaries designated in each cycle. The multi-agency effort supports arts activities within some of San Francisco’s diverse neighborhoods to promote the arts, businesses, schools, social service and other nonprofits located in close proximity to each other, and encourages the development of mutually beneficial relationships among community stakeholders.

Up to $25,000 per collaboration is available for distribution in the form of grants and promotional support. Grants should be used to develop or further existing collaborative efforts with the aim of promoting and improving the specific neighborhoods through arts based activities and programs, as opposed to supporting the work of any one organization or entity. Such activities could include, but are not limited to:

  • Performing or visual arts programming
  • Cultural tours
  • Art in storefronts
  • Art markets
  • Development of neighborhood cultural plans
  • Banners or other marketing/branding efforts

To see current grantees, click here. For more information about the Neighborhood Arts Collaborative grant, please contact our office at 415.554.6710 or click here to be added to our mailing list.