Arts & Culture Loan Fund Grant Guidelines


The Arts & Culture Loan Fund provides small and medium-sized arts and culture organizations with loans to address cash flow shortages and strengthen the financial capacity of its borrowers. The program is sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation and administered by IFF in partnership with BDO FMA.


The objectives of the Arts & Culture Loan Fund are to:

  • Provide working capital loans to address the short-term cash flow needs of small and medium-sized arts and culture organizations.
  • Strengthen financial awareness and management by deepening organizations’ understanding of cash management tools and organizational budget cycles.
  • Help organizations build institutional credit history, so that they may continue to build relationships with lending institutions to meet future organizational financing needs


Applicants to the Arts & Culture Loan Fund must:

  • Be a current general operating support grantee of MacArthur’s Culture, Equity & the Arts program, or have received a grant in A Road Together (ART), an initiative of the Field Foundation supported by the MacArthur Foundation. 
  • Have an annual expense budget in its last fiscal year between $250,000 and $5 million at the time of its loan application

How to Apply

To apply for a loan through the Arts & Culture Loan Fund, you must first contact IFF, a lender, developer, and consultant that strengthens nonprofits and the communities they serve by providing leadership, capital, and real estate solutions.

If you are an eligible grantee and are interested in applying for an Operating Line of Credit, please contact Molly Bartels Roth for more information.

Program Design

Typically, the lenders that participate in the program make available a standard line of credit with monthly interest payments and one or two-year terms. Loans range in size from $50,000-$100,000. The interest rate varies and is determined by the originating lender.

The MacArthur Foundation has partnered with Fifth Third Bank and IFF to underwrite and service the working capital loans as part of this Fund. MacArthur has no role in the underwriting, approval or servicing of the loans made through the Fund. The Fund is administered through a partnership among MacArthur and the following organizations:


The MacArthur Arts & Culture Loan Fund was established in 2009 as a joint program between MacArthur’s programs on arts and what is now Impact Investments. View results of an evaluation of the program from 2009-2016.

Learn how Silk Road Rising and Chicago Artists Coalition developed long term strategies and made investments in their mission with help from loans and training with our partner organizations BDO FMA and IFF in our Chicago Story, Nonprofits and the Art of Financial Stability.

We are currently accepting proposals for Arts & Culture Loan Fund grants.