Online Grant Application Frequently Asked Questions
1. I have a technical question about OLGA. How do I obtain assistance?
For assistance with OLGA, call the OLGA help desk at 614/728-4449 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. In most cases, e-mails will be answered within one business day, except on holidays or weekends.
2. How do I make sure I will be notified about upcoming deadlines? And how will I know if my application has been received, accepted, funded or denied?
OLGA’s automated e-mail function reminds current users of upcoming deadlines, panel review status and other grant-related news. Anytime you request payments, submit final reports, or submit draft or final applications, OLGA will notify you of the receipt of your submission or request through automated e-mail correspondence. Because of this, it is crucial that your organization’s e-mail system recognizes OLGA’s e-mail address as a “safe sender.” This will ensure that OLGA e-mail communications reach you in a timely manner. Also, be sure to monitor your junk mail/spam folders in case any OLGA e-mails are mistakenly identified as spam. This is especially important for OLGA’s bulk or mass e-mail correspondence (e.g., deadline reminders, panel review results, etc).
3. Is OLGA compatible with a Macintosh and Mac browser platforms?
Yes, OLGA is both PC and Mac compatible. For more information regarding specific operating system and browser issues please refer to Tech Tips.
4. Several individuals within my organization will be preparing our grant application. Do all of us need an individual username and password?
No! Do not create multiple usernames and passwords for staff members within your organization. Please share the same username and password. Multiple staff members can be logged into OLGA simultaneously with the same username and password. To avoid confusion, if several users are logged in at once be sure to coordinate your efforts so that no two users are clicking save (or the next/prior page arrows) on a given page after changing data.
5. Why doesn’t the application I need appear on the “Submit Applications” section of the main page?
During certain times of the year, some applications are not available. In most cases, the OAC will open the system to accept applications three months prior to the program’s deadline. In programs where applications are accepted throughout the fiscal year and funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis (e.g., Building Cultural Diversity), the application will be removed from OLGA when all funds are expended for the fiscal year. The application will be available again when new funds become available.
The only exception to this rule applies to fiscal agent applicants and other sub-profile applicants (e.g., universities, colleges, school districts and/or municipality departments). If you are a sub-profile applicant, you may have to ask the primary profile contact person or fiscal agent to give you access to additional program application options.
6. All funding applications appear on the main page. Is this correct? Does this mean I am eligible for all funding programs?
After completing the account profile/organization section you will have access to all organizational applications. Likewise, if you complete the account profile/individual section you will have access to all individual applications. However, this does not mean you are eligible for all of the programs listed. Please refer to the appropriate section of the OAC Guidelines for full eligibility requirements in each specific funding program.
Again, the only exception to this rule applies to fiscal agent applicants and other sub-profile applicants. If you are a sub-profile applicant, you may have to ask the primary profile contact person or fiscal agent to give you access to additional program application options.
7. I created an account profile and moved to the main page under Submit Applications. I clicked on “preview” which generated a PDF file of the application. However, the information I entered in my account profile does not appear in the PDF. What happened?
This is normal. Your account profile information will not appear in the PDF until you start filling out an application. Once you start an application and save the first section, some of the information from your account profile will appear in the PDF. Please note: the primary and secondary contacts are not pulled from the profile. Instead, they are pulled directly from the application.
8. How do I submit a draft application?
Follow the directions in OLGA through the last page of the application and check the box next to the statement, “Check this box to submit this application for DRAFT REVIEW by the OAC staff. This does not constitute final submission.” Then, click the “submit” button. Draft applications must be submitted electronically via OLGA by 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on the funding program’s draft deadline date, listed on the main page of OLGA. Draft deadlines are listed in the timeline section for each program in the Guidelines. No support materials are required for a draft application.
9. How do I submit my completed application?
Follow the directions in OLGA through the last page of the application and click the “submit” button. Applicants will be notified via automated e-mail (sent through OLGA to the application’s primary contact person) when the online application is received.
10. What is the difference between the “Manage Current Grants” box and the “Submit Applications” box on the main page?
The “Submit Applications” box is always used for applications—not for awarded grants. If the application is approved, it moves into the “Manage Current Grants” section, which is used for submitting partial payments (if applicable), submitting final reports, updating budgets, status confirmation, etc.
11. I submitted an application for Sustainability (or another program), but when I started filling out an application for a different funding program there appeared to be information already filled in. Why?
This is a feature of the OLGA system. Information that is requested across multiple applications, especially fields relating to the applying organization in general, is automatically populated in subsequent applications. In the subsequent applications you can update or write over the information in the automatically populated fields, should you choose to do so.
12. I need assistance with the narrative section of my application. I’m not certain I understand a particular question. What should I do?
These types of questions should be directed to an OAC program coordinator in the office of Grant Programs & Services. Applicants for Individual Artist Grants or Arts Learning programs should contact those offices, respectively.
13. Why do you ask for my organization’s URL (website address)?
The OAC encourages all applicants and grantees to maintain a web presence. A well-designed website can be an organization’s most valuable marketing asset. Although a website is by no means mandatory for applying to the OAC, panelists will be encouraged to explore applicants’ websites in order to become familiar with the organization and how it presents itself to the public.
14. I submitted a draft of my application two days ago. I received an e-mail saying it was received, but I have yet to receive any feedback. When should I expect some feedback?
When a draft application is submitted it is forwarded within 24 hours to the appropriate program coordinator for review. Draft applications are always reviewed by OAC staff in the order they are received. In general, the earlier you submit a draft, the quicker it will be reviewed. In many cases, a staff member will respond to your draft within a few business days. However, if numerous draft applications are submitted at once (on the draft deadline day, for instance), it may take up to two weeks for a staff member to respond. You may continue working on your final application while the draft is in review.
15. I submitted my application by mistake (or I need to make a major change to some of the information). What can I do?
If it is before the deadline date, call the OLGA help desk at 614/728-4449. However, corrections and/or changes cannot be made after the deadline has passed!
16. Do I need to mail a set of support materials with my draft application?
No, please do not send support materials with your draft application. They will not be reviewed or returned and they cannot be held until your final application is due.
17. May I send my support materials as a file attachment to my online application?
No, not at this time. However, applicants to the Sustainability, Arts Access, Project Support and Arts Partnership programs may choose to direct panelists to review some support materials online rather than sending them in hard copy form; please refer to the Online Support Material Submission form for further information and submission instructions.
18. How do I submit my signature page?
Click the “preview application” button from any page in the online application or the “view PDF” link from the main page of OLGA. Depending on the grant program, the signature page of the PDF will be either the first or last page. This page must be printed and signed by the authorized official of the organization and the board president (original ink signatures are required) and sent to the OAC offices with support materials.
19. Does my application number (or grant number) have specific meaning?
Application/grant numbers are six digits in length. The first two numbers represent the OAC’s fiscal year. For example, 11#### indicates that the application/grant is for FY2011 (July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011). The final four digits are sequentially assigned by program area as applications are submitted through OLGA.
20. Once I’ve been notified that I (or my organization) have been approved for a grant, how do I submit my grant agreement?
Log into your OLGA account and go to the “Manage Current Grants/Applications” section of OLGA. Click on the “grant agreement” link. Please print the grant agreement and review it carefully, paying specific attention to the grant match, dates, description and other legal requirements. Please print two copies of the grant agreement. Sign one copy and return it to the OAC. The second copy is for your files.
21. How can I see panel comments about my application?
Log into your OLGA account and go to the “grant information” link on the “Manage Current Grants/Applications” page.
22. Can I request a partial payment through OLGA?
Organizations that need a partial payment must request that payment via the “Request Partial Payment” link in OLGA’s “Manage Current Grants/Applications” section. To receive a partial payment, there must be no late or outstanding final reports and a grant agreement must be received for the current grant. Partial payments are not usually made 60 days before a project’s end date.
This section of Guidelines is available as a PDF for you to download and print out if you prefer to read it offline.
A PDF of the complete version of the Guidelines is available in the Introduction.
PDF of Appendix F: OLGA FAQ