Arts Loan Fund



The Arts Loan Fund (ALF) is a collaborative program run by members of Northern California Grantmakers. The fund has provided quick-turnaround loans for over thirty years and aids organizations develop sound financial habits that advance their mission. 

Arts organizations face unique cash-flow challenges, including delayed grant awards, seasonal earned and contributed income, and complexity in projecting program tuition and ticket sales. While businesses and larger non-profits are able to rely on commercial banking for cash-flow needs, small to mid-sized arts organizations have a harder time accessing capital. A loan from the ALF can be a practical financial tool that when used properly, signals proactive financial planning. 

Group Type 
Funding Collaborative
The Arts Loan Fund (ALF) was created by art funders to alleviate short term cash-flow issues for arts organizations. The fund has provided quick-turnaround loans for over thirty years and aids organizations in sound financial habits that advance their mission.
Meeting Schedule: 
September 14, 2017 / October 12, 2017 / November 9, 2017 / December 14, 2017


Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 9:30am

NCG's Arts Loan Fund (ALF) Steering Committee is comprised of a diverse range of Bay Area funders, who are committed to the Arts. The committee convenes every four weeks to discuss issues impacting the Arts in Northern California and to review loan applications to determine awards to nonprofit arts organizations in the Bay Area.

Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 10:30am

Join the Arts Loan Fund for a panel discussion with arts administrators and grantmakers whose personal stories and professional backgrounds have informed their work with culturally-specific and immigrant artists.  The dynamic panel will include a local thought leader in cultural place-making/keeping, a government grant maker, a foundation program manager, and a development director, and the founder of an emerging cultural organization.

Panelists will share how they are serving the needs of artists and cultural organizations in the Bay Area and delve into strategies to further the work in order to better accommodate current trends and realities.  Facilitated by Denise Pate, Cultural Funding Coordinator for the City of Oakland.


NCG's Arts Loan Fund (ALF) committee is made up of Bay Area funders that are committed to the Arts.  The ALF meets once a month to review loan applications and determine awards to nonprofits that support the Arts.

On July 13, the public policy team from Southern California Grantmakers presented to Arts Funders on advocacy for foundations. 

Across the nation, artistic and cultural practices are helping to define the sustainability of urban, rural, and suburban neighborhoods. In the design of parks and open spaces; the building of public transit, housing, and supermarkets; in plans for addressing needs for community health and healing trauma; communities are embracing arts and culture strategies to help create equitable communities of opportunity where everyone can participate, prosper, and achieve their full potential. And artists are seeing themselves — and being seen by others — as integral community members whose talents, crafts, and insights pave the way to support community engagement and cohesion.

“Creating Change through Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development: A Policy and Practice Primer” highlights both promising and proven practices that demonstrate equity-focused arts and culture policies, strategies, and tools.

Displacement threats to arts and cultural organizations are an increasingly urgent problem in cities and communities across the country. Fellow funders, city governments and nonprofits are searching for solutions to help protect our most valued arts and cultural assets. Today, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation has launched a new online resource to showcase an innovative solution that can help secure permanent, affordable spaces for arts nonprofits.

Based on Corporate Citizenship’s (CC) latest global research, which draws on the insights of companies such as Amway, Unilever, Kellogg’s and Microsoft, find out to what extent companies are moving to a flagship approach, where one is focusing activities and resources in a targeted manner, and how to do it successfully. In their research, 70% of companies surveyed expect to move in this direction in the next 2 years, up from just 12% doing so today. Corporate Citizenship has identified five characteristics of such an approach that if achieved, can ensure not only the programs survival, but also that it delivers impact to society and the business itself.

A new study commissioned by NCG member The James Irvine Foundation presents new data providing insights on the critical role arts nonprofits can play in communities.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

This month, NCG's Collaborative Philanthropy Coordinator, Krystle Chipman, sat down with the Loan Underwriter of the Arts Loan Fund and Principal of Padma Consulting, Margaret Southerland. Margaret shared why she believes the Arts Loan Fund (ALF) can be a game changer for arts nonprofits in the region. 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

NCG member the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation announced yesterday that Emiko Ono has been named the new Program Director of its Performing Arts Program. Emiko has been a sharp and engaging member of NCG's Arts Loan Fund Steering Committee since 2011. Join us in congratulating her on the new role!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

NCG member the Kenneth Rainin Foundation has promoted Adriana Griñó from Arts Program Associate to Arts Program Officer. Congratulations Adriana!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

NCG member the Kenneth Rainin Foundation has promoted Adriana Griñó from Arts Program Associate to Arts Program Officer. Congratulations Adriana!