UMEZ funds cannot be used by an organization at its discretion to cover ongoing general operating expenses such as administrative staff, office supplies, insurance, and technology. UMEZ support may only be used to support the agreed-upon project expenses for the grant. (The only exception to this is the UMEZ Arts Engagement Grant program, where both administrative and program expenses may be included in the project budget.)
In order to support an organization’s growth or to help an organization upgrade its infrastructure, however, UMEZ funds may be used to fund expense lines directly related to the project, even though those expenses will fall into general administrative expense lines.
For example: If an organization wants to build its fundraising capacity, Capacity Grant funds could be used to cover a portion of the salary and benefits for new development staff, related technology acquisitions or updates, and training of existing staff. At the end of the grant, new staff position(s) become part of the organization’s ongoing operating expenses.
A second example: If an organization wanted to upgrade its financial management system but not add staff, Infrastructure Grant funds could be used for related hardware and software, a consultant (if needed), and a reasonable portion of the existing financial manager’s time needed to implement the new software.
A completed grant request must include a multi-year planning document with budgets that show that the organization has increased its revenues and can maintain the proposed new staff position(s) as part of its general operating expenses after the UMEZ grant ends.