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How to use the renewed City of Helsinki grant application services

These instructions have been prepared to facilitate the use of the new grant application forms, and they are meant especially for those using the new e-service for the first time. This page contains general instructions for using the new application service. In the Questions & Answers section you’ll find answers to questions you might have when filling out the culture grant application forms.  

How to apply for a grant

Start by logging in by clicking the icon in the upper right corner of the page. (See PIC 1.)  

Complete strong identification through the suomi.fi service and create a Helsinki profile when you use the grant application service for the first time. Save the Helsinki profile ID you receive in the confirmation email. If you already have a Helsinki profile, log in by completing the strong identification process through the suomi.fi service. 

Please note: To apply for a grant, you must give the service a permission to use your data during the grant application procedure. 

When you are logged in, you must select a role in which you’ll be using the service. You can:  

  • Continue to use the service as a private individual on your own behalf 
  • Act on behalf of an unregistered entity such as a working group 
  • Act on behalf of a registered entity such as an association or a company  

If you want to use the service on behalf of an entity, you must change your role by clicking the change role icon. (See PIC 2.) 

Tip:

Choosing the right role after logging in is important, because only the information of the applicant on whose behalf you are acting can be viewed in the e-service. For example, the applications of an association are only visible in the association’s folder, not in the folders of private persons. Furthermore, only registered entities are eligible to apply for some grants, in which case you can only complete the application when acting on behalf of the registered entity. 

PIC 1: The link for signing in is situated in the upper right-hand corner of the page. (Screen-shot from the Finnish side.)
PIC 1: The link for signing in is situated in the upper right-hand corner of the page. (Screen-shot from the Finnish side.)
PIC 2: Change your role on the roles banner. (Screen-shot from the Finnish side.)
PIC 2: Change your role on the roles banner. (Screen-shot from the Finnish side.)

When you have selected the role, you must go to the My Service page, where you must fill in and check your personal information. There is a separate My Data section in the service, which must be completed before you can apply for a grant.  

Some of the data on the My Data tab is retrieved directly from the Finnish Patent and Registration Office. If you want to change such data, please contact the Finnish Patent and Registration Office. 

The information entered in the My Data section cannot be edited on the application form. Instead, the system retrieves the data directly from the My Data section. If you notice any deficiencies in your personal data when filling out a grant application, save the application as a draft and return to the My Data section to make the necessary changes. Then continue with the application. The information about persons responsible for projects are also retrieved from the My Data section. 

PLEASE NOTE: Old applicant data has not been automatically transferred to the new service, so you should be prepared to add the information from scratch the first time you use the new service.  

PLEASE NOTE: You will also be asked for your bank account number and a bank statement or similar document indicating the account holder’s name and the account number, required to verify the account. This is a mandatory attachment, and you will not be able to proceed to the grant application without it.  

Familiarise yourself with the application process before initiating the process. Information on all grants awarded by the City of Helsinki is available on the Information About Grants page. You can read the eligibility criteria, the required content of applications as well as the attachments in the Grants for Culture section, on the individual service page of each grant. The service page also includes a link to fill in the application when you are logged in to the service. 

You can also access the service page and the application form of each grant type via Application Search tab. You can use the search function to filter grants by search term, applicant type or activity.   

Before completing the application, you can review the empty application template under Preview application on the service page of each grant.  
 
If you are logged in to the e-service, a link to the application form is available on the left-hand side of the page. (See PIC 3.) Please note: If you don’t see the link, you are not logged in. 

Note! Only one person at a time can handle matters in the system on behalf of an association/organization. The first visit is interrupted if another user starts to update the same application in the system at the same time.

After you have sent the application, you will receive a confirmation in your e-mail that the application has entered the system. In connection with, for example, system updates, this can exceptionally take several days. However, the original submission time is logged as the submission time for the application.

Tip:

You should save your incomplete application as a draft from time to time. The data is not automatically saved when you move from one page of the application to another. Saving closes the application form, so after saving you will have to reopen the application. The application form also has a timeout function (after 30 mins). Saving your answers first in an external text file (e.g. Word) may be a good idea. You can then copy the text onto the form.  

PIC 3: You can access the service pace of each grant via Information About Grants of Search for Application tabs. From the service page of the grant you can proceed to fill in the application. (Screen-shot from the Finnish side.)
PIC 3: You can access the service pace of each grant via Information About Grants of Search for Application tabs. From the service page of the grant you can proceed to fill in the application. (Screen-shot from the Finnish side.)

Questions & Answers

Where can I submit a new grant application?

To be able to submit a new application, you must be logged in to the e-service (see the instructions above). You can access the page for each grant type via the Information About Grants or Search for Application tab. On the service page of the grant, you can view the eligibility criteria for the grant, as well as the required content and attachments. From this page, you can also go to the application form. 

Do I have to answer all the questions on the application form? 

As the assessment of grants is carried out on the basis of the application and the answers therein, the starting point is that you should answer all questions. In the case of arts and culture grants, information relating to schedules, volumes, venues and finances of the activities, in particular, is information without which a grant cannot usually be awarded.  

Why do some application forms have fewer questions than others?

Different questions are asked in connection with the different grant types, because the grants are different from each other. In addition, there are fewer questions for Arts and Culture grants (i.e. Project Grants and Operational Grants) in the case of applying up to EUR 5,000 than for applications for more than EUR 5,000. In these cases, the system automatically detects how much money is being applied for, and the questions are selected accordingly. 

What attachments do I need to submit? 

In the case of new applicants and if your bank details have changed, a bank statement or a similar document indicating the account holder’s name and the account number is required under My Data. Once you have added the document in the My Data section, attaching it separately to the application is not necessary. Separately check the other necessary attachments for each grant type. 

What does the mandatory bank statement for an application mean?

An account statement or a similar document that indicates the account holder’s name and the account number. The document must indicate that the account in question belongs to the declared entity. The document does not have to contain any other information (such as account balance or transactions). 

How will I know whether my application has been received?

When you have completed all the sections of the application and submitted the application, you can find your application on the My Services page. Submitted applications can be found under the titles "Applications in progress" and "Sent applications" My Services and Open applications at the bottom of the page. Once the application has been received, the text “Received” will appear. You will also receive an email confirmation of the submitted application. 

How will I be able to follow the progress of the processing or contact the persons who are processing my application? 

In the e-service, you can update the application you have submitted, follow the progress of the processing, and send or receive messages. 

Messages in the e-service always relate to a specific submitted application. Sent messages will be forwarded via the city’s grant system to the persons processing the application. Messages sent through the e-service will usually reach the processors only after the processing of the application has started, i.e. they are significantly slower than direct emails. If your matter is urgent, please contact the processors directly by email. Contact details for the grant team are available on the Contact Information page .

Incoming messages are messages sent by the persons processing the application in the city organisation, and the messages may be sent both via the e-service and the contact email provided on the application.  

You can add an attachment to your message. To upload a file, click Add file, enter a brief description of the attachment in the field provided and click Send. 

Where can I find my old, previously processed grant applications? 

The service folders of the old e-service will be taken out of use on 10th September, and information included in current applications will not be transferred to the new service. If you wish, you can save your previous applications via the old e-service .  

In the future, the already submitted and open applications can all be found on the My Services page of the new system. 

Am I arranging a festival or an event?

The application form asks you to specify whether you are arranging a festival or an event. This refers to a festival or an event that takes place within a fairly short period of time and is more extensive in terms of the programme and duration than a single concert, performance, etc. A festival or an event contains a varied programme such as several performances, possibly for different audiences. A festival or an event may be recurring or only take place once. Answer “Yes” if the activity you’re arranging will primarily take the form of an event.  

How do I calculate the number of staff?

Staff may include people other than paid employees such as persons working for a fee or other type of compensation or work purchased as an outsourced service. Full-time employees may also include fixed-term employees, provided that they work full-time.  

A person-year refers to the work input of one full-time employee. For example, a person who works full-time for six months can be calculated as 0.5 person-years. Correspondingly, a person who works 30 procent of the full-time workload throughout the year can be calculated as 0.3 person-years.  

In the case of Project Grants and Development Grants, this is an indicative assessment of the work input of the persons participating in the project. Whenever possible, use the same calculation method you would use when submitting information for statistics of the government or any other party. 

What do activities open to the public mean?

Arts and Culture Grants are awarded for artistic and cultural activities organised in Helsinki that are open to the general public. Lectures and courses are excluded from the scope (see the more detailed conditions for the different grant types). In the applications, questions concerning activities open to the public therefore refer to presentations, exhibitions and workshops or other participatory activities and similar activities. 

In the case of Operational Grants, you can also describe your other main activities in a separate section. Development Grants do not include a similar limitation on activities open to the public, so any type of activity open to the general public that will be supported by the grant should be included. 

What should I include as the volume of activities?

In the case of Arts and Culture grants, we ask about the volume of activities open to the public. Enter information only for physical presentations, exhibitions and workshops; do not include any content that is produced only in digital format. In the case of grants by the City of Helsinki, the focus of the activities on Helsinki and Helsinki residents is assessed. For this reason, the application asks for volumes separately for Helsinki and, on the other hand, for the entire project or activity for which the grant is applied. 

How do I estimate the number of visitors?

There are various guidelines for calculating visitor numbers, and the form of activity has a major impact on the calculation practices. Use the usual practices used in your field. A realistic estimate of the expected number of visitors is requested. Whenever possible, use the same calculation method for the actual number of visitors as you would use when submitting information for statistics of the government or any other party. Do not declare the same visitors twice in the case of, for example, a workshop organised in the exhibition space and the actual exhibition.  

What do the project start and end dates mean?

You must realistically assess when the project will begin and end. In many cases, the start date of a project is earlier than the first public event. In any case, the application must be submitted before the first public event of the project. 

In the case of a project grant, the end date of the project will affect the reporting on the use of the grant. The reporting must be completed within three months of the end of the project, but no later than by the end of the January of the following year. 

What other input can be included in the budget? 

Some of the application forms ask whether the activity involves any other monetary contributions or exchange that is not indicated in the budget. This can include, for example, the contribution of volunteers if it is not included in the budget.