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Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) Survey and Planning Grant

Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits, Agencies, and Educational
Institutions to Preserve the State's Historic Sites and Buildings

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Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC)

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Grants to Massachusetts nonprofit organizations, agencies, historical commissions, and educational institutions to protect historic sites and buildings throughout the State. Applicants must submit a letter of intent prior to submitting a full proposal. Funding is intended to support efforts to identify and plan for the protection of the significant historic buildings, structures, archaeological sites, and landscapes of the Commonwealth.

 to support historic preservation planning activities in communities throughout the state. 

Eligible Activities

As the State Historic Preservation Office, the Massachusetts Historical Commission is responsible for administering the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended. The Act authorizes the Secretary of the Interior, through the National Park Service and State Historic Preservation Offices, to grant funds to communities and private non-profit organizations for a wide range of preservation-related activities. These include:

  • Completion of cultural resource inventories;
  • Nomination of significant properties to the National Register of Historic Places;
  • Completion of community-wide preservation plans; and
  • Other types of studies, reports, publications and projects that relate to the identification and protection of significant historic properties and sites.

For information on eligible projects that will be funding priorities for FY 2021, see

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 126505

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant requests should be for no less than $7,500 for a minimum total project cost of $15,000. Community-wide or targeted survey grant requests should be for no less than $12,500 for a minimum total project cost of $25,000. There is no maximum amount; however, most awards will likely be between $10,000 and $20,000.

Term of Contract:

Projects must be from 6-12 months in duration and should be able to start administratively around July 2021. Consultant projects should be scheduled to begin work September 2021 following an open procurement process. Project work must be completed by June 30, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants for FY 2021 Survey and Planning Grant funding are:
1. Local historical commissions created under M.G.L., Chapter 40 sec. 8(d);
2. Historic district commissions or study committees;
3. City and town planning offices and boards or community development offices;
4. Regional planning agencies and state agencies;
5. Educational institutions;
6. Certified Local Governments of Boston, Bedford, Brookline, Danvers, Dedham, Eastham, Easton, Falmouth, Framingham, Gloucester, Grafton, Hingham, Holyoke, Lexington, Lowell, Marblehead, Medfield, Medford, Methuen, New Bedford, Newton, Plymouth, Quincy, Salem, Somerville, and Worcester;
7. Private non-profit organizations.

All applicants must be able to meet deadlines, monitor project work, and have a financial system that meets federal standards. If the applicant is not the local historical commission, the comments of the local historical commission will be required if the applicant is invited to submit a full proposal.

Pre-Application Information:

Fiscal Year 2021:
- Pre-application (letter of intent) deadline: November 16, 2020
- Invitations for full applications issued: December 9, 2020
- Full application deadline: February 8, 2021
- Award selection: March 10, 2021
- Project end date: June 30, 2022

The original copy of the letter of intent to apply for funds (form attached) must be received by the MHC office by 5 p.m., Monday, November 16, 2020. No faxed or emailed applications are accepted.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their proposed project with MHC staff prior to submitting a pre-application.

Grants are 50/50 % matching reimbursement grants.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Letters/Proposals should be addressed to:
Michael Steinitz
Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer
Massachusetts Historical Commission
220 Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, Massachusetts 02125

If you have any questions on a potential project scope of work, please contact the Commission by email, as MHC staff are
working mostly on a remote basis at this time. Send an email to schedule a phone conversation.
- National Register projects: Betsy Friedberg, Director, National Register Program (
- Preservation planning projects: Christopher Skelly, Director, Local Governments Program (
- Survey projects: Peter Stott, Preservation Planner, (
- General questions: Michael Steinitz, Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, (

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts

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