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Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations: Implementation Grants

Grants to USA Non-Profits, Universities, & Others
to Produce Humanities Programs for the Public

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National Endowment for the Humanities - Division of Public Programs

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Grants starting at $50,000 are available to USA state and local agencies, non-profits, universities, libraries, museum, and other organizations that offer humanities programs to the public. Funds can be used to produce humanities based projects and initiatives such as exhibitions, book or film discussions, history presentations, and more. Programs and activities can also be made for specific groups such as families, youth, teachers, at-risk communities, and veterans.

Grants support the following formats:
* Exhibitions at museums, libraries, and other venues;
* Interpretations of historic places, sites, or regions;
* Book/film discussion programs; living history presentations; other face-to-face programs at libraries, community centers, and other public venues; and
* Interpretive websites and other digital formats.

Implementation grants support final scholarly research and consultation, design development, production, and installation of a project for presentation to the public. Implementation grants may be used for:
* Final consultation with scholars or other advisers;
* Final exhibition design and fabrication, as well as crating and shipping;
* Final digital design and production;
* Completion of interactive program components;
* Publication costs for complementary materials, including catalogs and curriculum guides;
* Publicity expenses;
* Staff training specifically for the project’s interpretive programs;
* Development of curriculum guides and other materials for teachers and students;
* Presentation and distribution of public programs and related materials; and
* Audience evaluation.

Positions in Public Humanities requests may be appended to implementation grants proposals to support the creation of two-year employee positions within institutions for recent graduates of appropriate public humanities MA or PhD programs (for example, programs in public history or museum studies) or humanities PhD programs to work on the larger Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations project. More information is available here (PDF).

Chairman’s Special Award projects are complex implementation projects of exceptional significance and impact that promise to address important humanities ideas in new ways, and are likely to reach large national audiences. These projects typically feature collaboration between multiple partners and a broad combination of diverse formats.

All projects should
* Build on sound humanities scholarship;
* Deepen public understanding of significant humanities questions;
* Involve a team of humanities scholars in all phases of development and implementation;
* Appeal to broad audiences;
* Approach a subject analytically and interpretively through an appropriate variety of perspectives; and
* Encourage dialogue and discussion.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 145112

Estimated Size of Grant:

Awards typically do not exceed $400,000 (or, in the case of projects requesting support for a public humanities position, $460,000). However, awards of up to $1,000,000 are available for Chairman’s Special Award projects that have unusual significance and promise to reach exceptionally wide audiences. The amounts offered may reflect the size of the audiences to be reached. Please note that projects of smaller scope are fully eligible for support. Such projects should, however, be large enough to warrant support ranging from $50,000 to $100,000.

Term of Contract:

For projects beginning April 15, 2014; Awards are usually made for a period of 12 to 36 months.


Additional Eligibility Criteria:

State agencies
Public, school, academic, and research libraries
Disciplinary and professional associations
Cultural institutions
State humanities councils

NEH generally does not award grants to other federal entities or to applicants whose projects are so closely intertwined with a federal entity that the project takes on characteristics of the federal entity’s own authorized activities. This does not preclude applicants from using grant funds from, or sites and materials controlled by, other federal entities in their projects.

Pre-Application Information:

Applicants are encouraged to contact program officers, who can answer questions about the review process and review preliminary drafts.

NEH recommends that drafts be submitted at least six weeks before the deadline, so that staff will have adequate time to respond. A response cannot be guaranteed if drafts arrive after this date.

Staff comments are not part of the formal review process and have no bearing on the final outcome of the proposal, but previous applicants have found them helpful in strengthening their applications. Draft proposals are optional; if you choose to submit one, send it as an attachment to

Applicants are also encouraged to examine the sample narratives from previously funded projects, which are available on the program resource page.

All applications to this program must be submitted via To submit an application via, you must have an up-to-date Entity record in the System for Award Management (SAM). Entity records must be updated at least annually. We strongly recommend that you update (or, if necessary, create) your SAM Entity record at least four weeks before the application deadline, and that you complete or verify your registration at least two weeks before the application deadline.

Cost sharing consists of the cash contributions made to a project by the applicant, third parties, and other federal agencies, as well as third party in-kind contributions, such as donated services and goods. Cost sharing also includes non-federal gift money raised to release federal matching funds. Although cost sharing is not required,
this program is rarely able to support the full costs of projects approved for funding. In most cases, grants in this program cover no more than 50- 60 percent of project costs.

Applicants are not required to obtain a planning grant before applying for an implementation grant. Applicants may not, however, submit multiple applications for the same project at the same deadline. If an application for a project is already under review, another application for the same project cannot be accepted by this or any other NEH grant opportunity.

A grant from NEH for one stage of a project does not commit NEH to continued support for the project. Applications for each stage of a project are evaluated independently.

Contact Information:

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


Hearing-impaired applicants:
NEH via TDD: 1-866-372-2930 help desk: support line: 1-800-518-GRANTS (4726)

CFDA Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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