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Museums, Libraries, and Cultural Organizations: Planning Grants

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

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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National Endowment for the Humanities - Division of Public Programs

Deadline Date:



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Grants of up to $75,000 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 for planning humanities based initiatives such as exhibitions, book or film discussions, history presentations, and more. Humanities projects tailored to particular groups — such as families, youth, teachers, at-risk communities, and veterans — are welcome.

Planning grants support the early stages of project development, including consultation with scholars, refinement of humanities themes, preliminary design, testing, and audience evaluation. Early audience evaluation is encouraged but not required. Evaluation could include testing of the project’s concept, approach, and key components.

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

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.

Planning grants may be used for
* Meetings with scholars and other content advisers, program partners, and audience representatives;
* Preliminary audience evaluation;
* Travel to archives, collections, sites, or other resources;
* Drafting of text for program or discussion guides, exhibition labels, brochures, digital assets, publications, or other interpretive materials;
* Preliminary design for any of the interpretive formats to be used;
* Planning for public programs and publicity materials;
* Planning for training for docents, discussion coordinators, or other relevant interpretive leaders for the project; and
* Development of curriculum guides and other materials for teachers and students.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 145113

Estimated Size of Grant:

$40,000 to $75,000

Term of Contract:

12 months - for projects beginning April 2015


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:

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 nonfederal 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.

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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