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Ohio History Fund Grant

Grants to Ohio Nonprofits and Agencies for Historical
Preservation Programs and Capacity Building

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Ohio History Connection

Deadline Date:

09/05/18 11:59 PM


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Grants ranging from $1,000 to $20,000 to Ohio nonprofits, public agencies, and educational institutions for local and statewide projects, programs, and events that will preserve and share the State's history with the public. Projects must include illumination, conservation, or perpetuation of Ohio’s history, including historical persons, places, things, or events, and must be based on thorough research based on credible sources.

History Fund grants will support projects in three categories: Organizational Development, Programs and Collections, and Bricks and Mortar. The examples given below are not all inclusive, but illustrate the types of projects eligible in each category.

Organizational Development:

Organizational Development grants focus on building capacity: providing the training and materials to help historical societies and like organizations help themselves. Grants in this category can include, but are not limited to: training for board and staff, professional assistance with organizational issues, improving governance structures, volunteer or membership program development, and assessments or strategic plans (including paid facilitators/consultants). Applications must explain the issue(s) faced by the organization and how the grant will address the issue(s). Solutions must align to the issues identified.

- $1,000 - $4,000
- Match Requirement: 80/20. The grant will pay 80% of the total cost of a project and the applicant will be responsible for a 20% match. Example: for a $1,000 project, the History Fund grant would provide up to $800 and applicant’s match would be $200.

Programs and Collections:

Programs & Collections encompasses a variety of projects that further the study, recordation, interpretation, publication and dissemination of historical information, engagement of communities in history, or conservation of historical collections and archives.

Projects that can be funded under this category could include, but are not limited to, public programs, exhibits, care and management of archival materials and artifacts, digitization of collections, oral history, archaeological/architectural/historical surveys, archaeological field work, nominations of historic buildings and sites to the National Register of Historic Places, preparation of historic preservation plans or feasibility studies, mobile or online applications, walking tours, and events.

- $2,000 - $20,000
- Match Requirement: 60/40. The grant will pay 60% of the total cost of a project and the applicant will be responsible for a 40% match. Example: for a $10,000 project, the History Fund would provide $6,000. The applicant’s match would be $4,000.

Bricks and Mortar:

Bricks and mortar projects can involve the following:

- Rehabilitation, restoration, protection, or acquisition of historic properties and archaeological sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places or designated by local ordinance.
- Building work related to the preservation of historical or archival collections regardless of the building’s historic status.
- New construction dedicated to the preservation of historical or archival collections.

- $2,000 - $20,000
- Match Requirement: 60/40.The grant will pay 60% of the total cost of a project and the applicant will be responsible for a 40% match. Example: for a $10,000 project, the History Fund would provide $6,000. The applicant’s match would be $4,000.
- Bricks and Mortar projects will require a maintenance agreement under which the property owner agrees to maintain the historic features of the property (for historic properties), or retain the building for its intended use (for non-historic) for a period of five years.

The History Fund seeks projects that will achieve the following:

- Be objective and fair
- Strengthen Ohio history
- Demonstrate community support
- Public benefit
- Demonstrate a measurable impact
- Foster sustainability
- Meet applicable professional standards

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 145266

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Organizational Development: $1,000 - $4,000; 50% of the grant amount at the beginning of the project. Remainder paid upon completion of the project, pending approval of the final report.

- Programs and Collections: $2,000 - $20,000; 50% of the grant amount at the beginning of the project. Remainder paid upon completion of the project, pending approval of the final report.

- Bricks and Mortar: $2,000 - $20,000; 20% of grant is paid at the beginning of the project. Remainder paid over life of the grant on a reimbursement basis only.

Term of Contract:

- Organizational Development: The project length is one year.

- Programs and Collections: The project length is two years.

- Bricks and Mortar: The project length is up to two years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

- Ohio-based, non-profit organizations in good standing
- Public entities in Ohio, such as units of local government, public libraries, and educational institutions
- Organizations operating Ohio History Connection sites under “site management agreements” are eligible to apply under their own names. Functions and fiscal responsibilities assigned to the Ohio History Connection under site management agreements are not eligible for grants from the History Fund.

Ineligible applicants include for-profit businesses and entities, private individuals, and the Ohio History Connection.

Ineligible applicants may serve as contractors to grant awardees but are not eligible to apply for History Fund grants directly.

Examples of eligible applicants include, but are not limited to local historical societies, public libraries, genealogical societies, university archives and special collections, historic preservation groups, archeological societies, county records management offices, and incorporated “friends” groups of any of the above.

One grant per organization at a time: otherwise eligible grantees that have an open grant with the History Fund are not eligible to apply for a second History Fund grant until the first grant has been closed (i.e. the History Fund has accepted the grantee’s final report).

Ineligible Activities:

- Acquisition of historical materials for an institution’s collection.
- Buildings – moving or reconstructing: Cost of moving historic buildings, generally. (Contact the Ohio History Connection if you are contemplating such a project.) Cost of reconstructing historic buildings.
- Buildings – remodeling: Projects to remodel or modernize building interiors unrelated to the guidelines above. For example, general maintenance and redecorating are not eligible.
- Copyright: Projects that would convert to a digital format material that the applicant intuition does not hold the copyright to. Materials must no longer be restricted by copyright, the applicant must hold copyright, or the applicant must document that copyright has been turned over to the organization or ceded to the public domain.
- Costs of operation, such as utilities, security system maintenance fees, grounds keeping hosting services for website, digital image storage, etc.
- Public works of art, including monuments, sculptures, and murals that do not address Ohio history and the goals of the History Fund (see above section).
- Equipment: Purchase of equipment not related to accomplishing a specific project goal.
- Historical markers: Grants to erect or repair Ohio Historical Markers. For grants for markers.
- Honoraria when the primary intent is to confer distinction.
- Insurance costs, unless shown as match for an event or program.
- Interest and debt payments.
- Direct lobbying or fundraising.
- Mitigation costs (under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act).
- Oral history that does not focus on a particular subject or theme.

The list above is not comprehensive. Contact the Ohio History Connection if you have a question about whether an activity is eligible for funding.

All History Fund projects must be undertaken without regard to race, creed, sex, national origin, age, or disability.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Two webinars were hosted in 2016, but the information still applies.

History Fund Help - Overview of Application:

This webinar consists of three parts: a survey of the History Fund's grant guidelines, an overview of the actual online grant application, and answers to common questions. The overview of the online grant application walks you through the History Fund application section by section, focusing on those that our grant reviewers spend the most time with, the Project Narrative and Budget sections, followed by tips for completing the Applicant Information and other sections.

Watch the recording here:

Digitization Nuts and Bolts Webinar:

Considering a grant for a digitization project? Digitization Nuts and Bolts will help you learn how to strengthen your application and improve your project's chances of being funded, including how to incorporate the details reviewers are looking for. Using real-life examples, presenters will discuss standards and best practices, the importance of a well-defined project, and how to address long-term access and preservation. Tips offered in this webinar are aimed at organizations without an extensive background in digitization projects, but will also serve as a refresher for those with more practical experience.

Watch the recording here:

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline for History Fund grant applications is September 5, 2018 by 11:59 PM.

History Fund grants are competitive and require matching funds, goods, and/or services from recipients.


Application Instructions:

Standard and Guidelines for the Practice of History:

Contact Information:

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

Register and apply online:

If you have any questions about the History Fund, want to know if your project qualifies, or have questions about the application process, contact:

Andy Verhoff, History Fund Grant Manager

Local History services
Ohio History Connection
800 East 17th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43211

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Ohio