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Grants to USA Museums, Agencies, Tribes, and Nonprofits for Capacity Building Activities for Museums

Museums for America (MFA) Grant Program


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
CFDA Number: 45.301
Funding or PIN Number: MFA-FY24
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);
USA Compact Free Associations:The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Important Dates
Deadline: 11/15/23 11:59 PM Eastern Time Save

Grant Description
Grants to USA and territories museums and government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and Tribal organizations applying on behalf of museums to increase their capacity to serve the public. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to finalize. Funding is intended for projects that promote lifelong learning, community engagement, and collections stewardship and access.

Guiding the grantmaking are three agency-level goals with two objectives each:

  • Goal 1: Champion Lifelong Learning
    • Objective 1.1: Advance shared knowledge and learning opportunities for all.
    • Objective 1.2: Support the training and professional development of the museum and library workforce.
  • Goal 2: Strengthen Community Engagement
    • Objective 2.1: Promote inclusive engagement across diverse audiences.
    • Objective 2.2: Support community collaboration and foster civic discourse.
  • Goal 3: Advance Collections Stewardship and Access
    • Objective 3.1: Support collections care and management.
    • Objective 3.2: Promote access to museum and library collections

The Museums for America program supports museums of all sizes and disciplines in strategic, project-based efforts to serve the public through exhibitions, educational/interpretive programs, digital learning resources, professional development, community debate and dialogue, audience-focused studies, and/or collections management, curation, care, and conservation. Projects are expected to focus on a key component of the institution’s strategic plan, reflect a thorough understanding of current practice and knowledge about the subject matter, and generate measurable results that tie directly to the need or challenge addressed.

For program-specific goals, see:

For allowable costs, see


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
To be eligible for an award under this Museums for America Notice of Funding Opportunity, your organization must meet all three of the following criteria:
1. Must be either a unit of State, local, or tribal government or be a private, nonprofit organization that has tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code;
2. Must be located in one of the 50 States of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau; and
3. Must qualify as one of the following:
(a) A museum that, using a professional staff, is organized on a permanent basis for essentially educational, cultural heritage, or aesthetic purposes; owns or uses tangible objects, either animate or inanimate; cares for these objects; and exhibits these objects to the general public on a regular basis through facilities that it owns or operates.
(b) A public or private nonprofit agency that is responsible for the operation of a museum that meets the eligibility criteria in 1, 2, and 3(a), applying on behalf of the museum.

Native American tribal organizations may apply if they otherwise meet the above eligibility requirements.

For additional eligibility information, see:

For information about unallowable costs, see:

Pre-Application Information
Application Deadline:
- Submit through by 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time on November 15, 2023.
- Anticipated Date of Notification of Award Decisions: August 2024 (subject to the availability of funds and IMLS discretion)
- Beginning Date of Period of Performance Projects must begin on September 1, 2024.

Cost Share Requirements: For Museums for America, awardees must provide funds from non-federal sources in an amount that is equal to or greater than the amount of the federal award. Cost share that appears in the project budget should be carefully calculated. Awardees are expected to meet their cost share commitments. If you do not include at least 1:1 cost share in your project budget, your application will be rejected from further consideration.

Before submitting an application, an applicant organization must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number; a current and active System for Award Management (SAM) registration; and an active registration with an approved Authorized Organization Representative (AOR). Check your materials and registrations well in advance of the application deadline to ensure that they are accurate, current, and active. For more details, see

Webinar recording:

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Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants

Estimated Size of Grant
Grant Amount: $5,000–$250,000

Average amount of funding per award experienced in previous years: $180,825

Term of Contract
The anticipated period of performance: September 1, 2024 - August 31, 2027. Project activities may be carried out for one to three years.

Contact Information
If you have questions, please contact any of the staff members listed under the category that best fits your project.

Jessica Ottley
Senior Museum Program Officer 202-653-4669

Mark Isaksen
Supervisory Grants Management Specialist 202-653-4667

Collections Stewardship and Access:
Mark Feitl
Senior Museum Program Officer

Institute of Museum and Library Services
955 L'Enfant Plaza North, SW, Suite 4000
Washington, D.C. 20024-2135

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