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Grants to USA Museums, IHEs, and Nonprofits
for Projects that Improve Museum Operations

Sparks! Ignition Grants for Museums

Agency Type:

Federal

Funding Source:

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Institute of Museum and Library Services

Conf. Date:

10/13/16

Deadline Date:

12/01/16 11:59 PM ET

Description:

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Grants of up to $25,000 to USA and territories nonprofit museums, IHEs, and nonprofits, and organizations benefiting museums for innovative projects designed to improve the way museums operate and to enhance the services provided. On October 13 a webinar will be held. November 17 is the recommended deadline for registering to apply.

These small grants encourage museums to prototype and evaluate specific innovations in the ways they operate and the services they provide. Project results – be they success, failure, or a combination thereof – should offer valuable information to the museum field and the potential for improvement in the ways museums serve their communities.

There are no specific project categories within the Sparks Grants program, though applicants should align their applications with one of the three IMLS strategic goals cited above. Projects may include, but are not limited to, the following activities:

- Rapid prototyping and testing of new ways to engage learners
- Offering innovative new types of services or new service options
- Exploring the potential of highly original, experimental collaborations
- Implementing new workflows or processes with potential for substantial cost savings
- Addressing community challenges through new types of partnerships, services, processes, or practices
- Developing and testing new tools or services that facilitate access, presentation, management, preservation, sharing, or use of museum collections

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 162644

Estimated Total Program Funding:

$120,000

Number of Grants:

6

Estimated Size of Grant:

$10,000 to $25,000

Term of Contract:

August 2016 - September 2017.

Project activities may generally be carried out for up to one year.

Projects must begin on August 1, September 1, or October 1, 2016.

Eligibility:

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

You must qualify as one of the following:

a. A museum that, using a professional staff, is organized on a permanent basis for essentially educational 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.

Museums include, but are not limited to, aquariums, arboretums, art museums, botanical gardens, children’s/youth museums, general museums (those having two or more significant disciplines), historic houses/sites, history museums, natural history/anthropology museums, nature centers, planetariums, science/technology centers, specialized museums (limited to a single distinct subject), and zoological parks.

b. An organization or association that engages in activities designed to advance the well-being of museums and the museum profession;

c. An institution of higher education, including public and nonprofit universities; or

d. A public or private nonprofit agency which is responsible for the operation of a museum that meets the eligibility criteria in (a) above may apply on behalf of the museum.

Note to applicants: In order to receive an IMLS award, you must be in compliance with applicable requirements and be in good standing on all active IMLS awards.

IMLS may determine that a nonprofit organization that is affiliated with a museum is eligible for this program where the organization can demonstrate that it has the ability to administer the project and can ensure compliance with the terms of this Notice of Funding Opportunity and the applicable law, including the Assurances and Certifications.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Webinar:
Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 3:30 to 4:30 PM ET
Participant call-in number: 866-299-7945
Participant PIN: 5680404#

A general presentation on IMLS museum grants: http://1.usa.gov/1FHCsb3. It is recommended that you view this presentation before participating in a program-specific webinar.

Pre-Application Information:

There is no limit on the number of applications your organization may submit to this program for FY2016.

You must register with Grants.gov prior to submitting your application package. The multi-step registration process generally cannot be completed in a single day. If you are not already registered, you should allow at least two weeks (by Nov. 17) for completing this one-time process. Do not wait until the day of the application deadline to register.

Contact Information:

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

Helen Wechsler
Supervisory Grants Management Specialist
hwechsler@imls.gov
202-653-4779

Jill Connors-Joyner
Museum Program Specialist
jconnors-joyner@imls.gov
202-653-4791

CFDA Number:

45.312

Funding or Pin Number:

Sparks-Museum-FY16

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

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)

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