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Planning Grants

Grants to North Carolina Nonprofits for
Assistance Developing Humanities Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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North Carolina Humanities Council

Deadline Date:

09/07/18 Midnight


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Grants of up to $750 to North Carolina nonprofit organizations for the planning of humanities projects. Funding may be used to secure the assistance of humanities consultants and scholars for planning purposes. Eligible costs include the consultant’s stipend or reimbursement for meals, lodging, and travel.

Mission Statement:

The North Carolina Humanities Council serves as an advocate for lifelong learning and thoughtful dialogue about all facets of human life. The Council facilitates the exploration and celebration of the many voices and stories of North Carolina’s cultures and heritage.


The North Carolina Humanities Council develops among North Carolinians an understanding of and appreciation for the humanities that can transform the way they see themselves and their communities. In support of these goals, the Council is committed to the following:

-An interdisciplinary approach to the humanities
-Discovery and understanding of the humanities--culture, identity, and history
-Respect for individual community members and community values
-Humanities scholarship and scholars to develop humanities perspectives
-Cultural diversity and inclusiveness
-Informed and active citizenship as an outgrowth of new awareness of self and community

General Criteria:

North Carolina Humanities Council-sponsored programs must involve humanities scholars, scholarship and the public and are aimed at a wide, community-based audience. Proposals will be evaluated according to how well they fit with the mission and goals of the Council, including the following:

-Community involvement and its reflected diversity
-Strength of scholar(s)
-Potential long-term impact or replicability of the program
-Nature of the topic and intended audience
-Project’s contribution to the Council’s commitment to supporting public humanities programs throughout the state

Humanities Scholars:

Humanities scholars must be involved in both the planning and implementation of North Carolina Humanities Council funded projects.

Topic Eligibility:

The subject of the project must be within or addressed by one or more of the humanities disciplines. The North Carolina Humanities Council cannot fund projects which center on the creative or performing arts (theatre, dance, music, or visual arts) unless the arts set the stage for a humanities program. The North Carolina Humanities Council cannot fund projects which advocate social or political action. Public funds cannot be used to advocate personal/political points of view.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 164251

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $750

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The sponsoring group must be a nonprofit organization operating in North Carolina or a nonprofit sponsor whose project focus is of interest to North Carolinians.

The North Carolina Humanities Council does not give grants to individuals nor does it grant scholarships or fellowships.

While the North Carolina Humanities Council welcomes applications that involve educational institutions, the proposed project must reach a broader community of citizens. The Council encourages programs that engage adults and life-long learning.

North Carolina Humanities Council grant funds cannot be used to:
a. Support projects that center on the creative or performing arts (theater, dance, music, or visual arts) unless the arts set the stage for a humanities program.
b. Purchase organizational non-expendable items, such as equipment, buildings, art, artifacts, etc.
c. Create encyclopedias, or projects for preservation, cataloging, or archiving that do not include significant interpretive components
d. Develop print or digital publications that are not an integral part of the larger project for which funding is requested
e. Pay salaries to individuals who are administering the grant as part of a salaried job
f. Pay for professional development or for new staff hires
g. Pay for projects intended primarily for students in formal learning environments or that satisfy requirements for educational degrees or formal professional training (though projects may include components that can be used in classrooms)
h. Pay for projects primarily devoted to research rather than interpretation for the general public
i. Develop dramatic adaptations of literary works
j. Cover expenses for venues in foreign countries
k. Pay for general operations, renovation, restoration, rehabilitation, or construction, strategic planning or feasibility studies
l. Pay for projects that seek to persuade participants of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view
m. Pay for projects that advocate a particular program of social action
n. Cover indirect costs
o. Support obscene, libelous, indecent, or defamatory content (including hate speech, personal attacks, or material constituting harassment).
p. Cover food costs, except for the meals of program presenters or consultants.
q. In addition, grant funds cannot be used for popular entertainment for diversion, liquor, or social activities. In conjunction with project activities, applicants may provide refreshments and/or lunches and dinners for their audiences through local cash contributions.

Pre-Application Information:

Project sponsors and all persons and organizations connected with a project must match North Carolina Humanities Council grant monies with in-kind and/or cash contributions 2-to-1 to the amount of North Carolina Humanities Council outright funds requested.

The Council provides staff consultation sessions for grant proposals. It is recommended that you set up a consultation with NCHC staff as you prepare your proposal. If you would like to discuss your project idea, the application process, or a draft proposal with one of our staff members please call the Council to set up a time for consultation.

Please note: staff feedback/commentary on an applicant's specific proposal draft is available upon request until 2 weeks prior to a submission deadline.

Three Planning grants cycles are offered this year with the following deadlines. Projects should not begin less than eight weeks from the submission deadline.

-Jan 29, 2018 midnight
-April 13, 2018 midnight
-Sept 7, 2018 midnight

Decisions are typically announced a month after submission via our online application management system.

Application Instructions and FAQ:

Application Video Tutorial:

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

Caitlin Patton, Program and Grants Manager

North Carolina Humanities Council
320 East 9th Street, Suite 414
Charlotte, NC 28202

P: (704) 687-1520
F: (704) 687-1550

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: North Carolina