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Keystone Historic Preservation Planning Grant

Grants to Pennsylvania Nonprofits and Local Governments
to Identify, Protect, and Develop Historic Sites

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Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) and Keystone Recreation, Park and Conservation Fund

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Grants to up to $25,000 to Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations and local governments to identify, plan, and develop historical sites. Funding is intended to support publicly accessible projects that revitalize communities and provide public benefit. Projects must meet the goals and objectives of the Pennsylvania Historic Preservation Plan.

Funding is available in the categories of:

  1. Cultural Resource Surveys - including historic sites surveys; architectural surveys; archaeological surveys; and thematic surveys.
  2. National Register Nominations - including nominations for historic districts, including rural historic districts; multiple property nominations; and; and nominations for archaeological sites.
  3. Planning and Development Assistance - examples of projects include:
    • Preparation of historic preservation plans for a municipality or county or region;
    • Historic structure reports;
    • Design guidelines;
    • Feasibility studies;
    • Preparation of preservation plans for the treatment of archaeological sites;
    • Preparation of plans for adaptive use of historic properties; and
    • Preparation of plans that assist communities in the preservation and revitalization of historic resources including developing a Historic Architectural Review Board and/or a Certified Local Government.
  4. Archaeology - examples of projects include:
    • Development of regional site sensitivity models;
    • Research and artifact analysis; and
    • Problem-oriented excavation projects.
    • Preparation of regional and/or temporal syntheses;

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 169456

Estimated Size of Grant:

Requests for funding to the Historic Preservation Planning Grants may range from $5,000 (for $10,000 projects) to $25,000 (for projects of $50,000 and over).

Term of Contract:

Successful applicants must complete their projects within a twenty-four (24) month period. The project period will extend from the date of execution of the grant agreement, approximately October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2023. No work completed prior to the execution of the grant agreement will be eligible for reimbursement.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are limited to non-profit organizations and local governments.

Historic resource must be located in Pennsylvania and documented as being listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

The following are the types of organizations that are eligible to apply (please check with the grant manager to confirm organizational eligibility):
- Certified Local Governments
- Colleges and Universities
- Conservancies
- Historic Preservation Organizations
- Historical Societies
- Local Governments
- Museums
- Religious Institutions
- Other historical organizations
- Museums and historic sites that are owned by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission but operated by independent nonprofit organizations
- Multipurpose Organizations. Individual subunits (e.g. Moravian Pottery and Tile Works) within multipurpose government (e.g. County of Bucks) or tax-exempt organizations may apply for grants if they function as a discrete unit within the parent organization. A subunit that is part of a larger organization will be deemed eligible if the unit has administrative autonomy for its operations; the unit has a fully segregated and itemized operating budget within that of the parent organization; the unit is able to separately and distinctly fulfill all eligibility and application requirements.

Additional Eligibility Requirements for Applicant Organizations:
- Must be located in Pennsylvania;
- Must have tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service or be an entity of local government;
- Must be incorporated and serving the public for at least five (5) consecutive years prior to the submission of the grant application; and,
- Must be registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Charitable Organizations, as required:

Organizations and others that are not eligible to apply include:
- Museums and historic sites operated by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission;
- Associate groups at museums and historic sites operated by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission;
- Management groups at museums and historic sites owned by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission;
- Museums and historic sites operated by state or federal government agencies;
- Associate groups at museums operated by state or federal government agencies;
- For-profit organizations or corporations;
- State government;
- Federal government; and
- Individuals.

Ineligible Activities:
- Mitigation activities performed as a condition or precondition for obtaining a state or federal permit or license;
- Requests for determination of eligibility for the National Register;
- Endowments;
- General operating support;
- Overhead or indirect costs for operation of organization;
- Capital improvement projects, including "bricks and mortar" rehabilitation, restoration or preservation of historic buildings (eligible activity under the Keystone Historic Preservation Construction Grant Program);
- Existing part-time or full-time staff positions (this includes hiring part-time staff during their nonworking hours);
- Projects that have been initiated prior to the date of the award;
- Projects that serve a religious purpose or promote religious dogma;
- Forums, conferences, symposia, lectures, oral histories and exhibitions not available to the public or held outside of Pennsylvania;
- Prizes and awards;
- Expenses for entertainment, including food and beverage; and
- Lobbying-related expenses.

Pre-Application Information:

All applications must be completed by Monday, March 1, 2021, on DCED's Electronic Single Application for Assistance online portal.

Grant Period and Implementation Timetable:
- May 2021: Peer Review Panels
- June 2021: PHMC Approves Panel Recommendations
- July 2021: Award/Rejection Letters and Grant Agreements Mailed to Applicants
- October 2021: Project Start Date/Fully Executed Grant Agreement
- September 30, 2023: Project End Date

Funding requests require a 50/50 cash match. Sources of the cash match may include direct organizational funds or grant awards from private foundations, federal programs, or other state agencies. Salaries or wages paid to employees of the applicant are not considered to be cash contributions and cannot be included as matching funds. In-kind contributions may not be used to satisfy the matching requirement.

Project-related expenses are reimbursable; successful applicants need to maintain an adequate cash match to ensure completion of their project during the grant period.

Applicants are encouraged to discuss their projects and ideas with the grant manager or their regional Community Preservation Coordinator. For program information, please contact Karen Arnold, Program Manager.

Eligible applicants may apply for and receive either one construction-related or planning-related grant (not both).

Application process video:

Grant information:

Contact Information:

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

Online application portal:

For assistance:
DCED Customer Service Department
(866) 466-3972

Karen Arnold, Program Manager
(717) 783-9927

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Pennsylvania

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