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African American Heritage Preservation Program (AAHPP)

Grants to Maryland Nonprofits, For-Profits, Individuals
and Agencies to Acquire Historic African American Sites

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) and Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

07/15/17 11:59 PM


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Grants starting at $1,000 to Maryland nonprofits, for-profits, local governments, and individuals for the preservation of buildings, communities, and sites of historical or cultural significance to the African American experience within the state. Applicants are strongly encouraged to confirm eligibility with program staff prior to applying.

Grants awarded through this Program may be used only to support capital projects, i.e. acquisition, construction, and capital improvement of buildings, sites, or communities of historical or cultural importance to the African American experience in Maryland with an expected useful life of at least 15 years.

Applicants also may receive funding for pre-development costs as part of an acquisition, rehabilitation, or construction project. Such pre-development costs may cover historic structure reports and studies, plans and specifications, archeological investigations necessary for the conduct of a capital project, and reasonable fees for architectural, design, engineering, and other special services excluding legal fees, insurance premiums, appraisal fees, and other costs not directly associated with project acquisition or construction activities. Master planning and feasibility studies are, however, not eligible.

Structures used for religious purposes may be eligible for grant assistance generally for exterior work only and will be reviewed for eligibility by MHT on a case by case basis. Spaces or objects used primarily for religious purposes are not eligible for funding.

Cemeteries may be eligible for grant assistance; however, generally they are not ranked highly for funding unless their exceptional significance is clearly demonstrated, i.e. association with significant individuals, distinctive design features, association with historic events, or importance of the information they impart. The applicant must make a compelling case for the exceptional significance of the cemetery.

Applicants with cemetery related projects should ensure that the owner(s) of the cemetery can be identified and will express their support of the project in the letter required under the "Property" tab. Also, applicants with cemetery related projects should pay special attention to MHT’s easement requirement, which may be a condition of the grant award. Often the easement requirement cannot be met if individual burial plots are individually owned.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 169793

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Individual grant awards are expected to range from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of $100,000. Grant requests should be in an even increment of $1,000.

Term of Contract:

The application system will not allow you to enter a start date earlier than December 1, 2017 or an end date later than December 1, 2019.

Projects for which funding has been received from the Program may seek funding again in subsequent fiscal years provided that funding is sought for a different phase of the overall project. Funding of any phase of a project does not guarantee funding in any future phase of the project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following entity types are eligible for this program. All applicants should be aware that the project must have a demonstrated public benefit in order to be competitive.

-Local governments
-Business entities

Additional eligibility information:

-Nonprofit organizations and local jurisdictions, as defined in COMAR 34.04.09, are eligible to apply for Program funding. Private individuals and business entities may also sponsor grants, however, they should be aware that the selection criteria typically favor the selection of projects and properties owned or sponsored by nonprofit organizations and local jurisdictions. In order to be competitive, projects sponsored by private individuals and for-profit business entities must involve a predominantly “public purpose” use, rather than a private benefit.

-Nonprofit organizations and business entities must be registered with the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) and in good standing, qualified to do business in Maryland, and have the legal capacity and authority to incur obligations involved in the African American Heritage Preservation Grant Program. Please see Exhibit 1: Guidance for Non-Profit and Business Entities.

Note: The State Comptroller’s Office will apply any grant award to offset any outstanding State taxes and disburse a check for the balance. If the applicant entity named in your grant application is NOT registered with SDAT by the grant application deadline, your application will be deemed ineligible and not evaluated for funding.

Ineligible Projects:

-Acquisition, protection, stabilization, preservation, rehabilitation, restoration, or reconstruction work that is already underway or completed. (You may, however, apply for funds for an upcoming phase of a larger, phased rehabilitation project that is already underway.)

-Master planning and feasibility studies.

-For projects involving historic properties, projects that do not conform to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties (36 CFR Part 68) are not eligible for funding. Copies of the Standards may be obtained from the National Park Service website. If your application describes a project involving a historic property which does not substantially conform to the Secretary’s Standards, your application will be deemed ineligible and not evaluated for funding.

-Expenditures that are not “capital” expenditures, such as employee salaries, legal fees, educational programming, research which is not directly necessary for the capital project, etc. Many of these ineligible costs are defined in Exhibit 5.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Workshops about this grant program will be held across the state in March 2017. Workshops will include information about the new online application.

AAHPP Grants Workshops:

-March 9, 11:30 AM - Galesville Community Center, Galesville

-March 20, 11:30 AM - Union Baptist Church, Baltimore

-March 22, 11:30 AM - Robert W. Johnson Community Center, Hagerstown

-March 29, 11:30 AM - Melvin's Place, Prince Frederick

-April 6, 11:30 AM - Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, Church Creek

-April 11, 11:30 AM - Oxon Hill Library, Oxon Hill

Pre-Application Information:

All Grant recipients, except for nonprofit organizations, are required to match the grant dollar-for-dollar in cash and/or an equivalent dollar value of in-kind services.

In general, the presence of matching funds improves the chances of a project being awarded grant funds. Although nonprofit organizations are exempt from matching requirements, strong cash and/or in-kind commitment is recommended and will enhance the competitiveness of the application.

Please note that if the project property is currently protected by a perpetual preservation easement held by MHT, you should contact MHT's easement program staff member Kate Bolasky to discuss your project prior to applying for this grant.

It is strongly recommended that you contact MHT and MCAAHC staff before applying to be sure your project is eligible and to obtain appropriate guidance.

Completed grant applications must be submitted online by Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 11:59 PM.

Contact Information:

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

Register for the March 9 workshop:

Register for the March 20 workshop:

Register for the March 22 workshop:

Register for the March 29 workshop:

Register for the April 6 workshop:

Register for the April 11 workshop:

Access the online grant application form:

For assistance in the development of project purpose and scope, please contact:

Maya Davis, MCAAHC Interim Director

Anne Raines, MHT Capital Grants and Loans Administrator

For questions regarding perpetual preservation easements held by MHT, contact:

Kate Bolasky

Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture
84 Franklin Street
Annapolis, MD 21401

Maryland Historical Trust
100 Community Place
Crownsville, MD 21032-2023

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Maryland