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Grants to Oklahoma Nonprofits for
Public Humanities Programming

Major Grants and Challenge Grants

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Oklahoma Humanities (OH)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:



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Grants to Oklahoma nonprofit organizations for humanities projects that engage public audiences. Applicants must submit a proposal draft prior to submitting a full application. Funding is intended for projects that have humanities as the central focus and that enable exploration, interpretation, or analysis. Eligible projects support the council's mission to strengthen communities by helping Oklahomans learn about the human experience, understand new perspectives, and participate knowledgeably in civic life.

Activities should be made accessible to all members of a community, and the project must be balanced and avoid advocacy of a particular social or political view. Projects may be structured in a variety of ways: discussion programs, lectures, panel discussions, websites, audio or video productions, and exhibitions.

Grants Categories: 

  • Major Grants: Major grants will award outright funds for humanities programs and presentations. 
  • Challenge Grants: Challenge Grants offer matching funds for gifts raised from eligible third-party donors in support of humanities programs and presentations.

Specific academic disciplines encompassed by the term humanities include archeology, art history and criticism, comparative religion, cultural anthropology, ethics, history, jurisprudence, language, linguistics, literature, philosophy, and those aspects of the social sciences which employ a philosophical or historical, rather than a quantitative approach. The humanities should not be confused with particular philosophies, such as secular humanism, or with specific social movements, such as humanitarianism. They should also be distinguished from the creative or performing arts.

Humanities scholars must be involved in the planning and implementation of the program. OH-funded projects should include dialogue between humanities scholars and public audiences. It is the role of the scholar to present, explain, or interpret ideas, beliefs, and other cultural contexts implicit in the program. See qualifications in Additional Eligibility, below.

Especially Encouraged:

  • Projects that stimulate informed discussion among diverse groups.
  • Projects for or about underserved, diverse, and targeted audiences. Underserved audiences may include the following: those that live in communities with limited cultural opportunities, new audiences including those who have limited access to OH programming, or those members of the population whose stories have not been widely shared, such as African-Americans; Hispanic-Americans; Asian-Americans; LGBT; Native Americans, Recent Immigrants, and the Disabled. Targeted audiences include young adults, incarcerated populations, minorities, veterans, and rural citizens.
  • Projects that are extended and sustained through recording or broadcasting to reach additional audiences.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 170634

Estimated Size of Grant:

Major Grants: Award Level: Up to $10,000. Maximum outright award is $5,000; may be increased by an additional $5,000 with the Matching Gifts program.

Challenge Grants: Award Level: Up to $20,000; offers matching funds only, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, for gifts raised from eligible third-party donors.

Term of Contract:

Multiple requests per calendar year will be considered based on stated criteria, but may be subject to the availability of funds.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Any nonprofit organization is eligible to apply for a grant. The organization need not be incorporated or tax-exempt.

Humanities Scholars: Qualifications may include a master’s degree or a Ph.D. in a humanities discipline. OH also recognizes Native American elders and traditional teachers as scholars when involved in projects that focus on their cultures. In rare cases, a widely recognized expert who does not meet the academic requirements of a humanities scholar may serve as the humanities scholar. These circumstances are evaluated on a case-by-case basis with individuals who demonstrate a deep and scholarly understanding of the subject area.

Individuals may apply for Scholar Research Grants only.

For information about ineligible costs, see:

Board members, staff, volunteers, and other individuals affiliated with the grant-seeking organization or its co-sponsors, including those named as Project Directors, Fiscal Agents, and Authorizing Officials, may not be remunerated with OH grant funds.

Pre-Application Information:

Major Grants:
- Spring Deadline: Mandatory draft, March 1 – Final, April 1
- Fall Deadline: Mandatory draft, August 1 – Final, September 1

Challenge Grants:
- Spring Deadline: Mandatory draft, March 1 – Final, April 1
- Fall Deadline: Mandatory draft, August 1 – Final, September 1

While no letter of inquiry is required, the Foundation encourages applicants to contact staff before applying to discuss the programming goals and ideas.

Major/Challenge grant applicants must submit their application twice, first as a draft, and again as a final application. The Foundation strongly suggests having an outside person who is not familiar with the program proofread draft applications before they are submitted. OH staff will review the draft and make comprehensive comments and suggestions.

Oklahoma Humanities is required to have all grant applicants register with the System for Award Management (SAM), a free registration for entities doing business involving U.S. federal government funding. Please visit to register.

Applicants must allow at least 90 days between the final application deadline and the date of the proposed program or presentation.

Grantees must share in the cost of the programs by contributing cash, organizational resources, and/or third-party in-kind donations in an amount that meets or exceeds the OH grant request. Support from third-party donors confirms community interest, and OH matches these gifts on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Matching gifts can boost the ceiling of Major Grants from $5,000 to $10,00.

If your organization needs to postpone or cancel upcoming grant-funded programs due to concerns related to the COVID-19 virus, please contact OH Senior Program Officer Kelly Burns to provide updates and discuss the next steps.

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

Kelly Burns, Senior, Program Officer
(405) 235-0280

Oklahoma Humanities
424 Colcord Dr., Suite E
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Oklahoma

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