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Major Grants and Challenge Grant

Grants to Oklahoma Nonprofits for
Public Humanities Programming

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Foundation / Corporation

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Oklahoma Humanities (OH)

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Grants of up to $8,500 and grants of up to $15,000 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. 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.

The humanities disciplines help people examine their past and reflect on who they are as individuals and as members of a global society. Study of the humanities stimulates imagination, helps people to clarify issues, acquire new perspectives, and become informed citizens. 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 performance arts.

Funded projects should fall under at least one of the following grant categories.
- The Human Experience: These projects explore culture and history through time and place.
- We the People: These projects explore cultural, ethnic, racial, or religious diversity.
- The Public Square: These projects explore current events, divergent opinions, public policy, civics, or justice.

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 which 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 is up to $8,500. The maximum outright award is $5,000; may be increased by $3,500 with the Matching Gifts program.

Challenge Grants: Award level is up to $15,000.

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.

Ineligible Costs:
-Partisan objectives or advocacy
-Sponsoring or co-sponsoring organization employee salaries, operating costs, and construction
-Academic credit or institutional development
-Travel to professional meetings
-Academic scholarships and fellowships
-Museum or library acquisitions
-Creative arts performances, celebrations, or ceremonies unless accompanied by interpretation
-The teaching of technical skills unless accompanied by interpretation
-Publications, except those integral to programming
-Most projects not open to all segments of the public
-Profit-making or fund-raising activities
-Beverages, food, or entertainment for audiences
-Major equipment purchases (over $500)
-Indirect costs (overhead)
-Documentary film production costs (post-production costs may be considered
-First person historical reenactments not supported by scholarship
-Programs not easily accessible to the general public, or programs not widely publicized.

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.

All applicants (excluding Independent Research Scholars) are required to report their unique DUNS number on all applications. A DUNS number may be obtained by telephone (866-705-5711) or the Internet (

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.

Match Program (Major & Challenge Grants):
Applicants are encouraged to seek additional funds for their projects from other sources. 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 $8,500.

A Brief Introduction to Oklahoma Humanities Grants:

Contact Information:

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

Online application:

Chris Carroll, Program Officer
(405) 235-0280

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

Fax: (405) 235-0289

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Oklahoma