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Idaho Humanities Council (IHC) Grants

Grants to Idaho Nonprofits, Agencies, Individuals, Schools,
Corporations, and Groups for Humanities Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Idaho Humanities Council (IHC)

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

09/15/18 - Deadline for Major, Mini, Teacher Incentive Grants and Research Fellowships; Planning Grant requests may be submitted at any time


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Grants to Idaho nonprofits, government agencies, schools, corporations, IHEs, groups, teachers, and individuals for a broad range of humanities projects. Projects will engage state citizens in history, literature, ethics, philosophy, archaeology, languages, art history, and other humanities disciplines.

The Humanities Disciplines:

Congress defined the humanities as a set of academic disciplines when it established the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1965. These disciplines include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following fields:
-Language – both modern and classical
-Comparative religion
-History, criticism, and theory of the arts
-Those social sciences employing historical or philosophical approaches to their content. This may include cultural anthropology, sociology, political theory, international relations, and other subjects concerned with questions of human nature.
-The study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting Idaho’s diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the conditions of national life.

The humanities encompass both particular methods of inquiry (dialogue, historical and logical analysis) as well as particular bodies of knowledge such as history, philosophy, and literature.

The Arts and the Sciences vs. the Humanities:

Since the arts and sciences and the humanities are so closely linked, it sometimes seems unclear what constitutes a humanities project. For purposes of project support, IHC makes these distinctions. IHC does not fund activities that chiefly involve the creation, exhibition, or performance of the arts. IHC might fund activities that focus on art history or criticism. The simple distinction is interpretation vs. performance or expression. Similarly, IHC does not fund science projects dealing with research or dissemination of scientific data, but might fund projects exploring the history of science, critically assessing scientific premises or findings, or examining the ethical considerations inherent in scientific discoveries or technological developments.

Project Formats:

Virtually every practical format has been used in IHC-funded projects. Often several formats may contribute to the presentation of topics in one project. Please specify on the application the primary format for your project from the following categories:

-Media – (Film, Television, Radio)
-Digital – (Web and Social Media)
-Publications – (Newspaper (not press releases), Magazines, Catalogues, Guides, Books)
-Discussion Programs (Book, Film, Lecture)
-Conferences and Symposia
-Festivals (Book, Film, Theater, Fairs, Other Celebrations)
-Performances and Presentations (Including Living History)
-Projects for K-12 Teachers (Institutes, Workshops, Curricular Projects)
-Projects for Students (Authors or Scholars in Schools, Field Trips, History Day, Oral History)
-Preservation and Access Projects
-Local history Projects (Cultural Heritage, Walking Tours, Local Oral History Projects)

Research, Book Publication, Film Production, and Curriculum Development:

IHC rarely funds pure research, except through its Research Fellowship program, though most successful public projects require some research in preparation for the central discussion features.

IHC funds relatively few book publications. IHC can, however, fund honoraria for scholars to write essays for tabloids and books, provided the publications are likely to reach large public audiences and promote understanding and appreciation of the humanities.

The Council funds relatively few film projects. Because of special considerations relating to film projects (high costs, length of time from scripting to production to distribution, the difficulties of obtaining broadcast commitments, etc.), the Council encourages film project applicants to show adequate financial support from parties other than IHC. The Council also encourages applicants to provide pilots, rough-cuts, or previous work samples to accompany media proposals.

Except for Teacher Incentive Grants, IHC rarely funds curriculum development.

Examples of Successful IHC-Funded Projects:
-The Idaho Human Rights Education Center received IHC support to develop a self-guided tour of the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in Boise.
-The Hispanic Cultural Center of Idaho received an IHC grant to assist with Fiesta Idaho, an event showcasing and examining Mexican culture and the history of Hispanics in Idaho, including lectures held before and after the festival.
-Bonneville County Historical Society received IHC support to develop its first major exhibit on the regional history of eastern Idaho.
-University of Idaho Philosophy Department received IHC support for its philosophy conference on time and identity.
-The Sierra Club received an IHC grant to bring a national John Muir Chautauquan to Boise to deliver a historical presentation portraying Muir and using his words to address issues of conservatism.
-Lewis-Clark State College received IHC funding for a video documentary exploring the life of historian Alvin Josephy and his evolving perceptions of Native Americans through the course of his journalistic career.
-Oakwood Elementary teacher Melinda Harris received an IHC Teacher Incentive Grant to purchase videos to enhance her 5th grade American History curriculum.
-Sandy Rayborn, Riverglen Junior High School, received a Teacher Incentive Grant for her student’s oral history project focusing on American wartime veterans.
-Dr. David Adler received an IHC Research Fellowship grant to conduct research for his book about the Supreme Court’s role in the expansion of presidential power and the historic relationship of the presidency and the constitution.

Criteria for Review:

Applicants need to be aware that their enthusiasm for and understanding of given program ideas are conveyed to IHC chiefly through carefully written applications in which the thinking behind the project concept becomes evident. In reviewing applications, IHC board members examine the following guidelines:

-The project is centered in one or more of the humanities disciplines.
-The project is focused on a topic, text, or idea that is analyzed and discussed using the methodology of the humanities.
-Humanities scholars are involved in the project, and critical thinking and interpretation are evident throughout the program.
-Scholars and the audience are involved in disciplined dialogue benefiting both.
-Members of the intended audience participated in the planning and implementation of the project. The topics and formats proposed are suitable to the audience and promote active participation.
-The roles of all scholars and resource persons are appropriate to the content and format of the project.
-The budget is clear and reasonable in view of its scope and has sufficient cost-share match.

Types of Grants:

Planning Grants:

Planning Grants may be submitted at any time during the year in the form of a letter to the Council. Planning Grant awards are intended for planning and developing a project, including organizational meetings, long-distance phone calls to engage scholars in planning of projects, travel to discuss sites of public presentations and publicity with local coordinators, secretarial assistance, etc.

It should be noted that the Council cannot support the costs of writing a proposal, although a proposal for a Major Grant is one anticipated outcome of a Planning Grant.

Mini and Major Grants:

Mini grants are for projects requiring $2,000 or less from IHC; Major grants require more than $2,000. The application questions and the online process is the same for Mini and Major grants.

Teacher Incentive Grants:

The IHC offers Teacher Incentive Grants for curriculum improvement in the humanities. These grants are intended to help teachers improve the humanities courses they already teach or to help teachers or organizations develop a new or interdisciplinary course or student program in the humanities.

In most secondary schools, humanities courses are in literature, history, foreign languages, civics, and social studies. Courses in philosophy, jurisprudence, archaeology, and art history or music history also qualify. Skill-development classes such as reading or writing do not qualify, nor do the performing or visual arts – unless they are components of interdisciplinary courses.

The IHC will award grants to support teachers in developing humanities curricula or in improving current courses.

Projects can take many forms: consulting with humanities scholars, attendance at a workshop or conference that focuses on the humanities, development of audiovisual or multimedia programs, and research to develop or expand a course. These are only a few examples.

Funds can support a travel stipend, honoraria for consulting scholars, printing or photocopying, purchase of supplies and materials, film/slide processing, and administrative costs.

Research Fellowships:

The purpose of the IHC Research Fellowship Program (RFP) is to stimulate scholarship in the humanities, to provide support for scholars who need time and money for research, and to share the results with academic and public audiences.

Research Fellows are expected to make at least two public presentations during the period of the fellowship or submit proof of future public presentations (conference acceptance letter, copy of conference schedule, etc.) to occur after the fellowship grant period. Public presentations can include lectures before academic audiences, although IHC prefers that results be shared with the public in a meaningful forum.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 173127

Number of Grants:

The IHC will award up to four Research Fellowships each year.

Estimated Size of Grant:

-Major Grants: Grants are over $2,000. No upper level of funding has been fixed; however, few awards exceed $10,000. The level of an award depends on the merits of the proposal, the amount of the grant funds available, and the number and quality of proposals in competition.
-Mini Grants: $2,000 or less
-Teacher Incentive Grants: $1,000 or less
-Planning Grants: $1,000 or less
-Research Fellowships: Up to $3,500

Term of Contract:

Activities may begin no sooner than March 1 (January 15 deadline) or November 1 (September 15 deadline).

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Any nonprofit organization, institution, individual, or ad hoc group may receive a grant. Examples of eligible applicants include, but are not limited to:

-Social service organizations and clubs
-State and local governmental agencies
-Business and professional groups
-Public radio and television stations
-Historical societies
-Public libraries
-Arts organizations
-Colleges and Universities

Informal groups organized solely to submit a grant may also apply for funding. Applicants need not be incorporated as a non-profit organization or have official tax-exempt status, but they must be able to demonstrate that they are “not for profit” and that they can manage all aspects of the project adequately.

Teacher Incentive Grants:

Applicants must have taught for at least two years at either the elementary or secondary level. Teacher Incentive Grants are geared toward student audiences, and in some cases, may be awarded to organizations rather than individual teachers.

Research Fellowships - Qualifications and Eligibility:

Scholars will be defined as those who hold a minimum of a Masters degree in one of the humanities disciplines as designated by the NEH, though in rare cases people without the minimum qualifications will be considered if they have a superior research and professional publication record. Applicants need not be affiliated with an institution of higher education. People who have received a Research Fellowship in the past five years and graduate students are ineligible.

Scholars in all disciplines of the humanities are eligible for Research Fellowships. Given IHC's commitment to public humanities, the Council encourages projects of special interest to general audiences. Projects do not have to be about Idaho.

Out-of-state scholars are eligible to apply if their research is of significant interest to Idaho.

IHC will not provide grant support for:
-Projects that involve direct action or the planning of direct action to resolve social issues of public policy or public concern
-Projects that influence an audience toward a single position or present a one-sided, uncritical treatment of an issue
-Scholarships or fellowships for academic credit or the completion of a formal degree
-Performances in the arts, unless their primary role is to foster discussion of literature, history, philosophy, or other humanities disciplines
-Museum acquisitions, unless they are directly related to the implementation of a public humanities project and will be used extensively after completion of the project
-Building construction, acquisition, or restoration costs (including historical preservation costs)
-Equipment purchases unless approved by the Council as essential to the funded project
-Projects which raise funds for profit or for commercial purposes
-Alcoholic beverages or entertainment for projects or project-related activities
-Candidates running for political office

Pre-Application Information:

Cost-share includes project costs not being paid by IHC. The cost-share must be at least equal to the amount requested from IHC. Cost-share may not include other federal funds. In-kind cost-share includes donated time, facilities, supplies, duplicating, travel costs, etc. In-kind does not involve cash outlays, but is calculated at a cash value. Cash cost-share includes any items that require a cash outlay.

After reviewing the IHC grant guidelines, prospective applicants are advised to discuss their proposed project with a staff member, board member, or both. These discussions are helpful because they enable prospective applicants to determine the feasibility of their proposed projects and to gain a clear idea of the objectives, guidelines, and priority areas of the Council.

Each applicant for a Major, Mini, Teacher Incentive, or Research Grant is strongly encouraged (but not required) to submit a preliminary draft of a grant application to the IHC staff approximately one month prior to the final deadline date. The staff will review the first draft, giving special attention to the degree to which the proposed project promises to meet program guidelines and also to the proposed budget.

Grant Deadlines are January 15 and September 15 for Major, Mini, and Teacher Incentive Grants. Please note that September 15 is the only deadline for Research Fellowship Proposals.

Planning Grant requests have no deadline. Apply by letter.

All applicants are notified of award decisions in writing. Approval packets are emailed within the first two weeks of November.

Draft Proposal Deadlines:
-December 15
-August 15

Final Application Submission Deadlines:
-January 15
-September 15

Applications are reviewed by the full board in February and October. Activities should be scheduled to begin no sooner than March 1 or November 1 respectively. If the dates of your program events are planned for early in March, you are advised to apply in September; or if the program events are planned for early November, you are advised to you apply in January.

All grantee organizations must have a DUNS number. More information about obtaining a DUNS number may be found here:

Online Application Instructions:

Contact Information:

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

David Pettyjohn, Executive Director
(208) 345-5346

Cindy Wang, Grants & Fiscal Officer

Idaho Humanities Council
217 W. State Street
Boise, Idaho 83702

P: (208) 345-5346
F: (208) 345-5347

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Idaho