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Community Grants Program

Grants to Northeast Mississippi Nonprofits, Schools,
and Tribes for Heritage and Culture Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Mississippi Hills Heritage Area Alliance (MHHAA)

Deadline Date:

01/31/19 4:00 PM CT Email Receipt and Mailed Receipt; Education Grant Applications are accepted year-round


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Grants to Northeast Mississippi nonprofit organizations, tribes, school groups, museums, attractions, and events to promote culture and heritage within the funding source’s region. Projects may involve education and interpretation, heritage and cultural tourism, heritage resources enhancement and conservation, and partnership development. Funding is also available for school field trips.

The Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area (MHNHA) was designated by Congress in 2009 in recognition of the remarkable cultural and heritage resources within this region. It covers 19 full counties and portions of 11 others in Northeast Mississippi. Boundaries of the heritage area were established by Federal law and are the Tennessee state line to the north, Alabama state line to the east, Interstate Highway 55 to the west and Mississippi state highway 14 to the south.

To be eligible for funding, projects must address one or more of the goals listed below. Projects that address more than one goal will be given higher consideration. Projects that incorporate one or more primary interpretive themes – African American heritage, Civil War, Native American heritage and Music and Literature – are highly encouraged.

Education and Interpretation:
-Connect heritage sites/attractions through use of interpretive themes/strategies.
-Lift public awareness about Hills heritage through education and research.

Cultural and Heritage Tourism:
-Develop physical or programmatic linkages between destinations to enhance visitor experience.
-Promote greater brand awareness through comprehensive marketing and public-relations programs using both traditional and new media.
-Use a consistent visual identity and brand in all collateral materials.
-Encourage marketing and public relations collaborations between MHNHA and cultural and heritage assets in the region, as well as partnerships between individual sites/resources.

Heritage Resource Conservation and Enhancement:
-Conduct research to facilitate the identification, preservation and recognition/ promotion of significant heritage sites and attractions within MHNHA.
-Conserve, preserve and enhance the cultural and heritage assets of MHNHA.
-Encourage sensitive resource development to protect cultural and heritage assets and natural landscapes and viewsheds.

Partnership Development:
-Promote entrepreneurial activity and business development related to MHNHA cultural and heritage assets and resources.
-Utilize cultural and heritage assets to foster sustainable economic activity.
-Provide planning and technical assistance to asset managers and operators.

Grant Categories:

Education Grants provide funding to help educate school age children about the cultural
and heritage assets within the Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area. The application
process is designed to help defray costs associated with school field trips and expenses such as bus rental, learning materials, bus driver compensation, fuel, etc. The limit of any one grant is $1,000 and must be matched on a 50/50 basis. In-kind matching is permitted so things like chaperones and educational handouts may be counted as a part of your 50% match.

Education grants are:
-Open to all schools districts, school support groups and nonprofit cultural/heritage attractions within the Mississippi Hills NHA.
-Multiple trips may be requested on the same applications.
-Funds must be used for educational field trip transportation and interpretation costs only.

Flash Grants:
-Open to all qualified applicants within the Mississippi Hills NHA.

Small Grants:
-Open to all qualified applicants within the Mississippi Hills NHA.

Large Grants:
-Open to all qualified dues paying members in good standing.

Eligible project costs include but are not limited to items such as site improvements, technical assistance, programs, events, presentations, publications, collateral materials, research, inventory and interpretation. Grant funds may be used to cover legitimate project costs that are necessary and reasonable for the accomplishment of project objectives. Such costs may include labor, services, materials, equipment rental, supplies and travel.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177987

Estimated Size of Grant:

Education Grants: Requests of up to $1,000 per trip will be considered.
Flash Grants: Requests of $1,000 - $2,500 will be considered.
Small Grants: Requests of $2,500 - $5,000 will be considered.
Large Grants: Requests for $5,000 - $20,000 will be considered.

Term of Contract:

In most cases Flash, Small and Large grants have a 12-month limit for fund utilization unless the grant application specifies a need for a longer term and that term is approved by the Grants Committee and the MHHAA Board of Directors. Education grants have a 9-month limit on fund utilization.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Within MHNHA, the grant program is open to nonprofit organizations, school groups, attractions, museums, partnerships, federally recognized Indian tribes, cultural and heritage events, programs, presentations and all MHHAA dues-paying members in good standing. All applicants must demonstrate sufficient expertise to manage their project to completion.

Please Note: Education, Flash and Small grants are available to any qualified applicant while Large grants are reserved for dues paying members in good standing.

Non-Eligible project costs include but are not limited to items such as food, most advertising, overhead, salaries, general administrative expense, routine repairs, most maintenance and contingency or set-aside funds. Grant funds may not be used to acquire real property or any interest in real property. Please contact staff if you have any questions regarding eligible and non-eligible project costs.

Pre-Application Information:

All MHHAA grants require a 50-50 match. Matching may consist of cash only or a combination of cash and in-kind services such as materials or volunteer hours. How you propose to provide the required match must be detailed in the project budget. A priority will be given to grantee's who exceed their required match or use all cash as a match.

Your matching funds must come from non-federal sources. If you are using a state grant for the required 50% match make sure and verify that the state funding you receive is not from federal funds, also. For example, if you have a grant from an organization which utilizes federal funds, you could not use their federal money to match MHHAA grants.

In-kind matches must be necessary and directly attributable to the project. Personnel time for employees, volunteers, service providers and consultants as well as tangible contributions of services, materials, supplies and products must be documented. All documentation must be submitted to MHHAA prior to final disbursement of grant funding.

Applications for the FY19 Community Grants Program will be accepted January 2 - January 31, 2019, 4:00 PM CST.

The application is designed so that you may download, complete and submit it electronically. If you prefer to complete it manually you may download the full application, complete it as instructed and send to the address shown on the form. Mailed or special handling applications must be received by the same stated deadline also. All support documentation must be included with your application by stated deadline.

Education grants carry no submission deadline, and there is a six-week turnaround time for approval.

FY19 Community Grants Program timeline:
-January 31, 2019: Deadline for grant applications.
-February/March 2019: Grants Committee review and ranking.
-March 19, 2019: Grant Award Ceremony. Successful applicants will be contacted prior to this date.

Staff is available to consult with prospective applicants, who are strongly encouraged to speak with a staff member by phone about their project and/or set up a time to meet with staff to go over their idea.

Disbursement of the approved grant award will be made upon receipt of grantee's project completion form, documentation of all paid expenses and certification of all matching contributions.

Contact Information:

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

Applications may be mailed to:
Mississippi Hills Heritage Area Alliance
Grants Administrator
Renasant Center for Ideas, Suite 114
398 East Main Street
Tupelo, MS 38804

(662) 269-2580

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Mississippi: Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area