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Oral History Grant

Grants to Mississippi Nonprofits, IHEs,
and Agencies for Oral History Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Mississippi Humanities Council (MHC)

Deadline Date:

09/15/18 Receipt deadline for requests of $2,001 - $7,500; requests of $2,000 or less must be received at least eight weeks prior to the project activity


Request a Grant Writer

Grants of up to $2,000 and grants ranging from $2,001 to $7,500 to Mississippi nonprofits, government agencies, and IHEs for humanities projects centered on oral history. Applicants must contact program staff at least four weeks prior to the deadline and are strongly encouraged to submit a proposal draft for review at least three weeks prior to the deadline.

Oral History Grants:

With funding from the Mississippi Legislature through an appropriation to the Department of Archives and History, the Mississippi Oral History Project has captured the stories of the state since 1999. Groups may apply for grants to support oral history projects that relate to the experiences of Mississippians.

Unless you have written permission from the MHC’s executive director, all grantees must agree to work with the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage at the University of Southern Mississippi, which will archive the interviews.

Oral history grant applicants are strongly encouraged to develop a plan to use, disseminate or exhibit the interviews once they are completed.

Funding Criteria:

Funding by MHC in any given round depends on the quality of proposals, on the funds available, and on the number of proposals received. MHC attempts to allocate funds equitably across the state Congressional districts to serve as many Mississippians as possible.

Keys to a Successful Proposal Humanities:

Scholars Actively Involved:

Humanities scholars should participate in all phases of the planning, conduct and evaluation of project activities. Create ways for them to contribute their analytical and teaching skills to encourage the public to engage in critical thinking and interpretation.

Potential Audience Members are Involved in the Planning:

People who represent the potential audience should participate in designing the grant project, through planning, execution of the project and follow-up evaluation. Projects that cover topics related to specific groups—such as ethnic minorities, senior citizens or women—should specifically include representatives from those groups on the project committee.

Grant projects should be accessible to all segments of the population and no one should be excluded because of race, sex, age or disability. For instance, the location selected for a program should be accessible to all persons who might wish to attend. Grant recipients/project directors are expected to make all reasonable efforts to make programs accessible to citizens with disabilities. If you have questions regarding accessibility, please contact the Mississippi Humanities Council.

Program Reflects Balance of Views:

Proposals that address public policy questions and controversial issues should provide a balance of viewpoints, avoiding advocacy or bias. Humanities scholars with expertise in a range of viewpoints should be involved in the planning and implementation phases of program development.

Have an Adequate Evaluation Plan:

Evaluation of the success of a project is an essential part of good programming. Understanding the response of a program’s audience is crucial to planning future programs. Grant applicants must describe their evaluation plan in their project narrative. Evaluation forms distributed to audience members should solicit demographic information in addition to qualitative responses to the program. Awarded grantees will receive a sample audience evaluation form that may be adapted to your particular program. The project director’s final grant report must contain an assessment of the success of the program based on audience evaluation.

Have a Strong Publicity Plan:

Publicity is a critical part of every successful project. An appropriate and effective plan for promoting the program must be described in the grant narrative. The first step in successfully publicizing a program is carefully defining its purpose and intended audience. Submit your application well in advance of your program date to allow adequate time for publicity.

Attractive, striking and informative publicity well in advance of your programs will encourage people to attend. MHC strongly encourages you to send press releases, announcements and invitations to newspapers and radio and television stations, as well as using various forms of social media to publicize the event. In addition, MHC encourages you to send promotional materials about the program to Mississippi’s Congressional delegation and local legislators. MHC encourages you to cooperate with other local groups and organizations to help publicize your program or project.

Please note that all print and other publicity materials must acknowledge MHC support and include the MHC logo, available for download here.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 180375

Estimated Size of Grant:

-Minigrants: Requests of $2,000 or less
-Regular Grants: Requests of $2,001 - $7,500

Term of Contract:

Grant applicants may determine the length of the grant period, which should include sufficient time after the project to complete and submit all final reports.

Grant periods should not begin less than eight weeks after Minigrant deadlines and ten weeks after Regular grant deadlines. No grant funds may be spent or obligated before the start of the grant period.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Organizations or groups that apply for grants from MHC must be constituted for nonprofit purposes. It is not necessary that such organizations or groups be incorporated or have tax-exempt status.

MHC does not award grants to for-Profit entities.

All grant applicants must have a DUNS number.

Typical organizations eligible for grants include:
-Private nonprofit organizations
-Institutions of higher education
-State, local and federally recognized Indian tribal governments
-Community and cultural organizations
-Educational and professional groups
-Public agencies
-Non-commercial radio and television stations

MHC will not support the following:
-Programs that have an admission fee or registration charge
-Projects primarily intended to promote an organization or its programs
-Salaries of employees associated with the applying organization or other overhead costs
-Construction, preservation or renovation of facilities or purchase of equipment
-Acquisitions or additions to collections
-Alcoholic beverages
-Food costs for audiences
-Courses for academic credit
-Fellowships, scholarships and prizes
-Travel to professional meetings
-Individual research projects unless they are directly supporting a public humanities program
-Publications, or performances or presentations of works of art, unless they are essential in conveying the humanities content of the project to a non-academic audience
-Projects that advocate or promote a particular political, ideological, religious or partisan point of view

Individuals and for-Profit groups are not eligible to apply for MHC grants. While nonprofit organizations may collaborate informally to share grant funds, the name of only one organization may appear on the application. A staff member from that organization will be the lead organizer or project director.

Pre-Application Information:

Each organization applying for a grant must provide for the project’s cost-sharing contributions in cash and/or in kind. The combined total of cash and in-kind contributions must at least equal the amount of MHC funds. Applicants are encouraged to be comprehensive in their in-kind calculations, which may exceed the amount of grant funds requested.

NOTE: Many organizations meet the cost-sharing requirement through donated goods and services, such as the estimated value of volunteers’ time, meeting space provided free of charge or donated materials. Most applicants accumulate cost-sharing through the contributed time of project staff, especially the project director and volunteers. MHC staff is available to help you determine your cost-sharing contributions.

MHC recognizes that all cost-sharing or matching funds may not be in hand at the time of application. However, you must describe how you expect to meet the matching requirements.

The Mississippi Humanities Council requires that all grants over $2,000 must be matched in part by cash. For grants greater than $2,000, a cash match of 10% is required. Racial equity grants do not require a cash match, but can be matched by all in-kind contributions

Grant limits and deadlines for Oral History grants are the same as for Minigrants and Regular grants. Thus, Oral History Grants of $2,000 or less may be submitted anytime, but at least eight weeks before the project begins; deadlines for Oral History Grants between $2,001 and $7,500 are May 1 and September 15.

To make the best use of your time, MHC will help you determine whether your project is eligible for the grant program before you apply. Via email or phone, applicants must contact the Executive Director or the Assistant Director a minimum of four weeks before the grant deadline you select to discuss your project. Staff will give you guidance on how to craft a successful application and answer any questions you have. Oral History Grant applicants must also contact Dr. Kevin Greene at the Center for Oral History at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a draft of their grant application, including proposed budget, at least three weeks prior to the deadline. MHC staff will offer constructive feedback and suggestions on how to strengthen the application.

It is essential that the applicant organization and humanities scholars collaborate in preparing the grant application. Please state on your application whether your proposed speakers have accepted your invitation to participate on the scheduled dates. Participating scholars should understand that their audience will consist of the general public, not just other scholars.

The Council prefers that you submit your grant application in PDF format by email. If this is not possible for you, you may print the application and mail the completed forms to the office by the deadline. All applications must be received by the deadline to be considered.

-Minigrants (requests of $2,000 or less) - Rolling; application must be received at least eight weeks before the program
-Regular Grants (requests of $2,001 - $7,500) - May 1; Sept. 15

Grant Forms, Deadlines, and Information:

Contact Information:

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

Dr. Kevin Greene, Co-director, Center for Oral History
(601) 266-6270

Carol Andersen, Assistant Director

Molly Conway, Office Administrator

Mississippi Humanities Council
3825 Ridgewood Road, Room 311
Jackson, MS 39211-6497

P: 601.432.6752
F: 601-432-6750

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Mississippi