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General Grants Program

Grants to Ohio Nonprofits for
Public Humanities Programming

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Ohio Humanities

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

07/13/18 - Deadline for Quarterly Grants; 12/4/2017 Draft Proposal Deadline for Major Grants;First business day of each month is the Deadline for Monthly Grants


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Grants of up to $2,000, grants of up to $5,000, and grants of up to $20,000 to Ohio nonprofit organizations for public humanities programming. Applicants for Quarterly Grants must submit a proposal draft by November 15. Funding is intended to support cultural programs that sustain and create vibrant communities throughout the state.

Ohio Humanities supports cultural programs that share the human story through documentation, interpretation, reflection, and representation. Humanities scholars, community history specialists, and cultural heritage professionals play a key role in Ohio Humanities funded projects. Funded projects take many forms: documentaries, exhibitions, public talks, book festivals, and digital media.

The following guidelines represent Ohio Humanities’ definition of a fundable cultural program:

1. Cultural programs with a clear humanities focus

Your project must make use of a humanities perspective. Programs should situate and share stories in the context of the humanities, encouraging participants to engage in considered reflection on those stories.

Areas of study include: history, anthropology, folklore, archaeology, literature, languages, linguistics, philosophy, ethics, comparative religion, jurisprudence, historical and critical approaches to the arts, and aspects of the social sciences which use historical or philosophical approaches.

2. Cultural programs involving humanities professionals

Ohio Humanities prefers to fund the creation of content and places a high priority on supporting the work of humanities professionals. Ohio Humanities is unlikely to fund projects in which humanities professionals are not centrally involved in planning and/or implementing the program.

-A humanities professional generally has an advanced degree in a humanities area of study (e.g. MA, MLS, or PhD). Projects may also draw on individuals with a wealth of relevant knowledge about a topic, but lack advanced training in the humanities (e.g. a local historian or educator). Applicants must be able to demonstrate how the humanities professional will ensure accuracy and provide relevant context and interpretation of the topic from a humanities perspective.

-Be aware that there are specific requirements for living history and historical reenactment projects. Ohio Humanities will evaluate living history projects according to the standards of documented research and quality performance set by the Ohio Chautauqua.

-Scholar-performers must demonstrate extensive knowledge about the individual presented and the context of that person’s culture and times. Composite characters may be used only for relatively anonymous figures (e.g. canal digger or steelworker). Ohio Humanities may request a bibliography from scholar-performers.

-Scholar-performers should have training in theater performance. Projects that make use of living historians must provide a video of the presenter with the application (DVD or a link to a video online).

-Projects involving historical reenactment must depict events that originally occurred in Ohio and in the general area where the contemporary project will take place.

3. Cultural programs with public benefit

-Allow Ohioans to interpret the past and imagine the future;
-Guide Ohioans in defining individual beliefs, values, and aspirations;
-Help Ohioans understand and engage diverse cultures;
-Engage the broadest possible audiences;
-Create and sustain vibrant communities;
-Support the development of innovative opportunities and relationships.

For Ohio Humanities, the public primarily refers to a general adult audience.
-Projects that involve children should be purposefully multi-generational.
-Projects occurring on a college campus must connect with and be available to a general adult audience. An audience composed primarily of college-affiliated adults is not a ‘general adult audience.’

4. Cultural programs with balanced views

-Public programs should encourage open discussion by raising questions among speakers and audience members.
-Projects cannot advocate partisan or political courses of action.
-Projects that deal with potentially controversial topics must give fair consideration and expression to alternative viewpoints.
-Projects that address religious topics must scrupulously avoid any component that promotes advocacy or conversion.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181831

Estimated Size of Grant:

-Major Grants: Maximum $20,000
-Quarterly Grants: Maximum $5,000
-Monthly Grants: Maximum $2,000

Term of Contract:

Ohio Humanities funds cannot be used to support activities prior to the project start date.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Ohio Humanities gives grants to nonprofit organizations incorporated in the state of Ohio.

Ohio Humanities may request proof of nonprofit status at its discretion. Proper evidence includes 501(c)(3) letter, IRS 990 form, or a copy of the Agent Notification Form for Unincorporated Nonprofit Associations from Ohio’s Secretary of State.

Organizations must have a DUNS number.

All grant applicants are required to certify that they are not presently debarred, suspended, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from participating in federally funded programs.

All grant applicants are required to certify that they are not currently delinquent in the payment of a federal debt.

All grant applicants are required to certify that they are in compliance with the Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards and all of the following federal nondiscrimination statutes: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975.

Grant Status with Ohio Humanities:

Organizations may only have one open grant with Ohio Humanities at any time. Organizations should complete all necessary requirements for previous grants before applying to Ohio Humanities for another grant.

Large organizations with many semi-autonomous departments or multiple sites may receive a waiver for this limitation (i.e. universities, public library systems, park systems).

For repeat or annual programs, Ohio Humanities reserves the right to shift requests for continuing support to an alternate grantline that requires a higher level of cash cost-share from the sponsoring organization.

Ohio Humanities is unlikely to fund:
-Projects that emphasize skills training, motivation and empowerment, or the process of learning rather than reflection on and discussion of specific humanities issues.
-Projects that emphasize the creative process or the art form (theater, dance, music, opera, visual, etc.) rather than the cultural, aesthetic, or historical contexts of art.
-Projects that focus on construction, preservation, restoration, or the purchase of collections for museums or libraries.
-Creation or purchase of a mural, memorial, monument, or plaque.

Ohio Humanities does not fund:
-Projects focusing on individual scholarship for academic or other specialized audiences.
-Book publication costs.
-Activities that result in academic credit, including fellowships or scholarships.
-Ohio Humanities may choose to offer special programs that provide continuing education units for certain professionals.
-A project that is to be used as a fundraiser for the sponsoring organization or other related organizations.
-Projects that do not present a balanced viewpoint.
-Projects that discriminate against persons or groups.

Pre-Application Information:

Each $1.00 from Ohio Humanities must be matched with $1.00 of cost-share from the sponsoring organization. Cost-share may be either cash or in-kind. Ohio Humanities gives greater weight to projects with cash cost-share raised from outside sources.

Ohio Humanities reviews Major Grant proposals twice each year. Applicants should submit a full draft online before the deadline.

Major Grant Deadlines:
-July 12, 2017: Draft submitted by June 12, 2017 for projects beginning after November 1, 2017.
-January 5, 2018: —Draft submitted by December 4, 2017 for projects beginning after May 1, 2018.
-July 13, 2018: Draft submitted by June 13, 2018 for projects beginning after November 1, 2018.

Ohio Humanities reviews Quarterly Grant proposals four times each year. Applicants should submit a full draft online before the deadline.

Quarterly Grant Deadlines:
-Sept. 15, 2017: Drafts submitted by Aug. 15, 2017 for projects beginning after Nov. 24, 2017.
-Dec. 15, 2017: Drafts submitted by Nov. 15, 2017 for projects beginning after Feb. 23, 2018.
-March 15, 2018: Drafts submitted by Feb. 15, 2018 for projects beginning after May 24, 2018.
-June 15, 2018: Drafts submitted by May 15, 2018 for projects beginning after Aug. 24, 2018.

Monthly Grant Deadlines:
Ohio Humanities considers small grant requests (Monthly Grants) on a monthly basis. Drafts submitted online are recommended, but not required. The Monthly Grant deadline is the first business day of each month and at least eight weeks before the start date of the funded activity.

General Guidelines:

Determining Eligibility:

Planning Resources:

Application Information:

Online Application Instructions and Resources:

Paper Application Instructions and Resources:

Contact Information:

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

Online Application Portal:

For Major Grants:
David Merkowitz, PhD

For Quarterly and Monthly Grants:
Robert Colby, PhD

Ohio Humanities
471 East Broad Street, Suite 1620
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3857

Office: 614.461.7802
Toll Free: 800.293.9774

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Ohio