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Special Grant Program - Media Grants

Grants to Ohio Nonprofits for Humanities Film,
Audio, Digital, and Photographic Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Ohio Humanities

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/07/19 - Media Production Grant application deadline; Media Planning and Preproduction Grant applications are due on the first business day of each month.


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Grants of up to $2,000 and grants of up to $20,000 to Ohio nonprofit organizations for the preparation, planning, and production of humanities-related media documentary projects. Applicants may be required to submit a draft prior to the final application. Funding is intended to support innovative film, digital, audio, and photographic projects that create a deeper understanding of history and culture.

Ohio Humanities supports innovative humanities-informed documentary projects. This includes audio, digital, film, and photographic projects that have strong grounding in the humanities and are accessible to a broad public audience. Media projects should focus on topics that enhance an understanding of Ohio and its culture, people, and history. Project applications should demonstrate that the media program will be suitable for statewide and national audiences through internet or other digital platforms, broadcast, and exhibition.

The Ohio Humanities Media Grant program includes two types of grants:

I. Production Grants: Ohio Humanities makes media production grants.

II. Planning and Preproduction Grants: Grants may be used for planning and preproduction for a media project. Such grants may be used for research, consultations with humanities scholars, and preparing a script treatment or statement of user experience, and preliminary capture of material.

To consider whether a media project is eligible for an Ohio Humanities grant:

- Does the project document Ohio’s history and culture, or explore issues of importance to Ohioans?
- Does the project approach the subject from a humanities perspective, using scholarship and research, and incorporating a variety of viewpoints?
- Will the project engage audiences by inspiring reflection and thoughtful analysis?
- Does the project involve an Ohio-based humanities professional who will work in concert with experienced producers and directors?
- Is the project suitable for wide distribution?

Review Criteria for Media Proposals:

- Conceptual clarity, style, and approach
- Depth of humanities content
- Significance and scope of project goals and outcomes
- Experience of production team and advisors
- Strength of media samples or portfolios
- Likelihood of completion and distribution
- Feasibility of work plan and outreach
- Budget and fundraising plans

Eligible grant expenditures may include:

- Honoraria for humanities scholars and advisors;
- Salaries or fees for production staff and technical consultants (not to exceed 30% of the total grant request);
- Production and post-production expenses;
- Rights to use archival materials;
- Supplies and materials for production activities;
- Lesson plan development for use in schools;
- Rental or purchase of equipment or software (not to exceed 20% of the total grant request);
- Travel, lodging, and per diem expenses for staff, consultants, and advisors
- Administrative costs directly related to the project, or fiscal agent fees (up to 10% of total Ohio Humanities grant request);
- Public program expenses (e.g., room rental for premiere);
- Publicity expenses directly related to the project.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181841

Estimated Size of Grant:

Ohio Humanities does not invest more than $23,000 in any one project.

-Production Grants: Maximum $20,000
-Planning and Preproduction Grants: Maximum $2,000

Term of Contract:

Projects must begin after May 1, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Ohio Humanities gives grants to nonprofit organizations incorporated in the state of Ohio. Independent or out-of-state media makers must seek a fiscal agent to sponsor their project.

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 that advocate for political, religious, or ideological points of view;
- Institutional histories produced by and/or partially funded by the institution itself for an internal audience;
- Promotional or informational projects intended to inform the public about an organization, product, or service;
- Archival projects;
- Design and creation of new hardware;
- Creation of proprietary software platforms and programs;
- Exhibitions that do not include interpretation;
- Media art and performance pieces;
- Recordings of conferences, lectures, workshops, or performances;
- Scholarships, internships, or projects that result in academic credit.

Pre-Application Information:

Applicants are encouraged to discuss their projects with a program officer before completing the application.

All applications must be submitted via the online application system. All media grants should plan to submit a draft at the appropriate deadline and then make necessary changes in time to submit the final application by the appropriate deadline. Upon using the online application system for media grants, applicants are advised of slight alterations to the general instructions for the online application system. The questions provided should guide the development of the narrative, though some questions may be more relevant to some projects than others.

I. Media Production Grants:

Ohio Humanities reviews media grant proposals twice each year. Successful projects will have an Ohio connection, humanities perspectives, and a plan for broad distribution. Radio and television documentaries should be targeted for public broadcast. Applicants should submit a full draft online before the deadline.

Media Production Grants Deadlines:

- July 13, 2018— Draft submitted by June 13, 2018 for projects beginning after November 1, 2018.
- January 7, 2019— Draft submitted by December 7, 2018 for projects beginning after May 1, 2019.

Because Media Production projects typically require funding at levels greater than Ohio Humanities can support, project directors are encouraged to seek multiple sources of support.

Note: Ohio Humanities projects above $2,001 must have an outside evaluator. An external evaluator is a person who is able to judge the success of a project in reaching its stated goals.

II. Media Planning Grants:

- Ohio Humanities considers proposals on a monthly basis. Media planning activities include research, script development, and consulting with humanities professionals. Drafts submitted online are recommended by not required.

- Media Planning Grants Deadlines: The first business day of each month and at least eight weeks before the start date of the funded activity.

Cost-Share: 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. (For more details about Cost-Share, see General Guidelines listed below.)

For grant information:
Determining Eligibility:
Planning Resources:
General Guidelines:

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:

David Merkowitz, PhD, Program Officer

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