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Community Engagement Grants

Grants to North Carolina Nonprofits
for Public Humanities Programs

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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North Carolina Humanities Council

Deadline Date:

09/16/21 11:59 PM


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Grants of up to $3,500 to North Carolina nonprofit organizations for public humanities programs. Funding is intended to support a broad range of projects and activities such as workshops, presentations, exhibitions, and lecture series that involve a team of community leaders and humanities scholars. The Council encourages programs which serve educators, veterans, and underserved communities in the State. Projects are expected to connect the public to quality humanities scholarship through programs that respond to community interest, encourage dialogue, and stimulate audiences to think critically about a broad range of humanities topics.

Projects must be deeply grounded in the humanities disciplines, which include: 

  • Language (both modern and classical)
  • Literature
  • History
  • Jurisprudence (law)
  • Philosophy
  • Archeology
  • Comparative religion
  • Ethics
  • The history, criticism and theory of the arts
  • Social sciences which have humanistic content and/or employ humanistic methods

Activities funded by North Carolina Humanities Council grants should be open to the public and free or low cost.

All proposals must:

  • Be grounded in sound humanities scholarship
  • Be public in nature. Either reaching a broad public audience or a particular group underserved by the humanities.
  • Provide analytical interpretation to deepen public understanding of significant humanities questions
  • Involve a team of humanities scholars and community leaders who contribute to all phases of the project
  • Offer engaging content approached through an appropriate variety of perspectives 
  • Encourage dialogue and the exchange of ideas.

Projects that focus on art history/criticism/theory (e.g. a lecture/discussion program in which a qualified humanities scholar explores artistic themes and helps put work in a larger social/historical context) are eligible.  

Typical expenses include: Scholar stipends, scholar travel/meals/lodging, publicity, exhibit fabrication, and certain other expenses connected with a project of limited scope. For a detailed list of eligible expenses and projects, see and

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184852

Estimated Size of Grant:

The Community Engagement grant funding opportunity provides up to $3,500 to cultural organizations.

Term of Contract:

To be eligible for consideration, projects must begin at least eight weeks after the submission deadline.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicant Eligibility
- Applicants must be a not-for-profit organization (i.e. 501c3 or tax exempt governmental unit)
- Activities must take place in North Carolina
- Organization must have a DUNS number and be a registered entity in the System for Award Management (
- Organization must not be presently debarred, suspended, proposed for debarment, declared ineligible, or voluntarily excluded from receiving federal grants.

Eligible proposals which meet one or more of the following are given special consideration:
- Applicant organizations in rural communities
- Applicant organizations primarily serving traditionally under-resourced groups including communities of color or other marginalized groups (Seniors, ALAANA (those of African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and/or Native American descent), People with Disabilities, New Americans (Immigrants, Refugees, First Generation Americans), Low-Income, and LGBTQIA).

The North Carolina Humanities Council does not award grants to individuals.

- Organizations that have an open NCHC grant are not eligible to apply for a new grant (with the exception of large organizations with multiple locations such as the library system, YMCA, or college/university).
- Organizations that have delinquent paperwork for a previously funded NCHC grant are not eligible to apply.
- Projects that are religious in nature or specifically serve only church membership or faculty/student body* are not eligible.
- Projects that engage in the promotion of political parties, candidates, or policies (including lobbying activities) are not eligible.

*While the North Carolina Humanities Council welcomes applications that involve educational institutions, the proposed project must reach a broader community of citizens than the campus community.

For ineligible expenses and restrictions, see pages 5, 6, 7, and 9 on the Guidelines page listed in Supporting Documents below.

For ineligible projects, see

Pre-proposal Conference:

The Council strongly recommends setting up a consultation. Applicants may schedule a phone consultation with Council staff as they prepare their proposal.

To schedule, see Please click on any time to make a booking for your grant proposal consultation phone conversation with Director of Programs and Operations, Caitlin Patton Stanley. Please email if you have any questions or if you would like to request that NCHC set up this call on a conference line.

Pre-Application Information:

- Application Opens: November 30, 2020
- Application Cycle 1 Submission Deadline: Jan 21, 2021 at 11:59 PM
- Application Cycle 2 Submission Deadline: Sept 16, 2021 at 11:59 PM
- Award Notification: Decisions are typically announced a month after submission

To be eligible for consideration, projects must begin AT LEAST eight weeks AFTER the submission deadline.

Please note: While staff is always available for question, a full staff review of an applicant's draft proposal is only available upon request until 3 weeks prior to a submission deadline. Please email Caitlin Patton to request this service.

Grantees will be required to provide matching investment toward the project expenses. Generally, applicants will be required to match their grant 2-1 in a combination of cash and in-kind investment.

Applicant video tutorial:

For more information and for a preview of the application:

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 questions, contact:

Caitlin Patton Stanley
Director of Programs and Operations

North Carolina Humanities Council
320 East 9th Street
Suite 414
Charlotte, NC 28202
(704) 687-1520

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: North Carolina

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