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Neighborhood Placemaking Grant

Grants to Baltimore, Maryland Nonprofits and Neighborhood
Associations for Projects that Support Cultural Heritage Tourism

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Baltimore National Heritage Area (BNHA)

Deadline Date:

04/01/19 11:59 PM


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Grants ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 to Baltimore, Maryland nonprofit organizations and neighborhood or community associations for projects that support heritage tourism. New applicants are required to attend an information session on the grant process prior to applying. Funding is intended to help neighborhoods in the Baltimore National Heritage Area enhance their quality of life and become more tourist-friendly.

The Baltimore National Heritage Area (BNHA) is a congressionally designated area encompassing 22 square miles within the city of Baltimore. The core of the heritage area includes the historic neighborhoods around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The heritage area extends west to include the Gwynns Falls and Leakin Park, and reaches north to include Druid Hill Park and the Cylburn Arboretum. The heritage area is not contiguous: Mount Auburn Cemetery is also included within the heritage area boundary.

The mission of BNHA is to promote, preserve, and enhance the heritage area’s cultural, historic, and natural resources for current and future generations. BNHA encourages activities that spur economic development through heritage tourism and make the heritage area more visitor-ready, visitor-friendly, and more livable for Baltimore residents.

The grant program is designed to provide small, but strategic investments in cultural heritage tourism (non-capital) projects within the heritage area. The overarching goal is to connect residents and visitors to the stories and history that make each neighborhood unique.

The goal of the Program is to assist neighborhoods:
- With enhancing their quality of life through heritage tourism stewardship;
- Become more visitor-friendly and visitor-ready;
- Balance community and tourism; and
- Increase awareness of the Baltimore National Heritage Area and its resources for neighborhoods.

The following non-capital projects or activities within the heritage area may be assisted:

Green Your Neighborhood
Projects that promote neighborhood greening activities, environmental stewardship, cleanliness, beautification, citizen community education and stewardship. In addition, projects that promote investments in city parks and open spaces to enhance safe and accessible recreation opportunities for visitors and residents

Navigate Your Neighborhood
Festivals, performances, reenactments, and events that promote heritage tourism and attract visitors. Projects that aid in navigating through neighborhoods such as interpretive signage, pedestrian way-finding signage, interpretive brochures, development of online navigation platforms and apps, walking tours, educational programs and materials, other interpretive activities that support the heritage area’s neighborhoods.

Revitalize Your Neighborhood: Plan!
Planning and feasibility studies for capital projects, vacant lot development planning, market research, branding and marketing projects, research for content development, and project evaluation surveys.

Eligible activities must address or complete a priority activity identified in and consistent with the goals, objectives, strategies, and actions outlined in the 2013 Baltimore National Heritage area Comprehensive Management Plan. Generally, grants will be made as one-time awards and not for ongoing projects or activities that require a multi-year grant commitment. Project activity must occur within the boundary of the Baltimore National Heritage Area (see map in FAQ).

Grant proposals will be reviewed using the criteria outlined below.
- Clarity: Are the project/organization’s objectives clearly described?
- Consistency: Is the project specifically identified in BNHA’s Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP)? If not, how is the project consistent with the goals and objectives of the CMP?
- Urgency: What is the down side to delaying this project? Why should this funding request receive priority at this time? Does this organization have access to other funding sources?
- Project Design: Are the budget, design, and personnel reasonable to accomplish the project or organization’s objectives?
- Readiness: Is the project or organization ready to proceed and can the objectives be accomplished in a realistic and timely manner? If the applicant currently has another BNHA grant, have the deadlines been met? Can the applicant realistically obtain their required match?
- Collaboration: Does the project involve volunteers, and other partners to achieve the project’s deliverables, or demonstrate community buy-in?
- Heritage Tourism Value: Does the project or organization’s activities significantly increase the heritage tourism economic activity within the heritage area?
- Sustainability: How will this project continue after funds are expended? For greening projects, is there a continued maintenance plan?

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184895

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum request is $5,000. The minimum amount is $1,500.

Term of Contract:

Generally, grants will be made as one-time awards and not for ongoing projects or activities that require a multi-year grant commitment. All grant funds must be expended by April 1, 2020, if not sooner.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for a Heritage Placemaking Grant, applicant organizations must meet each of the following criteria:
- Be a nonprofit organization, tax-exempt community or neighborhood association in good standing with the State of Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation;
- If not a nonprofit organization, the applicant organization agrees to be the fiscal agent responsible for the grant award deliverables (formal agreement must be uploaded with the full online application);
- Be qualified to do business in Maryland;
- Have the legal capacity and authority to incur obligations involved under the grant program; AND
- Be located within the boundary of the heritage area (or the program/activity will happen within the boundary of the heritage area.)

The following types of organizations are not eligible to apply to the Heritage Placemaking Grant Program (this list is not meant to be exhaustive): Units of government; individuals; organizations that are the primary responsibility of a government agency; organizations that are not in good standing with BNHA and/or not in compliance with previous grants.

BNHA project funds cannot be used to fund staff salaries and/or benefits. Salaries and benefits can be used in the cash-match funds. In addition, funds cannot be used for capital expenditures, overhead expenses, alcohol, religious ceremonies or events advancing or inhibiting a particular religious ideology; fundraising or advocacy of specific political causes or candidates; agent’s fees for programs contracted through commercial agencies; and travel outside of the United States. Public art projects or façade improvement grants (FIG) will not be eligible for this grant cycle.

Ineligible Match:
- State Funds
- Expenditures made prior to the award of the grant or after the completion of the grant period
- Expenditures that do not relate to the grant project.

Pre-proposal Conference:

First-time applicants to Baltimore National Heritage Area are required to attend an information session on the grant process. Previous grant recipients are welcome to attend. Please contact Shauntee Daniels, Director of Programs, or Imani Haynes, Neighborhood Placemaking Coordinator, for workshop dates.

Pre-Application Information:

Grant Timeline:
- December 1, 2018: Application opens online on BNHA’s website (Must create online account with Submittable or use existing username and password if previously submitted an application to BNHA).
- December 1, 2018 - January 31, 2019: Community outreach workshops and proposal development period for applicants. Please contact Shauntee Daniels or Imani Haynes for workshop dates and locations.
February 1, 2019, 11:59 PM: Applications due online.
February – March: Grant Review Panel reviews, scores, and makes award decisions.
March 15, 2019: Awards announced, craft grant agreements. First disbursement to grantees at 50% of award.
April 1, 2019 - April 1, 2020: One-year project period begins.
May 1, 2020: Final reports due.
June 2020: Final disbursement (50% of award) released upon satisfactory final report.

There is a $1 for $1 match requirement. At least 75 percent of the required match must be in cash and up to 25 percent can be in documented in-kind support (donated volunteer time, professional services, donated goods, etc.).

Examples of Cash Match:
- Cash expenditures
- Support from a non-state grant or loan fund
- Staff salaries for work specifically on the project.

Examples of In-Kind Match:
- Volunteer time for work on the project
- Donated professional services (can be valued at their professional rate, but only if working on the project in their professional role, i.e. architect donating architectural design services.
- Donated materials/supplies.

National Park Service Guide for Signage:

Management Plan:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

For workshop dates, and other questions, please contact Shauntee Daniels, Director of Programs (, or

Imani Haynes, Neighborhood Placemaking Coordinator (

Baltimore Heritage Association, Inc.
12 W. Madison Street, Suite 120
Baltimore, MD 21201

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Maryland: Baltimore National Heritage Area