NEH Challenge Grants
|Source:||National Endowment for the Humanities|
|Program:||NEH Challenge Grants|
|Eligibility:||Applications are welcome from colleges and universities, museums, public libraries, research institutions, historical societies and historic sites, scholarly associations, state humanities councils, and other nonprofit humanities entities. Programs that involve collaboration among multiple institutions are eligible as well, but one institution must serve as the lead agent and formal applicant of record.|
|Purpose:||NEH challenge grants are capacity-building grants, intended to help institutions and organizations secure long-term improvements in and support for their humanities programs and resources. Through these awards, many organizations and institutions have been able to increase their humanities capacity and secure the permanent support of an endowment. Grants may be used to establish or enhance endowments or spend-down funds that generate expendable earnings to support and enhance ongoing program activities. Challenge grants may also provide capital directly supporting the procurement of long-lasting objects, such as acquisitions for archives and collections, the purchase of equipment, and the construction or renovation of facilities needed for humanities activities. Funds spent directly must be shown to bring long-term benefits to the institution and to the humanities more broadly. Grantee institutions may also expend up to 10 percent of total grant funds (federal funds plus matching funds) to defray costs of fundraising to meet the NEH challenge. Because of the matching requirement, these NEH grants also strengthen the humanities by encouraging nonfederal sources of support.|
FYI:Â In the last five competitions the Challenge Grants program received an average of 103 applications per year. The program made an average of 16 awards per year, for a funding ratio of 16 percent.
NEH will offer successful applicants a matching grant. The requested grant amount should be appropriate to the humanities needs and the fundraising capacity of the institution. The federal portions of NEH challenge grants have ranged in recent years from $30,000 to $1 million, the maximum amount that may be requested. Requests over $500,000, however, are unlikely to be funded at the requested level, and in recent years the maximum grant has ranged between $425,000 and $500,000. Applicants wishing to apply for a grant of more than $500,000 should consult with NEH staff about the size of their requests. Smaller grants for sharply defined purposes are encouraged.Â
Contact the staff of NEH’s Office of Challenge Grants at 202-606-8309 or atÂ firstname.lastname@example.org