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National Endowment for the Humanities: Challenge Grants

Deadline: May 5, 2015

The mission of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Office of Challenge Grants is to advance knowledge and understanding in the humanities by strengthening the institutional base of humanities teaching, scholarly research, public programming, and other humanities activities. Challenge grants are capacity-building grants, intended to support significant humanities activities of high intellectual quality and to help institutions secure long-term support for their humanities programs.

Through these grants, 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 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 non-federal sources of support.

Amount: Grants range from $75,000 to $500,000. Applicants must match three times the amount of federal funds awarded.

Eligibility: With the exception of elementary and secondary schools (public or private) and school districts, any U.S. nonprofit institution (public agency, private nonprofit organization, federally recognized Indian tribal government) working wholly or in part with the humanities may apply for a challenge grant. Affiliated institutions (for example, a university museum) should consult with NEH staff on questions of separate eligibility. Institutions that support research, education, preservation, and public programming in humanities disciplines are eligible to apply for an NEH challenge grant.

Link: http://www.neh.gov/grants/challenge/challenge-grants

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