National Endowment for the Humanities: American Rescue Plan – Humanities Grantmaking

The purpose of this emergency relief program is to fund grantmaking programs to assist those working in the humanities who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic and require support to restore and sustain their core activities. This Notice of Funding Opportunity is directed at grantmaking organizations that support small and mid-size humanities organizations or individuals who work in the humanities. Applicants may propose to expand existing grantmaking programs or establish a new grantmaking program. In keeping with Congress’s intent in enacting the American Rescue Plan, proposals under this notice should help humanities organizations and professionals to “prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from the coronavirus.” The program invites applications from experienced grantmaking organizations to administer competitive grantmaking programs to provide subawards at a national or regional (i.e., multi-state) level to humanities organizations or individuals who work in the humanities.

Applicants may propose to create a new grantmaking program or to expand or adapt an existing program. The program may be for either organizations or for individuals, but not for both. The proposed grantmaking program may include multiple tracks for applicants (e.g., for junior scholars and senior scholars; for museums and archives). NEH especially encourages applications for grantmaking programs that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the humanities.

Allowable costs include, but are not limited to:

  • competitive subawards to organizations or individuals
  • personnel costs (salaries and fringe benefits) for individuals employed by the applicant and dedicated to managing the proposed grantmaking program
  • compensation for selection committee members
  • supplies and materials necessary to manage proposed grantmaking program

Note: Management and administrative (M&A) costs may not exceed 10% of applicant’s budget. Applicants may request pre-award costs incurred no more than ninety days before the period of performance.

Grantmaking Programs for Organizations—Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • subawards to archives, museums, libraries, and/or historical societies affected by the pandemic to continue their core functions and activities to facilitate research, preservation, curatorial work, or public programming
  • subawards for humanities centers at institutions of higher education whose budgets have been depleted by pandemic savings measures
  • subawards for K-12- home schooling groups or organizations, and accredited K-12 nonprofit online instructional schools to develop and distribute supplemental curricula and teaching materials on humanities topics
  • subawards for humanities organizations with declining membership or subscription revenue to conduct virtual events such as workshops and lecture series
  • subawards for historic sites and local humanities institutions to create programming conducted online or with other appropriate safety measures in order to retain, reengage, and grow their audiences.

NEH especially encourages applications from organizations proposing grantmaking programs directed at increasing equity and inclusion or grantmaking programs directed at underserved and minority-serving institutions and organizations.

Grantmaking Programs for Individuals—Grantmaking programs for individuals must seek to alleviate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic by supporting unemployed or underemployed humanities professionals to pursue humanities activities of excellence that serve American scholarly and public audiences. For the purpose of grantmaking programs for individuals, “humanities professionals” are individuals who possess formal education or training in a discipline of the humanities as described in the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act 0f 1965.

Grantmaking programs for individuals must be structured as monthly stipends for individuals to pursue a specific humanities project. NEH encourages applications that seek to support humanities professionals within the academy as well as beyond the academy, including curators, librarians, archivists, digital humanists, public historians, conservators, and documentary filmmakers, among others. See solicitation for definitions and additional stipulations.

Examples include, but are not limited to:

  • fellowships to engage in humanities activities such as conducting research; developing supplemental educational curricula for online or in-person learning; creating a digital humanities product; producing a documentary film; or designing and presenting public programming.
  • residency programs for junior scholars and emerging humanities professionals at institutions of higher education and cultural organizations to engage in activities such as teaching, research, curatorial work, and collections care.
  • awards to support training and/or other professional development for unemployed or underemployed professionals in the humanities.

Note: See solicitation for full details on subrecipient eligibility. In addition to the subrecipient eligibility requirements in this notice, applicants may impose limiting subrecipient eligibility based on the specific design of their program (e.g. geography, institution type).

While all applications will be given equal consideration in accordance with the review criteria, NEH is especially interested in supporting projects that advance humanities-related work in the following areas:
NEH’s A More Perfect Union initiative encourages projects that explore, reflect on, and tell the stories of our quest for a more just, inclusive, and sustainable society throughout our history. NEH especially welcomes projects that bring the perspective of the humanities to questions of racial justice, gender equality, the evolution of the American landscape, as well as America’s place in the world. Projects that strengthen Americans’ knowledge of our principles of constitutional governance and democracy are strongly encouraged, as are projects that address the experiences of Native Americans and other under-represented communities. In addition, NEH welcomes projects that develop innovative approaches to sustaining the nation’s humanities infrastructure and preserving its historical record.

Amount: Approximately $40,000,000 is available to make up 15–20 awards for a performance period of two years. Maximum award amounts: Up to $2,000,000 for grantmaking programs for individuals; up to $5,000,000 for grantmaking programs for organizations.

Eligibility: U.S. nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, and federally recognized Native American tribal governments that are currently administering a competitive grantmaking program to organizations or individuals in the humanities.

Note: Accredited public and 501(c)(3) institutions of higher education, units of state and local
government, and individuals are not eligible to apply, but are eligible as subrecipients.

Deadline: May 13, 2021


Resource Information
Funder National Endowment for the Humanities
Eligibility Nonprofit Organization, Tribal Government
Resource URL:
Sector Arts & Humanities, COVID-19 Emergency Response
Grant Amount Up to $5,000,000
Deadline Closed