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Call for Applications: NEH Public Impact Projects

Call for Applications: NEH Public Impact Projects at Smaller Organizations Program (US)

Deadline: 12-Jun-24The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Division of Public Programs is seeking applications for the Public Impact Projects at Smaller Organizations program to strengthen the capacity of small and mid-sized museums and cultural organizations to create and develop public humanities programming.

The goal of PIP is to help you and your organization identify potential interpretive content based on your collections, increase the interpretive skills of staff and/or volunteers, and/or launch interpretive public programs that attract new audiences.Successful projects should demonstrate how the humanities matter to audiences and communities. Strong public humanities interpretation is the key factor driving funding decisions under PIP. NEH’s definition of the humanities is wide-ranging and includes fields like history, art history, ethnomusicology, archaeology, anthropology, literature, philosophy, and other areas that offer critical examination of human history and culture. While PIP does not support performing arts or artmaking activities, it can support analytical programming that uses the humanities to consider the historical or cultural significance of the arts, such as pre- or post-performance programming, is eligible.

Funding Information
  • You may request up to $25,000. This includes the sum of direct and indirect costs.NEH anticipates awarding approximately $750,000 among an estimated 30 recipients.You may request a period of performance up to two years with a start date between March 1, 2025, and May 1, 2025.
  • Project Design
  • When designing your project, consider the following questions:
    • What are your organization’s humanities interpretive needs or programmatic goals?How would achieving these needs or goals benefit public audiences?How might these goals expand your audience reach?How might new approaches to interpretation enable you to engage underserved audiences?
  • Allowable Activities
  • Allowable activities include but are not limited to:
    • hiring an interpretive consultant to help you think creatively about hidden strengths of your collections or to generate new ideas for engagement with audiencesworking with an evaluator to conduct focus groups, or front-end or formative evaluations aimed at connecting with your surrounding communityconsultation with scholars and interpretive consultants to develop new narrative frameworks for your collections or siteprofessional development to enhance staff and volunteer skills to present and plan public programing, including attendance at conferences focused on new interpretive approaches and best practices, or the creation and implementation of interpreter training specifically for your organizationlong-term strategic exhibition or interpretive planningvisits to other organizations to observe interpretive best practicesplanning and/or delivery of interpretive public programsco-curation projects that engage community members in doing the work of the humanities (e.g., primary research, oral histories, and composing interpretive content), resulting in a publicly available interpretive project, such as an exhibition or websitedevelopment or implementation of programming to amplify a traveling exhibition hosted at your institution (exhibition fees and shipping are not allowable costs in this program)
  • Intended Applicants                                                                             
  • NEH encourages proposals from first time applicants and those who have not received prior NEH funding. For the purposes of this program, NEH is targeting organizations that meet at least two of the following criteria:
    • Your annual operating budget is under $1,000,000You are in a community with a population of fewer than 300,000 peopleYour employed staff totals 25 people or fewerYou rely on volunteers and/or part-time staff to perform the majority of daily operationsYour core mission is to interpret under-told stories and/or your core audience is drawn from underserved populations (e.g., communities of color, LGBTQ+ communities, residents of rural areas, disability communities, U.S. religious minorities, and persons experiencing persistent poverty)Your organization is officially designated as an Historically Black College or University, Hispanic Serving Institution, or Tribal College or University (TCU) recognized by the Department of Education
  • Program Outcomes and Outputs 
  • The outcomes of a successful PIP award may include but are not limited to:
    • an assessment report outlining potential interpretive methods and/or storylinesparticipation of staff and/or volunteers in professional development training in new interpretive methods and/or contentan interpretive plan for the implementation of new public programsa new exhibition, tour, or other public program
  • Eligibility Criteria
  • Eligible Applicants 
    • To be eligible to apply, your organization must be established in the United States or its jurisdictions as one of the following:
      • a nonprofit organization recognized as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Codean accredited institution of higher education (public or nonprofit)a state or local government or one of their agenciesa federally recognized Native American Tribal government
      Individuals and other organizations, including foreign and for-profit entities, are ineligible.If your organization is eligible, you may apply on behalf of a consortium of collaborating organizations. If NEH selects your proposal for funding, you will be programmatically, legally, and fiscally responsible for the award. The recipient may not function solely as a fiscal agent but should make substantive contributions to the success of the project.Cost Sharing 
      • NEH does not require cost sharing in this program.Cost sharing refers to project costs that are covered with non-NEH funds. You may contribute voluntary cost share if the total project costs exceed the amount awarded by NEH. Voluntary cost share includes:
        • cash contributions made to the project by you or a third partyyour unrecovered indirect costsin-kind contributions (non-cash contributions, such as property or services, that benefit the project and are contributed without charge) by you or a third party.
  • For more information, visit Grants.gov.

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