Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
45.130 Promotion of the Humanities_Challenge Grants
NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES, NATIONAL FOUNDATION ON THE ARTS AND THE HUMANITIES
National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act of 1965, as amended, Public Law 89-209, 20 U.S.C. 951 et seq.
To support educational and cultural institutions and organizations in order to increase their financial stability and to sustain or improve the quality of humanities programs, services, or resources. Normally, institutions requesting their first NEH challenge grant must raise at least three dollars in new donations from nonfederal sources to receive each Federal dollar. Institutions requesting subsequent challenge grants must raise at least four dollars for each Federal dollar.
TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:
USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:
Funds may be applied to a variety of institutional needs which an applicant has demonstrated serve both the humanities and the institution's long-term objectives. The major purpose of a Challenge Grant is to help institutions and organizations attain or sustain a high level of quality in humanities programs or activities by building long-term capital resources. The most common and preferred expenditure of grant and matching funds is the creation of endowments. Also possible where the need is compelling are direct expenditures such as library acquisitions, technological enhancement, construction and renovation, debt retirement, and other costs clearly attributable to improvements in humanities programs and activities. Funds may not be used for general operating support or undergraduate scholarships and prizes or for projects eligible for support from other NEH programs.
Applicant Eligibility: Any public or private nonprofit institution or organization working wholly or in part within the humanities may apply, including the following: two-year and four-year colleges; universities; museums; historical societies; research libraries; public libraries; advanced study centers; media organizations; university presses; professional societies; educational, cultural, State humanities councils, or community groups. State and local governments and U.S. Territories are eligible to apply on their own behalf or on behalf of nonprofit institutions, associations or organizations within their jurisdictions. Individuals and public and private elementary and secondary schools are not eligible to apply.
Pre-application Coordination: None required, but preliminary discussion with Endowment staff and the submission of a draft application at least eight weeks before the deadline are strongly encouraged. The standard application forms as furnished by the Endowment and required by OMB Circular No. A-102 must be used for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102 and E.O. 12372.
Formula and Matching Requirements: Matching by a minimum of three times the grant amount for institutions receiving their first challenge grant, and by a minimum of four times the grant amount for institutions receiving subsequent challenge grants, in new nonfederal contributions. Other matching ratios may be required for special initiatives, as announced. Source: Public Law 89-209, as amended; 20 U.S.C. 951; Arts and Humanities Cultural Act of 1976; Public Law 94-462. Contact: See Headquarters Office below.
POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:
Reports: Narrative progress reports are required biennially; reports on nonfederal contributions, matching funds raised, and sources of giving are required annually. Final narrative and financial reports are due within 90 days after the grant ending date.
Account Identification: 59-0200-0-1-503.
In fiscal year 2001, 89 applications were received and approximately 26 awards were made.
REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:
45 CFR 1100 and 1105. Guidelines are available online at http://www.neh.gov/grants/grants.html and upon request from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington, DC 20506. Available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402, is the Endowment's official publication, "Humanities" by subscription (6 issues annually, $24.00 domestic, $30.00 foreign).
Regional or Local Office: None.
EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:
(1) A community college will use its $500,000 challenge grant to endow a humanities institute in partnership with a major museum. (2) A public broadcasting station will use its $500,000 challenge grant to establish an endowment for the production, acquisition, and promotion of humanities programming. (3) A public library will use its $300,000 challenge grant to renovate and expand its historic facility to better house its humanities collections and improve space for humanities public programming. (4) A museum will use its $575,000 challenge grant as the cornerstone of a larger fund- raising campaign for an endowment to support a new regional art center. (5) An professional humanities association is using its $246,000 challenge grant to endow staff positions in humanities educational programming.
CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:
To reach decisions about funding, all reviewers of Challenge Grants applications are asked to evaluate the existing and potential quality of an applicant's programs in the humanities, its needs, management, and fund-raising capability. In light of the goals of the Challenge Grants Program, reviewers assess each application in accordance with the following criteria: (1) The significance of existing and planned humanities activities. (2) The impact of challenge grant funds. (3) The appropriateness of institutional resources and plans. (4) The feasibility of fund raising. Applicants for second or subsequent awards must describe and assess the effects of their prior awards.