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:
Project Grants. Place Cursor Here for Definition
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.
Beneficiary Eligibility: All applicant
organizations and institutions and all users of their humanities resources,
programs, or activities.
Credentials/Documentation: This program is
excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.
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.
Application Procedure: Direct application to the
Office of Challenge Grants, NEH. Application instructions are available online
at http://www.neh.gov/grants/grants.html or from the Office of Challenge
Grants upon receipt of general inquiry. This program is excluded from Coverage
under OMB Circular No. A-110.
Award Procedure: Applications are reviewed by
administrators of humanities institutions, panels of scholars, and other
appropriate individuals. Awards are made by the Chairman of the National
Endowment for the Humanities after recommendation by the National Council on
Deadlines: May 1 of each year and special
deadlines as announced. Deadlines are receipt deadlines. Write or call the NEH
Office of Challenge Grants.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time: Seven months
(approximately 210 days) after deadline.
Appeals: None, but applicant may request written
reasons for rejection and reapply with revised proposal to a subsequent
Renewals: Eligibility to apply for a subsequent
award begins in the fourth fiscal year after the close of the previous
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
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance: From one
to four years, as requested by the applicant. Funds must be expended during
the grant period. Federal funds up to the amount offered in any year are
released as matching amounts are certified to the Endowment and minimum annual
matching requirements are met.
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.
Audits: In accordance with the provisions of OMB
Circular No. A- 133 (Revised, June 24, 1997), "Audits of States, Local
Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that
expend financial assistance of $300,000 or more in Federal awards will have a
single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal
entities that expend less than $300,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt
from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No.
A-133. For nongovernmental recipients, audits are to be carried out in
accordance with the provisions set forth in OMB Circular No. A-110,
"Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals,
and Other Nonprofit Organizations Uniform Administrative Requirements"
and with OMB Circular No. A-133. In addition, grants are subject to inspection
and audits by NEH and other Federal officials.
Records: To be retained by the grantee for three
years from the date of submission of the final narrative and financial
reports. Records include financial documentation on all matching gifts and on
all expenditures of Federal and matching funds.
Account Identification: 59-0200-0-1-503.
Obligations: (Grants) FY 01 $10,888,374; FY 02
est $10,436,000; and FY 03 est $10,436,000.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance:
Applicants may request up to $1,000,000 in Federal funds over three years. In
fiscal year 2001, the largest award offered was $500,000, the smallest was
$80,000; and the average award was approximately $429,000.
In fiscal year 2001, 89 applications were received and approximately 26 awards
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.
Headquarters Office: Office of Challenge Grants,
Room 420, National Endowment for the Humanities, Washington, DC 20506. (202)
606- 8309. Use the same number for FTS.
Web Site Address: http://www.neh.gov.
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.