Grant awards range from $500 to $50,000 and are awarded at two levels:
Project Grants range from $1,000 to $50,000. A 15-percent cash match of outside support is required for awards of $5,000 or more (in-kind and cost-share support do not qualify for the match). Fundraising for the project may begin up to four months prior to the Summary of Proposal deadline. The application process for Project Grants consists of two parts. Applicants will first need to submit a Summary of Proposal. These will be reviewed and successful applicants will be invited to submit a Full Proposal.
Project timeline: July 2017 through June 2018
- Jan. 10, 2017 – Mandatory Summary of Proposal due
- April 4, 2017 – Full Proposal due
- June 1, 2017 – Grants awarded
Project timeline: Jan. 2018 through Dec. 2018
- July 11, 2017 – Mandatory Summary of Proposal due
- Oct. 3, 2017 – Full Proposal due
- Dec. 1, 2017 – Grants awarded
Mini Grants range from $500 to $999. Applicants should submit a Summary of Proposal. No outside matching support is required. Potential Mini Grant projects might include, but are not limited to: facilitation of workshops or training; collections care materials (boxes, envelopes, folders, etc.); museum software purchase, or version/network upgrades; special events or one-time programs; hardware (computer, printer, scanner, etc.) or environmental monitoring equipment.
Project timeline: Feb. 2017 through Jan. 2018
- Jan. 10, 2017 – Summary of Proposal due
- Feb. 14, 2017 – Grants Awarded
Project timeline: Aug. 2017 through July 2018
- July 11, 2017 – Summary of Proposal due
- Aug. 15, 2017 – Grants awarded
In order to apply for a project or development grant, organizations must meet all the following criteria:
- Be incorporated in the State of Indiana as a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation*
- Reflect history as a significant component of its mission and/or propose a project that is clearly history focused
- Have an annual budget of less than $300,000
* An organization that operates under a larger parent organization is eligible only through a “friends group” or other similar federally-recognized, nonprofit entity (as in the case of museums or local history rooms in libraries or state historic sites).
- Collections stewardship – Projects address the storage, management, and care for collections and associated documentation that is entrusted to the organization's care. This includes historic objects, structures and landscapes as part of collections care.
- Capacity building – Projects focus on identifying and accessing internal and external resources the organization needs in order to excel towards achievement of goals and ongoing sustainability.
- Innovation – Projects propose new methods and ideas, or present creative application of national standards and best practices to fit the needs of the local organization.
- Collaboration – Projects seek to engage community partners and build relationships that will support the organization's mission, promote continued or expanded service, and strengthen understanding and cooperation.
Heritage Support Grants will not fund general operating support, including:
- Rent or mortgage
- Salaries, wages and/or benefits for permanent staff
Application and Submission Information
Applications must be made using the HSG online grant portal. Hard copy (paper) applications will not be accepted.
For more information about the grant review process and evaluation criteria, see Review Process.
Registered organizations will be assigned a coach from the Local History Services staff who can provide guidance and consultation throughout the grant application process. Coaches are available to answer questions about the online grant application process and serve as sounding boards to discuss grant project priorities, processes and timelines. Coaches can also provide additional fundraising resources and review grant applications before submission.
Please note that while Local History Services coaches are available to assist organizations throughout the grant application process, they are not part of the grant selection process. All grant applications will be evaluated by an external committee. The use of a Local History Services coach does not guarantee funding.
After grant awards are made, coaches are available to discuss project implementation and provide feedback on final grant reports.
Local History Services offers a series of workshops called Fundraising for Local History. Attendance at workshops is not a prerequisite to apply, nor is being an IHS Local History Partner member. For more information and upcoming workshop dates, see Training.
Applicants are encouraged to consider the American Association for State and Local History's Standards and Excellence Program for Historical Organizations (StEPs) when preparing grant applications. Potential grant projects might address:
- Mission, vision and governance;
- Stewardship of collections;
- Stewardship of Historic Structures and Landscapes; and/or
- General inquiries: Tamara Hemmerlein, (317) 234-0170 or email@example.com
- Workshop and training inquiries: Jamie Simek, (317) 234-9514 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Online grant portal inquiries: Curt Barsic, (317) 234-7798 or email@example.com
Heritage Support Grants are provided by the Indiana Historical Society and made possible by Lilly Endowment Inc.