Home > Our Services > Local History Services > Heritage Support Grants > Guidelines > Site Search Results


Grant awards range from $500 to $50,000 and are awarded at two levels:


Project Grants

Project Grants range from $5,000 to $50,000. A 15-percent cash match of outside support is required (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 Grants should be completed within the 12 month grant cycle timeline.

Upcoming deadlines

Project timeline: Aug. 2018 through July 2019

  • Feb. 1, 2018 –  Mandatory Summary of Proposal due
  • May 3, 2018 – Full Proposal due
  • July 2, 2018 – Grants awarded
  • Aug. 1, 2018  Grant cycle begins

Mini Grants

Mini Grants range from $500 to $4,999. 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. Mini grant projects should be completed within the 6 month grant cycle timeline.

Upcoming deadlines

Project timeline: April through Oct. 2018

  • Feb. 1, 2018 – Proposal due
  • April 1, 2018 – Grant cycle begins

Project timeline: Sept. 2018 through March 2019

  • July 10, 2018 – Proposal due
  • Sept. 1, 2018 – Grant cycle begins



The objective of the Heritage Support Grants program is to advance the care of and access to history in Indiana, while increasing the capacity of organizations that carry out this work.

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).

**A history-focused project should interpret, present or otherwise disseminate historical narrative or information. Structures and landscapes will only be considered if they are primarily used to facilitate historical interpretation or house significant historical collections.


Funding Priorities 

Priority will be given to Indiana-focused history projects.
  • 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. (NOTE: Structures and landscapes will only be considered if they are primarily used to facilitate historical interpretation or house significant historical collections.)
  • 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.

Funding Exclusions

Heritage Support Grants will not fund general operating support, including:

  • Rent or mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Insurance
  • 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. Please note that organizations cannot have two of the same type of grant running concurrently (i.e. two Project Grants or two Mini Grants at the same time). In order to be eligible for the next grant cycle, the grantee must complete the current project, and have the final report submitted and approved, before the Full Proposal deadline. Contact your LHS coach for more information.


Review Process

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;
  • Audience;
  • Interpretation; 
  • Stewardship of collections;
  • Stewardship of Historic Structures and Landscapes; and/or
  • Management 




Lilly Endowment

Heritage Support Grants are provided by the Indiana Historical Society and made possible by Lilly Endowment Inc.