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The grant program appropriation sets the general parameters for applicant and project eligibility. The appropriation specifies funding for,
history programs and projects operated or conducted by or through local, county, regional or other historical or cultural organizations; or for activities to preserve significant historic and cultural resources. 
Grant projects must be ready to begin once the grant is awarded. This includes applicable permissions from the grantee’s board or governing entity. 


  • Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations 
  • Government units 
  • Tribes
  • Educational organizations and institutions


  • Individuals
  • For-profit corporations & organizations 
  • Applicants with overdue Minnesota Historical Society grants*
  • All others not falling under "eligible applicants"
* Applicants cannot be considered for grants if they have outstanding, overdue final reports or grant products on any previous Minnesota Historical Society grant. In general, applicants in good standing concerning all previous Minnesota Historical Society grants awarded may have more than one open grant at any given time. Consideration will be given to the capacity of the applicant, including the number of grants currently open from all Minnesota Historical Society grant programs, past grant performance, and the financial capacity of the applicant. Applicants within a parent-subordinate organizational structure where the parent organization must be the applicant of record (e.g., schools or departments within a university system), will be considered based on the capacity of the subordinate level (e.g., the school or department rather than the university system).


NONPROFIT 501(C)(3):

Nonprofit/nongovernmental organizations recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as 501(c)(3) are eligible applicants. The Minnesota Historical Society grant records must document each applicant’s eligibility for the grant program. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to prove it is eligible. Failure to provide sufficient documentation of 501(c)(3) status will render a nonprofit applicant ineligible.
Please note that only those churches, synagogues, mosques, etc. (hereafter ‘churches’), recognized with formal 501(c)(3) status by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are considered eligible applicants. 
Some churches may be subordinate to a central church, such as a council, diocese or a synod. The IRS allows for Group Exemptions in IRS Publication 4573. According to this publication, any church acting as a central organization must possess 501(c)(3) status. Any church wishing to apply for Minnesota Historical & Cultural Heritage Grants as a subordinate organization must:
  • Submit a copy of the Group Exemption letter.
  • Provide the Federal Employer Identification Number of the central organization, and, if available, the Federal Employer Identification Number of the subordinate (applicant) organization.
  • If the group exemption points to another document listing the organization as an official subordinate organization, a copy of that document must also be included. For example, the Group Exemption for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (covering all Roman Catholic Churches) points to enumeration in the Official Catholic Directory. A copy of the page in the directory showing the organization must be included.
Other churches may have formal relationships with a “Friends” organization, which allows for broader participation in heritage without requiring membership in that church. For the Friends group to be eligible for grant projects on behalf of the church, the Friends group must have formal 501(c)(3) status. Further, the grant application must clearly specify the relationship between the Friends and the church, and what the Friends group is authorized to do on behalf of the church (see “Cooperative Project Eligibility: Sponsorships”).


Any subunit of government in the State of Minnesota is an eligible applicant, including but not limited to state agencies, state or local commissions, municipal governments, school districts, and other governmental agencies. Federal agencies are not eligible to apply.


Any of the 11 federally recognized tribes or their subunits in Minnesota are considered eligible applicants. See the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website for a list of eligible tribes.


Accredited educational institutions meeting the definition of educational institutions in the Internal Revenue Code are eligible. IRC Title 26, 170(b)(1)(A)(ii): an educational organization which normally maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly enrolled body of pupils or students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are regularly carried on. (Title I (20 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.) as amended.) Documentation of accreditation may be required. 


The Minnesota Historical and Cultural Grants Program has been made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008. Administered by the Minnesota Historical Society.