Grants

Step–by‐step Application Sections

  • Regular Grant Application formApplicant: The organization name that you entered in your original account request will automatically populate the Applicant field.
  • Mailing Address: If your organization has multiple locations you can select the location from a drop down menu, otherwise the mailing address will be the one you entered on your account request form. The address will be abbreviated as ‘headquarters’ on the application.
  • Project Director: Select the name of the person with the applicant organization who has primary responsibility for the project and who will work with the Grants Office throughout the project's duration. The Project Director should be someone within the applicant organization. Vendors, contractors, consultants, and hired grant writers are not appropriate project directors. If the person’s name does not appear in the list, contact the Grants Office with his/her full contact information. The majority of correspondence will be conducted electronically. Therefore, it is crucial to have an updated and valid email address in the grants portal for the Project Director. 
  • Authorized Officer: Select the name of the individual legally authorized by the organization to conduct its business and accept grant funds on behalf of the organization. Vendors, contractors, consultants, and hired grant writers are not appropriate authorized officers. If the person’s name does not appear in the list, contact the Grants Office with his/her full contact information.
  • Applicant Organization Type: Select applicable description from drop down menu.
  • Applicant County: Select applicable county from drop down menu. List the county in which the applicant organization is located.
  • Governance/Board Members: List the names of all current board or governance members separated by a comma. Example: Jane Doe, William Sparks, Susan White.
  • Sponsored Entity: If your project will be conducted through a sponsorship, select yes and complete the provide contact information for the organization being sponsored. All parties must have a vested and active interest in the project (see Cooperative Project for more information).

 

PROJECT INFORMATION

Structured Grant Application form

  • Project Title: Provide a succinct, but descriptive, title for the project in the space provided. 
  • Brief Project Summary: Provide a brief one-line narrative statement of the project's goals. 
  • Geographic Focus of Project: Select all counties that the project will affect or choose ‘Statewide’ if the project includes the entire state. Highlight county desired on the left and select > to move the county name into right column. 

HISTORIC PROPERTY (IF APPLICABLE) 

Historic Preservation project categories cover the full range of historic preservation activities. Eligible projects include identifying, evaluating and registering historic resources; preserving historic resources through bricks and mortar grants; developing planning studies and preservation education projects; and heritage tourism activities.
  • Property Name: If your project is a historic preservation project involving a specific historic property provide the historic name (rather than a different current name). 
  • Address: Physical address of the property, not a post office box 
  • City: City in which the property is located • Property Location County: Select applicable county from drop down menu
  • Select appropriate box for listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Note: The property must be listed in the National Register of Historic Places to be eligible for a grant project involving construction. For all other projects, properties must be listed or have been determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in order for it to be eligible for grant funding. 
 

PROJECTS INVOLVING CULTURALLY SENSITIVE OBJECTS 

Many museums have examples of “culturally sensitive objects” in their collections. If a proposed project will involve such items, the applicant must consult with culturally affiliated or descendant communities about the project, and the intended use or treatment of the materials. Examples of culturally sensitive objects include artifacts or texts used in a spiritual ceremony or other ritual. Other examples include the Quran for followers of Islam, a family altar (XWM KAB) or shaman’s altar in Hmong culture, the Torah for followers of Judaism, human remains, burial offerings or other items within the purview of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (http://www.cr.nps.gov/nagpra/).
 
Culturally Sensitive Objects are not categorically excluded from Minnesota Historical & Cultural Heritage Grants, but in such a case the applicant must demonstrate that they have consulted about the proposed project with culturally affiliated communities, or describe how they will do so during the course of the project. Please note that this requirement for consultation about culturally sensitive objects applies to items from all cultural origins.
 
It is important to remember that the vast majority of objects in ethnographic or archaeological collections are not “culturally sensitive.” Furthermore, it is important for the history of all cultural groups to be appropriately represented in exhibits and museum collections across the state. Applicants should consider the nature and origins of items related to the proposed project, and determine whether they would meet a common sense definition of culturally sensitive objects. If needed, MNHS staff can provide advice to applicants about whether objects would be considered culturally sensitive.
 

BUDGET DETAILS

If the request is $10,000 or less, check the box next to “Small request.” For budgets greater than $10,000, check the box next to “Large request.”

Budget Line Items:

  • This is a line-item budget. Line items are individual expense items designating expenses for a specific purchase or service. For example, the payment to a carpenter to install porch spindles would be one line item and the purchase of roof shingles would be another.
  • Indicate whether each item will be charged to the grant amount or to one of the applicant match columns. Match is optional. If you are not claiming match as part of the project budget, all of your expenses will appear in the Grant Amt Requested column. The form will calculate the line and column totals automatically.
  • This portion of the application serves as a foundation for your project’s approved budget, which becomes part of the grant agreement. Do not submit the budget as a single line item with all costs added together. Be as detailed as possible.
  • Do not upload a document showing a detailed budget in the “Request Documents” section of the application as a substitute for filling out this section of the application. If the budget form is incomplete, the application will be rejected.

For each budget item start by clicking on the Green "+" button at the upper right of the "Budget Line Items" box, then:

  • Budget Item: Enter a short but descriptive name. Do not enter a dollar amount.
  • Budget Item Cost to be Paid by Grant: Enter the amount of the item to be charged to the grant award. Do not include decimals; enter whole numbers only.
  • Cash Match for Budget Item: Cash match must be applied to a specific budget expense in the line item directly related to the project. Cash match for the project may be money in the applicant's accounts designated for the project, or it may be funds received from another source at the time the grant application is submitted. You cannot use "cash match" to describe the line item. Contingency is an acceptable line item for cash match that will be used if the project goes over estimated cost. Do not include decimals; enter whole numbers only. Cash match is optional.
  • Cash Match Source (if applicable): Provide the name of the source of the cash match. Funds from the State of Minnesota cannot be used as match.
  • Cash Match Status (if applicable): Anticipated funds may be listed, but listing them commits the applicant to raise them for the project. Funds listed as anticipated should be relatively secure; keep in mind that one of the review criteria is the ability of the applicant to complete and carry out the proposed project.
  • In-Kind Match for Budget Item—Name of Person: Enter the name of the person proving the in-kind time. In-kind match will largely include services provided by staff salaries (including fringe benefits) and unpaid volunteers that represent ac­tual work that will occur on the project. They cannot include general administration of the organization, grant administration, or audit costs.
  • In-Kind Match for Budget Item—Hourly Pay Rate: Enter the rate of pay of the person providing the in-kind time. Calculate the value of in-kind services according to the person’s training/expertise and the work they provide for the project. If professional, technical, or clerical persons provide services in the area of their training/expertise for the project, calculate the value of their services at their usual hourly rate of pay. However, if the same people provide work outside of the area of their training/expertise, calculate the value of their services at the current state minimum hourly pay rate.
  • In-Kind Match Hours (if applicable):  Enter the number of in-kind hours the person listed above is anticipated to work on the project.
  • In-Kind Match Amount (if applicable): This will calculate automatically based on the rate of pay and hours entered above. Click “Create budget request” button to save and return to the application.
Amount Requested (use total from above): Enter the total "Grant Amt Requested" from the budget table. The Amount Requested line item should be the same number from the “Grant Amt Requested” column in the budget table.
 
Match Offered: Enter the totals under "Total Match" from the line item budget.

 

Tips to remember:

  • Fill in the “Amount Requested” and “Match Offered” fields below the budget form in the application. Make sure that these numbers match the numbers in the budget form.
  • Cash match is tangible. It corresponds to costs of actual purchases (e.g, the Materials line above).
  • In-kind match is intangible. It corresponds to personnel costs—for example, how much you would pay volunteers for the work they are doing; or, the amount of time put in by paid staff as part of their work day (figured by their regular rate of pay).
  • Use whole numbers only. Do not enter decimals in your proposed budget.
  • Cash match and in-kind match must be associated with a line item. Applicants cannot assign generic ‘cash’ to a project.
  • Do not include ineligible expenses in your budget (“Overhead” line item). Ineligible costs will be removed from the budget by grants staff.

How were the above figures determined? Describe how the budget was determined in the space provided. Include names of potential vendors from which you may purchase equipment or supplies. Describe how project personnel salaries and hours were determined. For construction, was prevailing wage used to figure the estimate costs?

Tips to remember:

Use the “How were above figures determined?” field to provide information about how your budget figures were reached. For example, for the Materials line item, on the example detailed budget, include vendor quotes, price comparisons, etc.

APPLICATION NARRATIVES 

Note: DO NOT exceed the character limit for your narrative responses to the application questions. Check the guidelines for additional requirements for the specific category in which you are applying. 

Project Description 

  • Describe the specific purpose of your project, including its scope and goals.
  • DO NOT exceed the 6500 character limit. 

Need and Rationale (select one) 

  • Select the need and rationale statement that best fits the project from one in the drop down menu. 

Need and Rationale 

  • This question addresses one of the review criteria: showing how a project fills a demonstrated need. What user needs does it address?
  • Demonstrate demand for the project. How does this project fit into your current and future activities and, if applicable, those of your partner organization?
  • What research, activity, or conditions led you to decide that this project is a priority?
  • If this project implements recommendations from planning or evaluation activities, or a survey or assessment, reference the document and upload a copy of the assessment report or your long-range preservation plan to the Request Documents section of the application.
  • DO NOT exceed the 3250 character limit.

Work Plan and Timetable

  • Provide a detailed work plan and a schedule showing the sequence and duration of each task. If your project is divided into phases, what planning or testing have you done that demonstrates you can accomplish each phase in the time allotted? What planning have you undertaken to prepare for this project? 
  • The project category guidelines may specify additional information required in completing this section. 
  • DO NOT exceed the 4000 character limit. 

Project Personnel 

  • List those who will work on the project, their qualifications, and the specific tasks they will carry out.
  • Explain any special training planned for those who will work on the project. If specialized training is required for staff or volunteers, how will it be acquired? Some of the work for grant projects is specialized and usually done by an outside professional. If professionals, contractors, or consultants will be hired for the project, what qualifications will they need?
  • If vendors/consultants/contractors are already selected, it is critical the procurement (hiring) process meets the requirements of the grant program. Describe the process used.
  • If a person from your organization will do some or all of the work, what work items will they complete and what are their qualifications and experience? Who will oversee your project and what are their qualifications and experience? Describe how grant funds used to pay for organization’s personnel will be supplemental (see Appendix D).
  • See Appendix I for procurement requirements.
  • DO NOT exceed the 4000 character limit
NOTE: The Minnesota Legislature requires grantees and grantmakers to report on the number of jobs created through the Legacy Amendment. Taking into account your personnel and work plan needs for your project, estimate the following: 
  • the number of hours newly-hired project staff will work on the grant project 
  • the number of hours existing part-time staff will dedicate to the grant project
 If you are hiring outside consultants or contractors, or purchasing goods from a vendor, estimate the total number of consultants/contractors/vendors you expect to employ for the grant project. 
 
Enter the totals in the appropriate boxes on the application form, or a zero if the information is not applicable. These are required fields, so every box must have data entered in it. 

Enduring Value

  • Describe why and how the outcomes and benefits of your project will have a lasting impact and value for your users or your organization.
  •  DO NOT exceed the 3250 character limit.

Sustainability 

  • Describe your capacity to carry on the work beyond the life of the grant. What impact on your budget do you expect your project to have? 
  • DO NOT exceed the 3250 character limit. 

EVALUATION METRICS

Use the Evaluation Metrics Table to describe the project’s impact and how you will evaluate its success. What effect did the project have on your organization, staff, volunteers, patrons, or local community (your audience)? How will you know if it was worthwhile developing this project? What standards are you measuring against? How will you analyze the results? Each project should have at least one short-term and one-long term goal. Any application without at least one evaluation metric will be considered incomplete.
 
Complete the Evaluation Metrics Table. Similar to the budget, choose the green “+” in the upper right corner to add each evaluation metric. For each metric:
  • Timeframe: Choose the timeframe from the dropdown menu (short-term, intermediate, or longterm). 
  • Expected Impact: Describe the impact of the project on your organization/community. Each impact must demonstrate a change in people’s knowledge, status, or behavior. To be measurable, establish a way to survey when and how these changes occurred. 
  • Progress Indicator: Briefly explain how you will measure the impact the project has on your audience? 
  • Click “Create Evaluation Metric” to save.

APPLICATION ATTACHMENTS & REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION 

  • Upload required application attachments to the "Request Documents" box.
  • Attachments sent via postal mail or email will not be accepted.
  • Do not upload zip files. PDFs are the preferred file format.
  • Use descriptive naming conventions on all documentation, (e.g., “WinningProjectProposal.pdf ” or “Images_1-32.pdf ” or “Photo_ Key_First_Floor.docx.”
  • Combine like items (e.g., photographs, drawings, etc.) into as few files as possible. 
  • Upload organizational files, such as audit or 990 materials, to “Request Documents” box. 
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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.