Grants

Two Funding Tiers

The type of project determines the size of the grant, the application procedure you must follow, and the review process for your application. Match is not required but is encouraged for larger grants. A pre-application is required for large grant applications in the Minnesota Historical & Cultural Heritage Grants program. Prior grant applications and past grant awards do not substitute for a “pre-application.” This provides an initial screening to ensure your organization and the proposed project are eligible to receive a grant. 
 
Recommendation:  Carefully consider each step and the cost of each step. Once costs are determined, that is the right time to pursue funding solutions.
 

Small Grants & Structured Grants ($10,000 or less)

The small grants are awarded quarterly (see Deadlines) on the second Friday of the month in January, April, July and October. These grants primarily fund projects that can be completed within 12 months. Small grants award notifications are sent 8 weeks after the application deadline. While there is no formal pre-application process for small grants, Grants Office staff are available to discuss your project both before and as you prepare your application. If not funded, you will receive feedback on your application so you can strengthen it and re-apply in another grant cycle.
 

Structured Grants

Structured grants, a simplified small grant option, are tailored to specific grant projects, such as developing a disaster plan for a small repository, acquiring microfilm, or conducting a museum self-assessment. All structured grants are small grants and follow the small grants process listed above; however, the applicant must use the appropriate short form structured grant application rather than the standard Minnesota Historical & Cultural Heritage Grants application form.

Large Grants (over $10,000)

Large grants are more competitive than small grants and undergo a rigorous application and review process. Grants at this level are administered in accordance with negotiated terms of a grant agreement appropriate to the project needs. Large grants typically fund projects that can be completed within 6-18 months. There is one grant round (pre-application and final application) offered each fiscal year. The application process for large grants will take approximately 5 months, with award notifications sent out approximately 12 weeks after the final application deadline.
 

FUNDRAISING & MATCH

A funding match is not required at any level in the Minnesota Historical & Cultural Heritage Grants program. Match, however, is always encouraged; in fact, it is listed as an additional criterion for evaluating grant applications. Demonstrated match is one indicator of local buy-in and commitment to a project. A match also demonstrates a community’s investment in seeing a project through to completion. The presence of a local match for larger grants can be a measure of your organization’s capacity to carry out your project and of your project’s long-term sustainability. Having match can be a tiebreaker in particularly competitive grants rounds.
 
Recommendation:  If your organization plans to conduct a fundraiser as match for the project, the fundraising effort should be substantially completed prior to application. Your organization should have the match in-hand at the time of application. Fundraising illustrates an organization's, and a community's, support and engagement in a project. Successful grant applicants begin fundraising efforts well in advance of applying for a grant and are able to quantify the funds collected to date at the time of application. The Minnesota Historical & Cultural Heritage Grants program offers applicants a way to bridge the gap between fundraising achieved to date and actual project budget.

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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.