Partnership Grants

Review Process and Criteria

The Heritage Partnership Program is a competitive process involving application review by Grants Office staff, the Minnesota Historical Society’s standing Grants Review Committee (GRC), and the Minnesota Historical Society’s Executive Council. 


The review criteria are drawn from Minnesota Statutes, the Office of Grants Management, language in the appropriation, and sound practices in administering grant programs with public funds. All work and materials must have enduring value (i.e., it should be long-lasting and of good quality).
Grants Office staff reviews whether your application and proposed program:
  • Is complete
  • Meets eligibility requirements
  • Supplements, not substitutes for, traditional funding sources
  • Follows appropriate professional standards
  • Meets the financial reporting requirements of MS 16B.98 for Grants Management
  • Has a realistic budget
  • Can be completed on time, within the required time frame
Evaluation of applications is based on whether your application and proposed program:
  • Builds capacity within all of the partners
  • Fills a demonstrated need
  • Produces measurable outcomes
  • Incorporates public benefit and access to Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage resources
  • Is sustainable
  • Has enduring value
Additional Considerations:
  • The lead partner’s demonstrated capacity to complete the program
  • The clarity of roles of each partner
  • The program’s ability to meet each partnering organization’s strategic plan
  • Multi-disciplinary or otherwise innovative partnerships
  • Match
  • Statewide distribution of funds in applicant pool


Pre-application: A pre-application is required in order to be considered for the Heritage Partnership Program. Eligible pre-applications are reviewed by Grants Office staff and other Minnesota Historical Society subject area experts. Constructive feedback will be provided to the applicant in order to improve the final application. Applicants are encouraged to contact Grants Office staff if they have any questions about the feedback received.

Final applications: Eligible final applications are reviewed by Grants Office staff and other Minnesota Historical Society subject area experts. Eligible final applications, along with staff review comments, are sent to the Grants Review Committee for consideration at a public meeting. You will receive advance notice of the meeting and will be invited to make a three-minute presentation supporting your application. Such presentations are not required; your application will be given full consideration whether or not you make a presentation.
Based on their evaluation and the review criteria, the Grants Review Committee recommends approval or denial of each application and forwards their recommendations to Minnesota Historical Society Executive Council for final action. You will be notified of their decision in writing. In some cases, special conditions may be required on approved programs; the conditions will be outlined in your grant agreement.

Award and denial notifications are sent out approximately 12 weeks after final application deadline.


Grant period start and end dates will be listed in the grant agreement. Heritage Partnerships Program grants must be completed within 12 months from the date of award. Extensions for this grant program are not allowed due to state funding expiration dates. Therefore, applicants and partners need to plan accordingly to ensure that the grant concludes within 12 months. 

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