Where is the Money?
There are lots of grants available to fund your organization or local history project. Check out our charts to see which grants fund your needs, or see below for more detailed descriptions of individual grants. Remember, these are only summaries, so make sure you read all instructions carefully and contact the grant maker before submitting your application!
|Ohio Grants||Organization Development||Programs & Education||Collections||Capital & Historic Preservation||Other|
|Digitization Grants, Ohio Local History Alliance||X|
|History Fund, Ohio History Connection||X||X||X||X|
|Ohio Arts Council||X||X||X|
|Certified Local Government Grants||X|
|Ohio Archives Grant Program||X|
|National Grants||Organization Development||Programs & Education||Collections||Capital & Historic Preservation||Other|
|Costume Society of America||X|
|National Historical Publications and Records Commission||X||X|
|Institute of Museum and Library Services||X||X||X||X|
|National Endowment for the Humanities||X||X||X|
|Save America’s Treasures||X||X|
|National Endowment for the Arts||X||X|
|Local Foundations||Regions||Funding Priorities|
|Charles H. Dater Foundation||Region 8 (Cincinnati)||Children, Education|
|Cleveland Foundation||Region 3 (Cleveland)||Arts, Education, Neighborhoods & Communities|
|Columbus Foundation||Region 6 (Columbus)||Arts, Historic Preservation, Neighborhoods & Communities|
|Paul G. Duke Foundation||Region 7 (Miami County)||Children & Families, Education|
|Dayton Foundation||Region 7-8 (Dayton)||Special Programming, Communities|
Find More Foundations
- The Council on Foundations has a member listing.
- The Grantsmanship Center has training and resources, as well as a state-by-state database of local and private foundations.
- The Foundation Center has many free online resources, as well an office in Cleveland.
History Fund-The Ohio History Connection
The History Fund supports the preservation and sharing of Ohio’s heritage by funding local, regional, and statewide projects, programs, and events related to Ohio’s history and pre-history. The fund was developed by the Ohio History Connection with a focus on preserving, interpreting, and presenting Ohio’s cultural heritage. The fund provides grants in three categories: Organizational Development, Programs & Collections, and Bricks & Mortar.
- Organizational Development
This grant focuses on providing the training and materials needed to help historical societies and like organizations help themselves. For example, the grant may provide for training for board and staff, improving governance structures, and volunteer or membership program development
- Programs & Collections
Programs and collections encompasses a variety of projects that further the study, recordation, interpretation, publication and dissemination of historical information. This grant focuses on both the engagement of communities in history and the conservation of historical collections and archives.
- Bricks & Mortar
This grant includes the rehabilitation, restoration, and protection of historic properties and archaeological sites, building work related to the preservation of historical or archival, and for providing new construction that is dedicated to the preservation of historical or archival collections.
Ohio Humanities aims to increase Ohioans’ appreciation and understanding of history, literature, philosophy and other humanities disciplines. Ohio Humanities offers a wide range of programs focused on making connections between what we learn from the humanities and the way we live.
Ohio Humanities offers three levels of funding to any nonprofit organization operating in Ohio. Major ($5,001 to $20,000), regular ($2,000 to $5,000), and mini (up to $2,000) grants are awarded throughout the year. To see the project types eligible for funding, consult the grant guidelines page and their grant page.
The Ohio Arts Council is a state agency created to encourage the development of the arts and the preservation of Ohio’s cultural heritage. Their mission is to strengthen Ohio communities culturally, educationally and economically through the support of quality arts experiences.
Ohio Arts Council grants are grouped into four categories: Operating Support, Project Support, Arts Learning, and Individual artists. Details on grants and the application process can be found on the Grants page.
The Certified Local Governments program seeks to provide grants to communities with a local historic preservation ordinance in place. To be eligible, the community must meet the requirements set forth by the Ohio Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service. The grants provided in the CLG program help to carry out a wide range of historic preservation activities.
The Ohio Archives Grants (between $500 and $2,000) are funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), an arm of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) through their State Board Programming Grants. Projects eligible for funding in 2016 include: Assessment and Strategic Planning; Access, Arrangement and Description; Preservation; and Website Development.
The CSA Small Museums Collection Care Grant is intended to assist the costume and textiles collections of small museums (including historical societies, historic houses or sites, and other similar institutions) that have very limited budget and staff. Funding may be used to support the care, conservation, and/or exhibition of costume and textiles that have historic, regional, or other significance and are intended for preservation.
The National Historical Publications and Records
The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) administers grant programs to support the preservation of historical records. The NHPRC encourages efforts to make historical records available for use, including manuscripts, personal and family papers, photographs, motion pictures and architectural records.
The NHPRC offers the following grant programs, among others:
- Documenting Democracy: Access to Historical Records
This grant supports projects that promotes the preservation and use of America’s documentary heritage essential to understanding our democracy, history and culture. Projects should expand our understanding of the American past by facilitating and enhancing access to primary source materials.
- Digitizing Historical Records
The NHPRC seeks proposals that use cost-effective methods to digitize nationally significant historical record collections. Projects must make use of existing holdings of historical repositories and consist of entire collections or series
- Electronic Records Projects
The NHPRC seeks proposals that will increase the electronic records archives to preserve records of enduring historical value
- Publishing Historical Records
This funding category has two separate application categories. Applicants may apply for either the “Colonial and Early National Period” or the “New Republic through the Modern Era” for publication
- State and National Archival Partnership (SNAP) Grants
The NHPRC seeks proposals that aim to strengthen historical records programs to build a national archival network. These SNAP grants are awarded only to SHRABs in each state, or to the state agency responsible for the SHRAB, ordinarily the state archives
- Innovation in Archives and Documentary Editing
This grant seeks projects that explore innovative methods to improve the preservation and use of historical records. Projects may focus on techniques and tools, but may also center around public discovery. Projects must anticipate results that will affect more than a single institution or a single state
- Institute for Historical Editing
The NHPRC seeks proposals to improve the education of people training to be, or working as, historical editors. The Institute for Historical Editing can consist of both basic and advanced institutes.
Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services aims to assist libraries and museums as they inspire lifelong learning, cultural and civic engagement, and advance innovation. Through grants, IMLS supports museums and libraries as they make knowledge and cultural heritage accessible to the broad public.
- IMLS Museum Assessment Program (MAP)
Assisting museums assess their strengths and weaknesses, and plan for the future.
- Conservation Assessment Program (CAP)
Support for a professional conservator to identify conservation priorities by spending two days at your location and three days writing a report about your museum’s collection, environmental conditions, and site. The report can help your museum develop strategies for improving collections care and provide a tool for long-range planning and fund-raising.
- Museum Grants for African American History and Culture
Museum Grants for African American History and Culture are intended to enhance institutional capacity and sustainability through professional training, technical assistance, internships, outside expertise, and other tools.
- Museums for America
The goal of the Museums for America (MFA) program is to strengthen the ability of an individual museum to serve the public more effectively by supporting high-priority activities that advance its mission, plans, and strategic goals and objectives.
- National Leadership Grants for Museums
National Leadership Grants for Museums support projects that address critical needs of the museum field and that have the potential to advance practice in the profession so that museums can improve services for the American public. They fund projects related to Learning Experiences, Community Anchors, or Collections Stewardship, and include a $5,000-$50,000 (no cost-share) rapid prototyping level.
National Endowment for the Humanities
The National Endowment for the Humanities makes grants for several programs with a focus on providing opportunities for lifelong learning, strengthening teaching and learning of the humanities, and preserving access to cultural and educational resources.
- Landmarks of American History and Culture: Workshops for School Teachers
This program supports a one-week residence-based workshop for K-12 educators using a historic site to address central themes and issues in American history and related subjects. By hosting workshops at historic sites, the program aims to increase appreciation of subjects, ideas, and places significant to American historical and cultural history.
- National Digital Newspaper Program
The National Digital Newspaper Program under NEH has created a national digital resource of historically significant newspapers published between 1836 and 1922. This will be a permanent, searchable database maintained at the Library of Congress and accessible online. NEH seeks one organization from every U.S. state to participate in the program.
- Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections
The NEH provides grants to support organizations as they meet the challenge of preserving holdings of humanities materials such as collections of books and manuscripts, sound recordings, photographs, and historical objects that facilitate research and teaching. Grants will be made to implement conservation measures to preserve collections and to promote prolonged use that is scientifically sound and sustainable.
- Preservation Assistance Grants for Smaller Institutions
Grants will assist small and mid-sized institution to improve their capacity for preserving and caring for significant collections. Collections may include books and journals, moving images, architectural and cartographic records, textiles, furniture, historical objects, etc. Applicants must draw on consultants with experience in preservation related to the focus of the project. Small and mid-sized institutions that have never received an NEH grant are especially encouraged to apply.
- America’s Historical and Cultural Organizations: Planning Grants
Grants will provide support for organizations, museums, and historic places to plan the early stages of project development. Projects should produce public programs in the humanities, such as exhibitions, interpretations of historic places, living history presentations, and face-to-face programs at public venues.
- America’s Historical and Cultural Organizations: Implementation Grants
As part of the “America’s Historical and Cultural Organization” grant program, the implementation grants provide funding to organizations with a focus on producing public programs in museums, libraries, and historic places. These programs should focus on interpreting historic places through projects such as exhibits, living history presentations, and programs at public venues.
A partnership of the American Architectural Foundation and the National Park Service, this grant program is focused on the protection of endangered and irreplaceable cultural heritage. Grants are available for preservation or conservation work on nationally significant historic structures and sites, including intellectual and cultural artifacts such as collections, documents, sculptures, and works of art.
The National Endowment for the Arts provides grants for programs that fit into the “folk and traditional arts“ sector. The aim of this grant program is to support the arts that are rooted in the cultural life of a community and reflect a common ethnic heritage, language, occupation, religion, or geographic region.
The Charles H. Dater foundation supports programs with a focus on benefiting children in the Cincinnati region in the areas of culture, education, and community needs. The foundation makes grants to non-profit organizations in the areas of education, culture, healthcare, social services and other community needs. Greater Cincinnati includes the counties of Hamilton, Butler, Warren and Clermont in Ohio.
The Cleveland Foundation
The Cleveland Foundation supports greater Cleveland’s arts and culture through grants focusing on effective education programs and improvements in public awareness and access to the arts.
- Neighborhood Connections
The Cleveland Foundation offers small grants through the “Neighborhood Connections” program. This program focuses on grassroots community-building programs that will use the grants of less than $5,000 to fund citizen-led neighborhood projects, events and activities to benefit the greater Cleveland area.
- Responsive Grants
One-third of the Cleveland Foundation’s grant dollars go towards responsive grants to respond to the expressed needs of the greater Cleveland area. Non-profit organizations serving the Cleveland community may apply for a grant that is focused on strengthening nonprofit organizations, improving access to services and programs, and to test new ideas and different partnerships.
The Columbus Foundation
The Columbus Foundation supports programs that further the understanding of the folk, visual, literary and media arts through participation in arts activities and events.
- Targeted Funds Program
These grants are aimed at providing support for several areas, including historical preservation, beautification and community improvements, and education projects.
- Neighborhood Partnership Grants
The neighborhood partnership grants are aimed at supporting neighborhood organizations improve community development and education and public awareness in low- and moderate-income areas of Franklin County.
The Paul G. Duke Foundation assists programs that benefit children, young adults, and families in the Miami County area, including the contiguous counties. The grants are made for both general and specific project support and are made to programs in the areas of education, social services, and the arts.
Grants from the Dayton Foundation are awarded to help launch new projects or special efforts established by not-for-profit organizations in the Greater Dayton Region. Grants are awarded based upon community efforts and the greatest community need. These awards provide for more efficient use of community resources and promote sharing among similar organizations.