From the National Trust for Historic Preservation website:
African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund Grants
Grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund advance ongoing preservation activities for historic sites, museums, and landscape projects representing African American cultural heritage. The fund supports work in four primary areas: Capital Projects, Organizational Capacity Building, Project Planning, and Programming and Interpretation.
Grants made from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund will range from $50,000 to $150,000. In 2018, the National Trust awarded $1.1 million to 16 projects.
Grant Program Guidelines: December 2018
Letters of intent for the program are due January 15, 2019 by 11:59 pm local time.
Read the answers to some of our frequently asked questions here.
Grant-funded projects must focus on African American cultural heritage. If applying for capacity building activities, the organization’s primary mission must be focused on African American cultural heritage.
Public agencies, 501(c)(3), and other nonprofit organizations are eligible. Applicants that have received previous National Trust financial assistance are eligible provided that all grant requirements are current.
No more than three grants will be awarded in any two-year period to a single grantee. Only one grant will be awarded per organization in any grant round. Only one type of grant will be awarded for each project phase. Grant recipients from the inaugural 2018 African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund National Grant Program are eligible to apply.
If an applicant is invited to submit a full application, the applicant will be required to become an organizational level Forum member of the National Trust in order to move forward with the application process. This requirement is designed to engage the applicants with the larger preservation community as they work through the project. More information on Forum can be found here, and more details will be provided if an applicant is selected to move forward in the process (see “Application Process” below).
There is a two-step process to receive a grant from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund:
- Letter of Intent
Deadline: Tuesday, January 15, 2019 at 11:59 pm local time.
A preliminary indication of interest and capacity. All Letters of Intent must be submitted through the National Trust’s online grant application system. A link to the application system is included at the bottom of this page.
Deadline: Wednesday, May 1, 2019
The Letter of Intent review period will take approximately ten weeks. All applicants will be notified of their status at the end of this initial review period. If the applicant’s Letter of Intent is accepted, a full application will be requested. Instructions on how to complete the full application will be sent only to those organizations moving forward. You will have approximately five weeks to complete and submit the full application once you receive a notice to proceed.
Grants from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund may be used to fund up to 100% of the proposed project. While matching funds are not required for this program, projects that are leveraging additional investments are strongly preferred.
The following grant conditions apply:
- If the project involves a property, the grant recipient must either own the property or have a written agreement with the property owner stating that the grantee has permission to undertake the grant-funded project.
- Grants or any matching funds cannot be used directly or indirectly to influence a member of Congress to favor or oppose any legislation or appropriation.
- Any documents or plans for preservation work that result from the project must conform to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
- Any construction projects must conform to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
- At least three (3) competitive bids/quotes must be obtained for any procurement of services that exceed $50,000. This provision applies only to portions of the project supported by National Trust grant funds.
- Grant recipients must include appropriate acknowledgement of the National Trust and its philanthropic partners’ financial support in all printed materials generated for the project.
- Consultants must be approved by the National Trust before grant funds are disbursed. Board members of the application organization cannot serve as consultants unless appropriate conflict of interest procedures are followed and documented.
- Grant recipients are required to sign a contract agreeing to the conditions of the program.
- Within one year from the grant disbursement date, the project must be completed, and a final report and financial accounting of the expenditure of the grants must be submitted. If the project is not completed in accordance with the contract, the grant funds must be returned.
- Applicants must agree not to discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin or sexual orientation. This obligation also extends to disabled veterans, Vietnam-era veterans, and handicapped persons.
- Additional grant conditions may be required by the National Trust’s philanthropic partners. They will be outlined in the grant contract.
Eligible Activities and Expenses
Grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund are designed to advance ongoing preservation activities for historic places representing African American cultural heritage, such as sites, museums, theaters, sports venues, churches, schools, universities, and landscapes. Grants awards may be made for activities and projects in the following categories:
- Restoration, rehabilitation, stabilization, and preservation of historic places and structures, including bricks-and-mortar construction and planning costs
- Applicants can request up to $150,000
Organizational Capacity Building
- Hiring new staff to increase the organization’s capacity (funds can be used to support salaries and benefits for grant-supported staff.) Applicants can request up to $150,000 for a two-year period
- Increasing current part-time staff to full-time in order to advance preservation priorities. Applicants can request up to $100,000 for a two-year period
- Convening board, governance and nonprofit management training and development activities. Applicants can request $50,000
- Obtaining the services of consultants with expertise in the areas such as preservation architecture, business development, engineering and environmental studies, legal issues, fundraising and financial sustainability, organizational development, education, etc. to develop plans for implementation by organization
- Development of business plans, feasibility studies, preservation plans, engineering studies, architectural plans, etc.
- Applicants can request up to $75,000
Programming and Interpretation
- Sponsoring preservation conferences and workshops
- Designing and implementing innovative preservation education and interpretative programs
- Designing, producing, and marketing printed materials or other media communications
- Applicants can request $50,000
Up to 10% of awarded grant funds may be used for organizational overhead costs. Grants awarded for Capital Projects and Programming and Interpretation may include funding for both the planning and implementation of those projects. In the case of Capital Projects, up to 15% of awarded grant funds may be used for construction planning such as architectural and engineering services, code review, drawings, specifications, and geotechnical.
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