NJCH is honored to once again provide support for New Jersey humanities organizations and programs through our COVID-19 Response Grants.
NJCH has made these funds available as operational and programmatic support for nonprofit organizations that provide humanities programming to public audiences to prepare for, respond to, and recover from the pandemic.
Please note: These guidelines have been updated since the 2020 COVID-19 Response Grants. All prospective applicants should read the guidelines and FAQs in full prior to applying, as some details have changed.
As part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP), approved by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Joseph R. Biden, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) received $135 million in supplemental funding for to respond to and recover from the coronavirus pandemic. 40% of those funds were allotted to the national network of nonprofit state humanities councils, including the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.
NJCH offers two different awards through this grant program:
General Operating Support grants ($5,000-$20,000) are available to nonprofit organizations that have a mission rooted in the public humanities, an organizational budget greater than $50,000, and at least one full-time staff person (or one FTE).
Program Support grants ($2,000-$20,000) are available for nonprofit and governmental organizations who undertake humanities programs, whether or not their organization's primary mission is based in the humanities.
Detailed information and the application link is available on each grant type’s page. Please read the guidelines and FAQs in full before beginning your application. Applicants may not apply for a COVID-19 Response Grant with a fiscal sponsor.
What are the humanities? The humanities examine our history, cultures, values, and beliefs. The public humanities take these ideas out of classrooms to engage broad public audiences in that examination.
The humanities help us to analyze our complex society and make thoughtful decisions based on inquiry, evaluation, and empathy. They can help us to think critically about activities and issues of importance to communities, offer historical and cultural perspective, and broaden our thinking. Humanities fields include (but are not limited to) anthropology, archaeology, area studies, art and architectural history and criticism, cultural studies, economics, ethics, ethnic studies, folklore, gender and sexuality studies, geography, history, history of science and technology, international studies, jurisprudence, languages and linguistics, literature, music history and criticism, philosophy, political science, religion and comparative religion, sociology, theater history and criticism. (You can read more about the public humanities by clicking here.)
For General Operating Support Grants ($5,000-$20,000)
Any nonprofit institution based in New Jersey whose mission is in the public humanities. Organizations must have been granted their nonprofit status at least one year ahead of application, per their designation letter, have an annual budget of at least $50,000, and at least one full-time staff person (or one FTE).
For Program Support Grants ($2,000-$20,000)
Any nonprofit institution or agency or department of state or local government based in New Jersey that undertakes public humanities programs, whether or not the organization's primary mission is based in the humanities. These grants will allow organizations to continue existing or launch new public humanities work, to re-format humanities work for different modalities or new technologies, or to support organizational and staff capacity building for programs in the public humanities.
More detailed eligibility guidelines are available in the guidelines for each grant type. Applicants may apply for only ONE type of COVID-19 Response Grant: either General Operating Support or Program Support, not both. Organizations that are eligible for either type of grant should apply for GOS funding, as that funding is most flexible (can be used either for operating or program expenses).
Organizations that have an open NJCH Action or Incubation Grant may apply for a COVID-19 Response Grant, assuming the institution meets all other eligibility criteria. Costs may not overlap between the two NJCH grants and COVID-19 Response Grant funding may not be used towards the required match on an Incubation or Action Grant.
Organizations who received a COVID-19 Response Grant in the spring or summer of 2020 (through the CARES Act) must submit their final report for that funding before applying for another grant.
NJCH COVID-19 Response Grants are designed to support New Jersey’s humanities infrastructure as we respond to and recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
These grants can support humanities organizations and programs not only based on immediate needs, but also through the long process of recovery and response to the pandemic’s enormous impact. For example, these awards may support:
- General operating costs, including staff support and administrative costs.
- Humanities programming (new and extant).
- Strategic planning and capacity building related to coronavirus impacts.
- Technical or consulting needs related to digital transition or access needs.
- Expansion of outdoor and/or virtual activities and increase in access to those activities for target populations.
- Equity assessments and planning related to coronavirus and attendant economic crisis.
More details on how funds may be used and particular guidelines related to each type of award (General Operating Support and Program Support) are contained in the guidelines for those award types.
Per the National Endowment for the Humanities, funds may not be used for the following:
- Work outside of the humanities and the humanistic social sciences (including the creation or performance of art; creative writing, autobiographies, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and quantitative social science research or policy studies).
- Overlapping project costs with any other pending or approved application for federal funding and/or approved federal awards, including an open NJCH Incubation or Action Grant.
- Funds for activities supported by other non-NEH federal funds.
- Equipment costs in excess of 20% of total project costs.
- Collections acquisitions (archival or material culture).
- Re-grants, prizes, awards, or scholarships.
- Travel (both foreign and domestic).
- The preservation, organization, or description of materials that are not regularly accessible for research, education, or public programming.
- Contributions to endowment.
- Cancellation costs.
- Promotion of a particular political, religious, or ideological point of view.
- Advocacy of a particular program of social or political action.
- Support of specific public policies or legislation.
- Purchase of land or facilities, capital projects, construction, or major alteration or renovation.
- Environmental sustainability.
- Unallowable expenses as defined in 2 CFR 200 Subpart E – Cost principles.
Priority will be given to organizations with a track record of engaging the public, particularly traditionally underserved and underrepresented audiences, in the humanities.
Applicants may submit their grant application at any point throughout the process; applications will be reviewed at the next deadline after which they have been submitted.
Applicants will receive notification approximately two to three weeks after each due date. Any applicant who does not receive an award may edit and resubmit their application at a later due date. After the last due date, any organization that has not yet received funding through the COVID-19 Response Grant will be re-evaluated a final time.
Last day to begin an application (fill out an LOI): October 8, 2021
Application deadlines: July 15, September 1, and October 15, 2021
Full process details and a link to the application are available on the pages for each grant type.
Each session will include an overview of the two grant types, eligibility, and application requirements, and time will be set aside for Q&A. All sessions will include the same content; it is not necessary to attend more than one session unless you have additional questions.
Interested in accessing a recording of a COVID-19 Response Grant webinar? Click here.
Additional informational webinars will be held on the following dates and times. Please click the link to register for one of the sessions.
Thursday, August 5, 2021, 11:00am
Monday, October 13, 2021, 2:00pm
All sessions are free but registration is required. Sessions with low registration numbers may be cancelled due to lack of interest.
Below is a list of helpful questions about the COVID-19 Response funding opportunities.
No. A single organization can only apply for one type of COVID-19 Response Grant.
First assess whether you are in fact eligible for both grants. Only organizations with a mission rooted in the humanities may apply for General Operating Support. If you are eligible to apply for a GOS grant, you should do so, as those grants offer the greatest flexibility in how funding may be used. If you are NOT a humanities-missioned organization but do conduct humanities public programs, you are likely eligible for a Program Support grant. If you still have questions about which type of grant to apply to, we strongly recommend attending one of our grant webinars.
Yes, assuming your organization meets the rest of the criteria to do so. Program expenses may not overlap between the two grants and the COVID-19 Response Grant may not serve as cost-share for your Incubation or Action Grant.
Yes. The COVID-19 Response Grant will not impact your ability to apply for NJCH’s project grants. Please note, however, that NJCH will not be running our usual fall round of Incubation and Action Grants. There will only be one round of those grants in the spring of 2022.
No. NJCH will focus on COVID-19 Response Grants through the fall of 2021. The next round of Incubation and Action Grants will be available in the spring of 2022.
The best way to contact our program officers is by email at email@example.com. Emails sent to that address will reach both Gigi Naglak, Director of Programs, and James Kirkland, Program Officer, allowing one of them to respond to you quickly and directly. Because of the volume of applicants who will be applying for the COVID-19 Response Grants, we strongly encourage you to read ALL of the COVID-19 Response Grant information and/or attend one of the grant webinars before reaching out to NJCH staff.
NJCH received just under $1.2 million to help sustain the public humanities in New Jersey. The vast majority of that funding will be distributed through the COVID-19 Response Grant program. The remainder will support other programs administered by NJCH.
You can review the NJCH website to read about the public humanities and learn more about some of the excellent work in the public humanities that NJCH has funded.
Yes. It is important to look at any restrictions for how each type of funding may be spent. For example, you can still apply for NJCH if you have applied directly to other federal grant programs (including the NEH), but the funds may not be used for overlapping costs. Make sure to read all the guidelines closely and only apply for funds that you need.
Yes. For all NJCH grants, a department, institute, or division of a college or university counts as an organization. However, NJCH may limit the number of grants a single university receives to ensure that available funding is spread equitably across the state. The guidelines emphasize that this funding supports the public humanities specifically. Programs that do not have significant public engagement beyond the university community are extremely unlikely to be funded.
Yes. NJCH uses an award application and management system called Foundant that will allow you to return to your draft application as often as you wish prior to submitting the final draft. You will also use this system to manage your award and reporting if you receive funding.
A 2020 COVID-19 Response Grant award list can be accessed by clicking here. Once awards are publicly announced in this round, a similar listing of recipients will be available on the NJCH COVID-19 Response grants webpage.
As new or additional information is available, questions and answers may be added to this page. Check back for updates.