COVID-19 Response Grant - GENERAL OPERATING SUPPORT
General Operating Support grants ($5,000 to $20,000) provide operational and programmatic support for nonprofit organizations who have missions focused on the public humanities and who are facing ongoing financial hardship and/or new needs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To be eligible for GOS funding, the applicant organization must have:
- A mission based in the public humanities;
- An organizational budget greater than $50,000 (average over three years);
- Nonprofit status for at least one year; and
- At least one full-time employee or one FTE.
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.(You can read more about the public humanities on the COVID-19 Response Grant Overview page.)
Applicants may apply for only ONE type of COVID-19 Response Grant: either General Operating Support or Program Support, not both.
Types of eligible institutions:
- Historical societies and heritage organizations.
- Other cultural and community nonprofits with humanities-focused missions.
Institutions that are NOT eligible for this type of grant include:
- Colleges and universities, including affiliated centers, institutes, foundations, etc.
- K-12 educational institutions.
- Departments or agencies of government, including municipal libraries.
- Organizations without a humanities-focused mission. For example:
- Arts and cultural organizations whose mission focuses on the creation, performance, instruction about, and display of art.
- Social service organizations that do not have a humanities-focused mission.
- Science centers, environmental organizations, nature centers, zoos, and other science-learning organizations.
- For-profit businesses.
- Foreign entities.
Applicants may not apply for a COVID-19 Response Grant with a fiscal sponsor.
General Operating Support (GOS) grants range from $5,000-$20,000. Organizations are unlikely to receive more than 10% of their average annual operating budget (determined by averaging operating budgets from the last three years), as indicated in the grant application, up to the maximum grant amount. Organizations may receive substantially less.
All COVID-19 Response Grant awards must be made by December 31, 2021. The grant period for each awarded grant will begin on the date of application and end on November 30, 2022. All expenses related to the grant must be incurred during that period. Activities for an awarded grant must begin no later than December 1, 2021. When determining budget and requested amount, applicants should keep these dates in mind. The grant period for each awarded PS grant will begin on the date of application and end on November 30, 2022. All expenses related to the grant must be incurred during the grant period. When determining budget and requested amount, applicants should keep these dates in mind.
GOS grants are designed to support New Jersey-based nonprofit organizations that have a mission in the public humanities. While last spring’s COVID-19 Response Grants focused on emergency needs stemming from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s GOS grants can also help humanities organizations plan for the future and begin the long process of response and recovery to the pandemic.
For example, GOS grants 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.
- 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.
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.
There is no matching or cost share requirement tied to these funds. NJCH may not collect any information related to cost share or matching funds for GOS awards.
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.
COVID-19 Response Grantees are not currently required to register with the System for Award Management (SAM.gov) required of most federal grants, however it is recommended that any grantee consider registering in this system, as that exclusion is likely to be eliminated in the future.
NJCH uses an online system called Foundant for application and administration of grants and other program awards. If you have applied for a grant or other program award with NJCH since September 2020, chances are you have already created a login. If you do not, you can create one quite simply from the application page. After creating your login, you will be required to enter basic organizational information.
The first step in the process of creating a COVID-19 Response Grant for General Operating Support will be to submit an LOI (Letter of Intent). The LOI form collects basic application information and should be able to be filled out in a very short time.
Please note: to enable staff to review your LOI and for you to have time to fill out the application, the last day to submit an LOI will be Friday, October 8, 2021.
Upon receipt, LOIs will be reviewed by NJCH staff for eligibility. If an organization is determined to be ineligible for funding, they will be notified of that decision. The organization may reapply if the ineligibility issue is something that can be fixed.
LOIs that are determined to be eligible will be notified via email and the full application will be made available to you via Foundant. When the application is complete, please click Submit. Your application will be considered at the next due date (July 15, September 1, and October 15, 2021).
The review process will take approximately 2-3 weeks from each due date, after which each applicant will be notified of the funding decision. Under most circumstances, an organization will know whether or not they have received a grant within one month of submitting an application.
Organizations that are awarded funding will be notified via email. Awarded funds will be paid as soon as a grant contract is signed by an authorized official at the applicant organization.
Applicants the do not receive funding may amend and resubmit their application at the next due date by emailing a request to NJCH staff to reset their applications to draft status. All unfunded applications will automatically be given a second consideration after the final due date, should any funds remain available.
COVID-19 Response Grants will be administered through Foundant, the same system through which you will apply for funds. After awards are made, NJCH will follow up with grantees to document the vital role that the funds play collectively in New Jersey’s cultural organizations.
If you receive a grant, NJCH staff will send more detailed requirements for administering your grant. You will be required to:
- Review the grant agreement we send you and return a copy signed by an authorized official from the organization.
- Confirm your DUNS number. If you do not have a DUNS number already, we recommend that you apply for one immediately. Click here to access the application. It is free and your grant funds cannot be dispersed without it.
- Send letters to your state and federal elected officials announcing your grant award.
- Comply with basic state and federal nondiscrimination statutes.
- Acknowledge the support of NJCH and the NEH as directed.
- Provide simple reports as requested by the NJCH staff.
- Retain auditable records of grant funds for at least three years, or as directed by law.
The grant administration process will include periodic check-ins and a short final report that includes both narrative and fiscal information about how funds were spent. These reports are significant for the broader public humanities community because they help us show our lawmakers that public funding is important to the economies and social fabrics of our communities. Every effort will be made to ensure that grant administration requirements are not burdensome for any organization receiving COVID-19 Response Grant funds, but they are a crucial part of successfully using your grant.
We anticipate the volume of applicants for NJCH's COVID-19 Response Grants to be very high. We encourage you to read through all the information available on our website before coming to us with a question. We have developed a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for your reference and will be updating it regularly as additional queries come in. We are also holding a number of informational webinars to go over criteria for these grants and answer questions.
All NJCH grants, including COVID-19 Response Grants, are overseen by Gigi Naglak, Director of Programs, and James Kirkland, Program Officer. Emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org are received by both staff, so that is usually the fastest way to get in touch.