Our grants fund the development of meaningful humanities projects for New Jersey audiences. The most competitive projects demonstrate an awareness of the needs and interests of your audience and offer an opportunity for community members to explore history, culture, values, and beliefs.
Note: Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, grantee organizations should follow state and local guidance and regulations related to gatherings that happen in person.
We welcome applications from libraries, museums, educational institutions, social service organizations, historical societies, cultural organizations, and other community organizations. Colleges and universities will need to demonstrate meaningful public engagement beyond the institution to have a competitive proposal.
Projects should involve a strong project team and must include a humanities scholar. As you begin thinking about your grant proposal, please don’t hesitate to reach out to NJCH staff or attend an informational workshop. We can connect you with resources, help you think through your project, and assist you in preparing a competitive proposal.
Any project supported by NJCH must have humanities at its core. Projects may take any form as long as they meet grant requirements. NJCH staff can help you determine which grant type is most appropriate for the project you envision.
The most competitive grant proposals support one or more of the Council’s primary goals:
- to build new audiences for the humanities.
- to bring people of different perspectives and backgrounds together.
- to explore new program models.
- to create lively humanities opportunities around the state.
- Applicant must be a registered nonprofit organization or government entity in New Jersey, with at least one year of verifiable public operation prior to application. For nonprofit organizations, nonprofit status must have been granted at least one year prior to application deadline date.
- Applicants may not have an open grant with NJCH during the proposed grant period. (One exception: organizations serving as a fiscal agent may also have a self-directed project funded.)
- Ad-hoc groups may apply with a fiscal sponsor who meets all grant eligibility guidelines.
- All applicant organizations must have a verifiable DUNS number by the time they submit their final application. Learn more about DUNS numbers, find your organization’s number, or apply at dnb.com. It’s free!
- All proposed projects must involve at least one humanities scholar (for more about humanities scholars, please see the Grant FAQ).
- Applicants must match requested funds by at least 100%.
All project costs must be reasonable, necessary to accomplish project objectives, and incurred during the grant period. The budget submitted must include all project costs, not only those charged to NJCH grant funds, but also those that will be supported by the applicant organization or by other funding sources (matching funds). Values assigned should be reasonable in relation to rates paid for similar work, current market prices, or fair rental charges.
NJCH re-grants federal funds that it receives from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Please consult your organization’s accountant or auditor to determine if you are subject to certain governmental audit requirements as a result of your receipt of these federal funds. The fiscal officer should follow standard accounting procedures for all grant awards. Since grants may be subject to NJCH and NEH audit, grant recipients must maintain financial records for at least three years following submission of the final report.
- General operating support.
- Work outside of the humanities, including the creation or performance of art; creative writing, autobiographies, memoirs, and creative nonfiction; and empirically based social science research or policy studies.
- Scholarly programs directed to a limited audience.
- Direct social action or political advocacy, including the advocacy of a particular program of social or political action, support of specific public policies or legislation, and lobbying.
- Re-grants, prizes, awards, and projects that provide academic credit, scholarships, fellowships, or regular course offerings.
- The purchase of land or facilities, capital projects, construction, or renovation.
- Acquisitions of major equipment over $5,000 in value.
- Alcohol and entertainment.
- Fundraising activities, contributions to an endowment, and the repayment of loans or debts.
- Overlapping project costs with any other pending or approved application for federal funding, including an open or pending NJCH Incubation or Action Grant.
- Costs incurred prior to or after the grant period.
The period of time during which your grant funds and matching costs will be accrued is called the grant period. All grant periods must begin within three months of award. Incubation Grant projects may last up to one year; Action Grant projects may last up to 18 months. All grant funds must be incurred during the grant period; no costs incurred prior to the start or after the grant closes may be applied to the grant. A grantee may request one extension up to six months on their grant project. An extension request must be made in writing and must include an explanation for why the extension is necessary. Extension requests will not automatically be approved, though most are.
Matching funds are the portion of the project costs not covered by the NJCH grant. The Council requires the applicant to provide a minimum 100% match for the funds requested from NJCH. Matching funds may come from the applicant organization and/or third party sources (individuals, foundations, corporations, etc.) other than the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Matching funds may come from any combination of in-kind contributions (donated goods or services), monetary contributions, or from the applicant’s operating budget. Matching funds may be applied to any project expense category.
Also known as “administrative costs,” “overhead,” and “general operating costs,” indirect costs are incurred by organization through the execution of its day-to-day activities but cannot be attached to a specific activity. They are the expenses that keep the lights on, give everyone a space to work and the equipment they need, pay for insurance, and manage financial transactions. Indirect cost equations will vary depending on the organization; NJCH staff can help you determine an appropriate amount for your project. Colleges and universities may not include indirect costs in their proposed grant requests; they may be used to achieve the required match.
Any organization that receives a grant from NJCH will be required to have appropriate general liability coverage for their project and to list the Council as an additional insured. We recommend that you check with your insurance carrier to determine what costs may be incurred from these insurance requirements and incorporate those costs into your grant budget.
NJCH’s online grant system incorporates all parts of the application process from the initial Letter of Intent up to the final submission.
Please read through the entire Grants section of our website to ensure that you are eligible to apply for a grant and to determine which type of grant best suits your project. The grant calendar will help you determine when all application materials are due and when your project can begin. The NJCH Calendar of Events also contains grant deadlines as well as information about upcoming grant workshops, if applicable.
Organizations that have not applied for any NJCH funding opportunities since September 2020 will need to create an account in our online grant application system. Returning applicants will be able to access the system using their account credentials.
The links are unique to their respective grants because the applications are different. The applications for each type of grant will only be active during the application period.
The LOI form in the online application system consists of basic organizational information and a short description of your proposed project. This process provides a quick way for NJCH staff to determine that your organization is eligible to apply for a grant and that your project is appropriate for NJCH funding. In each round, the LOI is only available during the LOI period.
The LOI determines eligibility only and is not a competitive process. We do not require organizations to schedule a call prior to submitting the LOI.
If your organization and project meet the basic eligibility requirements you will be invited to apply. Once your LOI is approved, an invitation will be sent via email and the full application will appear in the grant portal.
Please note: this process has changed slightly.
We invite applicants to schedule a grant consultation with NJCH program staff prior to the application deadline. The consultation is here for applicants to discuss specific questions they have about their projects and the application. Invited applicants may submit one draft for review prior to your consultation and NJCH staff will provide feedback during the grant consultation. (Draft review no longer takes place outside of or in addition to the grant consultation process.) An applicant may only have one grant consultation during the application process. NJCH staff have limited availability to provide grant consultations so we recommend that applicants sign up early. Consider at what stage in the application process our guidance will be the most helpful (e.g., prior to starting the application, or for draft review). Grant consultations take place by video conference and typically last about 30 minutes. Instructions to set up a consultation will be in your invitation email.
Final applications must be submitted through our online system by deadline date listed on the grant calendar. Materials submitted late will not be considered. Once your final application is submitted, you will not be able to make any changes.
Creating an Outstanding Proposal
March 18, 2021 at 1:30 pm
The strongest grant proposals use both their narrative and their budget to tell a compelling story. Learn how to craft a competitive grant proposal in this blended coaching session and writing workshop. Ideal for anyone in the process of applying for an NJCH grant, but open to anyone who wants to learn how to write an effective grant proposal.
Participants can expect an interactive workshop that will explore best practices in grant writing. All participants should review the Grants section of njhumanities.org prior to the workshop and prepare notes or an outline about their potential humanities project.
Click below to register.
Thursday, March 18, 2021 at 1:30 pm
Interested in bringing a NJCH workshop to your community? Contact us for more information about hosting a webinar for your organization or association. Minimum of 6 participants required.
Please note: Organizations can apply for either Incubation or Action Grants during each grant round. An organization must, however, choose one or the other; you cannot apply for both an Incubation and an Action Grant at the same time.
- Letter of Intent: September 14-30, 2020
- Drafts accepted: Through October 16, 2020
- Application Deadline: October 29, 2020
- Award Notification: By December 23, 2020
- Projects Begin: Within 3 months of award
- Letter of Intent: March 1-15, 2021
- Application Deadline: April 15, 2021
- Award Notification: By June 25, 2021
- Projects Begin: Within 3 months of award