NEH challenge grants are capacity-building grants, intended to help institutions and organizations secure long-term improvements in and support for their humanities programs and resources. Grants may be used to establish or enhance endowments or spend-down funds (that is, funds that are invested, with both the income and the principal being expended over a defined period of years) that generate expendable earnings to support ongoing program activities. Funds may also provide capital directly supporting the procurment of long lasting objects such as acquisitions for archives and collections, the purchase of equipment, and the construction and renovation of faciltities needed for humanities activities. Funds spent directly must must be shown to bring long-term benefits to the institution and to the humanities more broadly.
NEH Challenge Grant Guidelines
Applications are due by May 2, 2012
- acquisitions for collections;
- faculty, teacher, and staff development;
- research fellowships;
- lecture or exhibition series;
- visiting scholars or consultants;
- publishing subventions; and
- preservation and conservation programs.
- capital expenditures, such as purchase, construction, or renovation of facilities;
- acquisitions for collections;
- purchase of equipment and software;
- fundraising costs (totaling no more than 10 percent of challenge grant funds);
- and “bridge” funds to begin an endowed activity while the endowment is being established.
Challenge grant funds, federal or nonfederal, may not be used for:
- one-time or operating expenditures with minimal long-term impact;
- recovery of indirect costs;
- support for projects eligible for grants from other NEH programs; or
- scholarships or stipends for students below the graduate level.
The financial arrangement by which challenge grant funds are expended should be appropriate to the nature of the humanities-related costs and the long-term impact of the expenditure.
Funds may be
- invested in permanent endowments, the income from which supports ongoing and recurring costs such as salaries, honoraria for visiting scholars, fellowships, and maintenance;
- spent directly on one-time capital costs for items that have inherent longevity, such as facilities (new construction or renovation), equipment, and acquisitions;
- or combined in “spend-down” funds that are invested, with both the income and the principal expended over a defined period of years. Spend-down funds are particularly appropriate for programs that are long-term but not permanent.
Grant funds may be used directly for bridging support, where the challenge grant provides for endowment or spend-down income to meet expenses for a given purpose in the future; bridging funds up to the equivalent amount of projected endowment or spend-down income may be used to cover expenses for that purpose during the grant period, while the endowment or spend-down fund is being established.
Document Type: Grants Notice
Funding Opportunity Number: 20120502-CH
Opportunity Category: Discretionary
Posted Date: Feb. 29, 2012
Creation Date: Feb. 27, 2012
Original Closing Date for Applications: May 02, 2012
Current Closing Date for Applications: May 02, 2012
Archive Date: Jun 01, 2012
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Category of Funding Activity: Humanities (see "Cultural Affairs" in CFDA)
Expected Number of Awards:
Estimated Total Program Funding:
Award Ceiling: $1,000,000
Award Floor: $0
CFDA Number(s): 45.130 -- Promotion of the Humanities_Challenge Grants
Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No