Here are answers to the most commonly asked questions about applying to our Grants programs.
- What are the Humanities?The humanities include the study and interpretation of history, literature (including novels, poetry, drama, and other forms of written expression, both modern and classical), philosophy, ethics, jurisprudence, comparative religion, archaeology, cultural anthropology, and the interpretation (not the creation) of the arts. These humanities disciplines are tools that can help us to explore what makes us human, connect us with others, and discover meaning and richness in our lives and for our communities.
- Who is Eligible for a Grant?You are eligible to apply for a grant if:
- You are applying on behalf of an organization. Individuals are not eligible for grants.
- Your organization is a non-profit or government entity.
- The humanities are a central component of your project.
- You have identified humanities scholars to support your project.
- Your project will engage and benefit Marylanders.
- You have matching funds (cash or in-kind) equal to the funds that you are requesting.
- You do not currently have an open grant with us.
- You have not received a grant from us within the last twelve months.
- What Kind of Projects are Eligible for Funding?Grant projects should:
- Use the humanities as a central element of the program or project
- Reach the general public of Maryland
- Engage them in discussions about a critical issue or an enriching humanities experience
- Be free and open to the public
- Be handicapped accessible and open without regard to race, color, religion, handicap, national origin, sex, disability, or age.
- What Kind of Projects are NOT Eligible for Funding?We do not support scholarly symposia directed toward a limited or specialized audience; scholarships, fellowships, internships, or regular course offerings; book publishing; individual research projects; creative or performing arts; general operating expenses; construction and/or renovation projects; museum or library acquisitions; direct social action or political advocacy; or fundraising or profit making activities.
We do not fund projects by applicant organizations with open Maryland Humanities grants or those who have already received a grant from us within the last twelve months.
- How is my application evaluated?
Your application will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
Maryland Humanities Grants Evaluation Criteria
The humanities include the study and interpretation of history, literature (including novels, poetry, drama, and other forms of written expression, both modern and classical), philosophy, ethics, jurisprudence, comparative religion, archaeology, cultural anthropology, and the interpretation (not the creation) of the arts.
□ The project is designed to use the humanities to engage participants (presenters and audience) in educational programming that uses humanities themes in exploring the human experience.
□ The humanities content is clearly identified.
□ The project uses humanities scholars/practitioners or community experts/leaders to shape the project.
Project Goals and Impact
□ The goals of the project are clearly identified and explained.
□ It is clear whom the project will impact.
□ It is clear what the impact will be on participants.
Project Management and Administration
The applicant clearly identifies and details plans for the project:
□ Final reporting
How strong and viable are the plans in each of these areas?
□ The budget is in line with Maryland Humanities requirements.
□ The matching funds are at least equal to the grant request.
□ The budget adds up.
Maryland Humanities seeks to reach these target audiences: educationally underserved adults and students, families with young children [age 8 and under], prison populations, and/or veterans. We especially encourage applicants with projects that will increase or enhance access to these audiences.
□ The project engages one or more of Maryland Humanities’ target audiences.
□ The project would help Maryland Humanities reach geographic diversity.
- Who are Scholars?Scholars are professional specialists in a given field of the humanities, such as historians, philosophers, poets and writers, and the like, who by training have gained mastery in a discipline. While a scholar need not have an advanced degree in the humanities, he or she should be demonstrably qualified for their assigned role in the proposed project by virtue of education, training and experience.
Humanities experts may be:
- Academic scholars (individuals with an advanced degree in a humanities discipline or individuals teaching or researching in a scholarly institution, e.g., professor, some curators and librarians)
- Independent scholars (individuals who have researched, written and/or spoken about a humanities topic and are considered experts in their field, e.g., journalist, artist, curator, nonprofessional historian)
- Community scholars/culture bearers,(individuals who by virtue of their life experience, training and/or standing in a community carry the knowledge, wisdom, and collective historical records of the group, e.g., tribal or neighborhood elders or practitioners of traditional cultural forms.)
- What Else is Required?
- What is a Letter of Intent?A Letter of Intent is an abbreviated request for funding that is submitted to us using our Online Grant Application system prior to a request for a Major Grant. The letter briefly outlines the project and the funding request, in enough detail for us to determine whether a full proposal should be submitted. Applicants with projects that fit into our funding guidelines will be given the opportunity to submit a full proposal. Receiving a request to submit a full proposal does not guarantee project funding.
- Must the Program be Free and Open to the Public?We believe that funded projects should be free and open to the public.
- Must Funds be Available to Match our Grant Funding?
You are required to provide financial support for your project. The matching funds must be at least equal to the grant amount requested from us. The matching funds can be made up of cash and other contributions from the your organization, cash from third parties, and in-kind contributions from third parties. You are encouraged to raise third-party cash as an indication of community interest in their project and to demonstrate a partnership between public and private support.
- When Will Grant Payments be Made?You may receive your grant award on an advance or reimbursement basis. Awards totaling $1,200 or less may be advanced in full in one installment. Awards over $1,200 may be advanced for sums that in total are not more than 90% of the total award. The final 10% of all grants over $1,200 will be paid upon receipt of the Final Narrative and Financial Reports.
The Payment Request Form must be filled out and submitted to us by the Grant Administrator by the deadline indicated in the award letter to receive grant funds. You should allow two to three weeks for a check to be issued by us.
All activities that are paid from a Maryland Humanities grant award must have occurred during the official grant period. The grant period begins on the date specified in the grant agreement and concludes ninety days following the completion of the project activities funded by the Maryland Humanities.
- What Kind of Projects Have You Funded in the Past?See the list of Maryland Humanities awarded grants from past years.
- Is a Program Funded by Maryland Humanities Eligible to Receive Repeat Funding?Yes.
- Will Funding be Provided for K-12 School Programs?As these programs are not open to the general public, you must justify the need for the project and provide a way to disseminate the results and lessons learned.
- Will Maryland Humanities Fund Oral History Projects?We do not fund projects whose primary purpose is the collection and preservation of oral histories. We will consider funding the interpretation and dissemination of oral history information to public audiences.
- How Can We Help You?
We can provide assistance by:
- Providing a ONE-TIME review of your draft application (must be submitted one week before deadline)
- Offering budget advice
- Holding grants workshops during the year. Please contact us for more information.
- Will Maryland Humanities Fund Media Projects?Organizations with demonstrated experience within a particular media area (video, radio, website, etc.) are encouraged to apply. Proposals must include a use and distribution plan for the completed project and a specific plan for reaching Maryland audiences. All video and film projects that receive Maryland Humanities funding must be closed or open captioned, as required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974.
- Who Can I Contact With More Specific Questions?For more information on grants, please contact Marilyn Hatza, program officer for Grants and Strategic Partnerships, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 685-4187.