SHARP Recovery Grants Fund: Frequently Asked Questions

Is my organization eligible for funding?

In order to be eligible for funding, nonprofit organizations must offer humanities programming to Marylanders as a significant part of its mission. The humanities include disciplines such as history, literature, film studies, art criticism, and philosophy. The organization must also be physically located in Maryland and have Maryland residents as its primary audience. Organizations must have a total annual operating budget that does not exceed $300,000 and be experiencing or expect to experience financial hardship due to the effects of COVID-19.

The following organizations are ineligible for funding: for-profit organizations, organizations solely focused on the creation or performance of art, political or advocacy organizations, government agencies and libraries, institutions of higher-education (universities, colleges and their academic departments), and K-12 institutions. 


What can SHARP Recovery grants be used for?

SHARP funding is intended to be used for general operating support expenses. This includes, but is not limited to, rent, utilities, employee salaries, programming expenses, and technological expenses. SHARP funding cannot be used for the purchase of land or facilities, construction, or renovation. Additionally, the SHARP funding cannot be used for any form of lobbying or political advocacy.


What documentation is required to apply?

In order to apply for a SHARP Recovery Grant, we require all organizations to upload a copy of their current annual operating budget. We also require organizations to obtain and retain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number from Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. (D&B), which uniquely identifies business entities. A DUNS number may be obtained from D&B by telephone at 866.705.5711 or by clicking here to register online or to look up your organization’s number. You need not have your DUNS number at the time of application.


What if our organization applied for another grant with a different organization?

Applying for funding from a different organization such as the Maryland State Arts Council does not prevent your organization from applying and/or receiving funding from the SHARP Recovery Grant program.


What organizations will Maryland Humanities be prioritizing?

When evaluating applications to our SHARP Recovery grant fund, our grants team will prioritize  humanities, heritage, social justice, community, and cultural organizations that have been financially impacted by COVID-19. We will also prioritize organizations located in counties that have been historically underserved by Maryland Humanities including Anne Arundel, Calvert, Caroline, Carroll, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Howard, Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Washington, and Worcester.

Still have questions? Feel free to reach out to the grants team at