NEH Grant : Challenge Grant For Two Year Colleges

Posted by Shofi Fida Sunday, November 6, 2011 0 comments
The National Endowment for the Humanities invites two-year colleges to apply in a special Challenge Grant competition to strengthen their long-term humanities programs and resources.  Two-year colleges are major educational assets that have too often been overlooked, even though over half of students in post-secondary education attend two-year institutions.  The humanities can and should play a vital role in community colleges. The perspectives of history, philosophy, and literature can enrich the educational experience of students attending two-year colleges, deepening their understanding of questions related to differences among cultures, as manifested in diverse understandings of citizenship, politics, and ethics.  NEH seeks to encourage two-year colleges to develop models of excellence that enhance the role of the humanities on their campuses.  The goals of this initiative are

  • to enable two-year colleges to strengthen programs in the humanities, especially the study of the world’s many cultures and civilizations;
  • to support model humanities curricula at two-year colleges that may be replicated at other institutions; and
  • to encourage two-year colleges to broaden the base of financial support for the humanities.
Challenge Grants for Two-year Colleges are capacity-building grants intended to help eligible institutions 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 be used for one-time capital expenditures (such as construction and renovation, purchase of equipment, and acquisitions) that bring long-term benefits to the institution and to the humanities more broadly. NEH is especially interested in applications for programs that respond to the Endowment-wide Bridging Cultures initiative.
Because of the matching requirement, challenge grants also strengthen the humanities by encouraging nonfederal sources of support.  The required match is two-to-one: every dollar offered by NEH must be matched with two dollars in new nonfederal donations. Eligible institutions have six years in which to raise the required match.
Samples of successful proposals can be found under the Program Resources section of the sidebar on the first page of the guidelines.

Successful applicants will be offered a matching grant. The requested grant amount should be appropriate to the humanities needs and the fundraising capacity of the institution. The maximum amount an applicant may request is $500,000.  Smaller grants for sharply defined purposes are encouraged.  Potential applicants are urged to consult with NEH staff about the size of their requests.  

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