Public cultural organizations of all shapes and sizes are increasing their audiences, digitizing their rich collections, and expanding opportunities for outreach and funding in ways previously not imaginable.

Digital Humanities Startup Grants

Funding Agency: National Endowment for the Humanities

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) invites applications to the Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants program. This program is designed to encourage innovations in the digital humanities. By awarding relatively small grants to support the planning stages, NEH aims to encourage the development of innovative projects that promise to benefit the humanities.

Proposals should be for the planning or initial stages of digital initiatives in any area of the humanities. Digital Humanities Start-Up Grants may involve:

  • research that brings new approaches or documents best practices in the study of the digital humanities;
  • planning and developing prototypes of new digital tools for preserving, analyzing, and making accessible digital resources, including libraries’ and museums’ digital assets;
  • scholarship that focuses on the history, criticism, and philosophy of digital culture and its impact on society;
  • scholarship or studies that examine the philosophical or practical implications and impact of the use of emerging technologies in specific fields or disciplines of the humanities, or in interdisciplinary collaborations involving several fields or disciplines;
  • innovative uses of technology for public programming and education utilizing both traditional and new media; and
    new digital modes of publication that facilitate the dissemination of humanities scholarship in advanced academic as well as informal or formal educational settings at all academic levels.

Two types of Digital Humanities Start Up Grands are accepted:
Level I: Ranging from $5,000 - $30,000 in outright funding

Level II: Ranging from $30,000 - $60,000 in outright funding


Deadline: September 25, 2012

Digital Humanities Challenge Grants

Funding Agency: National Endowment for the Humanities

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 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.

Deadline: May 2, 2012
Grant Amount: $30,000 - $500,000 (maximum amount $1,000,000 but requestors seeking over $500,000 should speak with an NEH program officer.

America’s Media Makers: Development Grants

Funding Agency: National Endowment for the Humanities

Grants for America’s Media Makers support media projects that explore significant events, figures, or developments in the humanities in creative and new ways. America’s Media Makers projects promote active exploration and engagement for broad public audiences in history, literature, archaeology, art history, comparative religion, philosophy, and other fields of the humanities. NEH supports the development of humanities content and interactivity that excites, informs, and stirs thoughtful reflection. To that end, NEH urges applicants to consider more than one format for presenting humanities ideas to the public. Grants for America’s Media Makers should encourage audiences to engage with the humanities, promote dialogue and discussion, and foster learning among people of all ages. NEH offers two categories of grants for media projects, Development Grants and Production Grants.

Deadline: August 15, 2012
Grant Amount: $40,000 - $75,000 

American Heritage Preservation Grants

Funding Agency: Institute for Museum and Library Services

Bank of America is partnering with the Institute for Museum and Library Services to provide grants to small museums, libraries, and archives. The grants will raise awareness and fund preservation of treasures held in small museums, libraries and archives.

Grants will help to preserve specific items, including works of art, artifacts and historical documents that are in need of conservation. Applicants will build on completed conservation assessments of their collections to ensure that the grants are used in accordance with best practices in the field, and underscore the importance of assessment planning.

Innovation Generation Grants

Funding Organization: Motorola

Innovation Generation funding is designed to inspire students to learn about science and generate interest in science-related careers. The Motorola Foundation's Innovation Generation program equips students with the skills essential to both their lives today and their future success. By making the complex concepts behind math and science real and relevant, students look at their world differently through strengthened problem-solving skills. The Motorola Foundation accomplishes this through grant-making, engaging employee volunteers, building networks among STEM leaders and conducting research.

The Motorola Foundation has provided $7.5 million in Innovation Generation grants to U.S. science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs through its signature grants program in 2010. Innovation Generation funding is designed to inspire students to learn about science and generate interest in science-related careers, especially for girls and underrepresented groups.

Now in its fourth year, the program builds on President Barack Obama’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign and federal initiatives like the Race to the Top Fund by incorporating funding, employee volunteers and intra-grantee collaboration to help boost American students’ engagement in STEM.

The expanded Innovation Generation grants program features three distinct funding areas:

  • Innovation Generation Grants  –  Support targeted, innovative STEM education programs for U.S. pre-school through 12th grade students and teachers, with grants ranging from $25,000 to $50,000
  • Innovation Generation Collaborative Grants  –  Support medium- to large-scale STEM education collaborations between two or more non-profit organizations, schools and/or school districts, with joint requests ranging from $150,000 to $500,000
  • Innovation Generation University Grants  –  Support hands-on, innovative competitions, seminars and design competitions for undergraduate- and graduate-level students at select universities, with maximum grants of $50,000