Public Program Grants

Once each year, Oregon Humanities’ volunteer board of directors awards Public Program Grants of up to $10,000 in support of programs across Oregon that explore challenging questions and strive for just communities.

We awarded our fiscal year 2021 Public Program Grants in February 2021. We anticipate opening our fiscal year 2022 Public Program Grant cycle in January 2022. That process will be announced on this page, our social media accounts, and in our newsletter.

If you have any questions, please email grants@oregonhumanities.org.

NOTE: The following information reflectes our funding process for our 2021 fiscal year grant cycle.  We review our process each year and may make adjustments for future cycles.

  1. Funding Priorities
  2. Criteria
  3. Eligibility

Funding Priorities

Oregon Humanities has limited grant funds to award and is committed to funding programming that centers those most impacted by a topic in order to elevate perspectives that have historically been undervalued—particularly programming based in and led by rural communities and/or communities of color. Programs can be in multiple languages or be in a language other than English. Reporting must be in English.

A minimum of 60 percent of awarded funds will go to organizations that meet the qualification of being based in and led by rural communities and/or communities of color. Oregon Humanities uses the Oregon Office of Rural Health’s definition of rural as locations in Oregon ten or more miles from the center of a population center of 40,000 people or more. See this list of zip codes to determine if your organization, program, and services are located in a rural area. Applicants will have the chance to submit racial demographic totals for their staff, and board members in the letter of interest process.

Criteria 

Oregon Humanities funds a wide variety of programs and activities. For example: community dialogues, lectures, online engagements, storytelling formats that center undertold experiences, programming connecting exhibits to current experiences, culturally specific and intercultural events. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage applicants to follow the State of Oregon social distancing requirements and to articulate alternate program plans where relevant, such as virtual programming back up plans, rotating participants, or limited in-person participation.

All program subjects and formats must align with the following criteria:

  • Centering those most affected
    Program planning, topics, content, and outreach should respond to and engage with the life experiences, perspectives, and knowledge held by those most impacted by the topic.
     
  • Help communities explore complex topics
    Program format and content should help participants deepen their understanding of the topic and its complexities. Organizations should demonstrate why they are the ones to be leading this programming on the topic.
     
  • Build community voice and power
    Programming should demonstrate a strategy to amplify the perspectives and life experiences of those most impacted by the program’s topic and build toward addressing complex topics with actionable steps identified by the organization along with the community.
     
  • Timely and Responsive 
    Program topic should demonstrate relevance to or feedback from the community and the intended audience(s) of the program.

Requested Oregon Humanities funding may support program-related expenses that may include but aren’t limited to supplies and materials, project management salaries, printing and duplication, and ADA access. Additionally, applicants may request an indirect cost rate of up to 10 percent of the total request to Oregon Humanities. These costs may include but aren’t limited to payroll processing and audit fees and office equipment purchases or maintenance not directly related to the project.

Note: Available funding for the 2022 cycle of Public Program Grants may be affected by the 2021 federal budget.

Eligibility

Applicants must: 

  • Be incorporated as a nonprofit in the state of Oregon or be a federally recognized tribe in Oregon. Nonprofit applicants can be registered as a 501(c)(3) organization located in Oregon and be registered with the State of Oregon as a charitable organization. All awardees must be able to complete an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) W-9 form in order to receive payment from Oregon Humanities: https://www.irs.gov/forms-pubs/about-form-w-9

  • Have an organizational budget under $1.5 million for the last completed fiscal year if the applicant is not a federally recognized tribe.

  • Obtain a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number and register with the System for Award Management (SAM). 

  • Have successfully closed out all prior Public Program Grants with Oregon Humanities prior to the Letter of Interest deadline. It is OK to have an open Responsive Program Grant that is in good standing.

  • Not have received Oregon Humanities Public Program Grants consecutively in the previous two cycles. Organizations awarded a Public Program Grant in both 2019 and 2020 are not eligible to apply for a 2021 Public Program Grant and must wait until the 2022 grant cycle to be eligible to apply again.

  • Only submit one Public Program Grant application per cycle.

Organizations may apply as coapplicants if both meet eligibility requirements above. Co-applicant organizations assume cost-sharing responsibilities for program revenue and/or expenses.

Organizations that are not nonprofits may apply using a fiscal sponsor if the fiscal sponsor meets the eligibility requirements above. Fiscal sponsoring organizations may have a budget over $1.5 million but cannot have a role in planning, coordination, or delivery of the program associated with the grant. Fiscal sponsors must be incorporated as nonprofits in the state of Oregon or be one of Oregon’s federally recognized tribes. Please contact Oregon Humanities prior to initiating a grant proposal to discuss fiscal sponsorships.

What We Do Not Fund

All Public Program Grant funds awarded by Oregon Humanities are federal in origin. They cannot support lobbying or fundraising activities; unallowable costs such as alcohol, entertainment, or first-class travel; or activities that advocate for a particular political or social party's agenda or call to action.

In addition, Public Program Grants do not fund the following:

  • The production and creation of films, visual arts, performances, books, and publications

  • Host fees for Conversation Project events, fees for Facilitation Training by Oregon Humanities, or other Oregon Humanities programming

  • Scholarships, fellowships, or awards

  • Ticket fees

  • Capital projects (i.e., renovation or purchase of buildings or land)

  • Programs that do not meet the nondiscrimination statutes outlined in the Certifications section of this document

Requested Oregon Humanities funding may support program-related expenses that may include but aren’t limited to supplies and materials, project management salaries, printing and duplication, and ADA access. Additionally, applicants may request an indirect cost rate of up to 10 percent of the total request to Oregon Humanities. These costs may include but aren’t limited to payroll processing and audit fees and office equipment purchases or maintenance not directly related to the project.

Matching Requirements

Oregon Humanities Public Program Grant requests should not constitute more than fifty percent of your program budget. All grant awards must be matched at least 1:1 with earned, contributed, or in-kind support from the applicant or coapplicant. 

In-kind cost share is the dollar value of goods and services contributed to the program by third parties. For example, if a printer donates services, the dollar value of the contribution should be reflected in your budget as in-kind cost share. Please be sure that in-kind contributions are reflected in both the revenue and expense sections of your budget. You may value volunteer time at $25.43/hour when calculating in-kind cost share.

ADA Information from the National Endowment for the Humanities

Any entity that provides service to the public must certify that it is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 USC Sec. 12101, et seq. and subsequent revisions. Helpful information may be found online at https://www.arts.gov/accessibility/accessibility-resources/publications-checklists-resources

OMB Circulars

All Public Program Grants awarded by Oregon Humanities are federal in origin. They are subject to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circulars governing administrative requirements, allowable costs, and audit requirements. It is the applicant’s responsibility to become familiar with these requirements, which may be found online at:  https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/ECFR?page=browseprevious&pitd=00000000&SID=9e5317f8938a87ce18434f0b0e1e9e1d

Certifications

By signing and submitting the letter of interest form, the executive director of the applicant organization and the program director are providing the applicable federal certifications regarding compliance with nondiscrimination statutes, debarment, and suspension, as follows:

  • Certification regarding debarment, suspension, ineligibility, and voluntary exclusion—lower-tier covered transactions, 45 CFR 1169

  • Certification regarding nondiscrimination statutes:

    • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.)

    • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 794)

    • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as amended (20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.)

    • Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.)

For further information please visit: https://www.arts.gov/accessibility/accessibility-resources/laws-and-compliance-standards 

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