Responsive Program Grants

Jeff Lee Photography

Oregon Humanities has awarded all grant funds for the 2017 fiscal year. Guidelines for 2018 grants will be be posted by the end of September.

Oregon Humanities Responsive Program Grants support programs created in response to timely issues or events that the applicant organization is qualified to help the public explore. Awards of up to $1,000 are made on a rolling basis to nonprofit organizations and federally recognized tribes in Oregon. These programs may be any of the following:

  • Part of an organization's regular programming
  • New/pilot programs
  • In-person events
  • Online or multimedia efforts that engage the general public including but not limited to podcasts and short documentary films
  • Created in response to local, statewide, national, or global issues

With Responsive Program Grants, we fund programs that meet the following criteria:

  • Engage community members as active participants, not just as an audience
  • Explore issues or ideas from a variety of perspectives
  • Help participants make meaning for themselves and their community
  • Respond to an important public issue

All applicants must demonstrate how a proposed program benefits and is open to members of the general public, who must form the significant portion of participants.

Given the responsive nature of these types of programs, Oregon Humanities is committed to awarding grants within four weeks of receiving proposals. Awards will be made until funding runs out or the end of our fiscal year, whichever comes first. Oregon Humanities communications assistance will be offered to all awarded projects. Successful grantees will be required to submit final reporting documents to Oregon Humanities within thirty days after the completion of the funded project.

Letters accepted Between October 1, 2016, and September 30, 2017
Award decisions Reviewed on a rolling basis
Programs completed by October 31, 2017



Organizations of any budget size that are incorporated as nonprofits in the state of Oregon, as well as Oregon’s federally recognized tribes, are eligible to apply. Applicants do not need to be federally recognized 501(c)(3) organizations. We encourage applications from groups across the state, including those organizations that may not define their mission as humanities-based.

Organizations that are not nonprofits may apply using a fiscal sponsor if the fiscal sponsor meets the eligibility requirements. Please contact Oregon Humanities prior to initiating a grant proposal to discuss fiscal sponsorships. Organizations that have an open Public Program Grant may apply for a Responsive Program Grant in support of a different project.

Organizations are not eligible if any of the following apply:

  • They do not meet the eligibility requirements listed above.
  • They have already been awarded a Responsive Program Grant in the current grant year.
  • The proposed project is not open or accessible to the public.

What Responsive Program Grants Do Not Fund

  • Programs that are not open to the public
  • Programs that are not responsive to a current, public issue or event
  • Organizational marketing efforts
  • Multi-year grants
  • Individual research or activities
  • Courses for credit or school programs
  • Scholarships, fellowships, or awards
  • Feature-length film or video development or production
  • Writing or publishing projects
  • Event tickets
  • Creation of visual arts, performances, or living histories
  • Health and social service delivery
  • Capital projects (i.e., renovation or purchase of equipment, buildings, or land)
  • Museum collection acquisition
  • Permanent staffing
  • Lobbying or fundraising activities
  • Activities that advocate for a particular political or social party, agenda, or action
  • Indirect or overhead expenses

Oregon Humanities Funding Requests

Oregon Humanities has limited grant funds to award. The maximum Oregon Humanities Responsive Program Grant is $1,000.

Requested Oregon Humanities funding may support program-related expenses including but not limited to salaries/volunteers hours, benefits, honoraria, travel, supplies and materials, printing and duplication, postage and telephone, equipment and services (including audio and video documentation of the program for preservation or dissemination purposes), facilities rental, publicity, and ADA access.

ADA Access: Any entity that provides service to the public must be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Helpful information may be found at

Grant Period: All program expenses and activities must take place during the grant period that you define in your proposal. 2017 Responsive Program Grant activities must be completed before October 31, 2017.

How to Apply

The applicant organization must submit a cover sheet (download here) and letter (1,000 words maximum) that addresses the following:

  1. Please describe the current, public issue or event to which you are responding.
  2. Tell us why your organization is suited to engage your community on the subject.
  3. Explain why this issue needs a public response.
  4. Describe the proposed program and timeline.
  5. Estimate of the program’s total cost and the grant request to Oregon Humanities, including what the requested grant funds will cover. (Please note that there is no matching requirement.)

Applicants may receive only one Responsive Program Grant per cycle and programs be must completed by October 31, 2017. Applicants are notified as soon as a funding decision is made (no longer than four weeks after applying). Potential applicants are welcome to contact Program Coordinator Kyle Weismann-Yee at (503) 241-0543, ext. 112, or to discuss the program idea prior to submission. You may e-mail, fax, or mail your cover sheet and letter. Please do not submit supplemental materials or letters of support.