Developing Your Application
The most competitive grant proposals will support one or more of the Council’s primary goals:
- to build new audiences for the humanities,
- to bring people of different perspectives and backgrounds together,
- to innovate new program models, and
- to create lively humanities programs around the state.
Consider the following questions and tips as you develop your application.
- Content provider – to develop or help shape ideas in a humanities project.
- Researcher or writer – of critical and interpretive materials, essays, exhibition text, curricular materials, script treatments, catalogues, etc.
- Synthesizer/contextualizer – to situate your project within a broader perspective.
- Trainer – to teach people how to do humanities-based work.
- Guide – to help you get a project started or take you through the process.
- Speaker, lecturer, panel discussant, moderator – for staff meetings or public programs.
- People of color.
- Young people, especially ages 18-35.
- People who live far away from cultural centers like libraries and museums.
- People with physical disabilities, such as wheelchair users or the blind.
- People whose first (or only) language is not English.
- Those who are unable to get to programs easily, like nursing home residents, hospital patients, or prisoners.
- There are no exceptions to our application deadlines. Early is the new on time. Do not wait until the last minute!
- Tell us a story. Quantifiable data is a huge selling point, but we also want to know why you’re doing what you’re doing and why it’s significant.
- Your audience is the heart and soul of your project. Who are you serving and what role do they play in your project and for your organization?
- Questionable budgets strike fear in the heart of funders. Remember the three bears and make your budget just right (it’s a bad idea to inflate or to underestimate your expenses).
- Keep it simple. Avoid generalizations, flowery language, and hyperbole. Don’t write more than you need to. And by all means – proofread!
- NJCH staff is here to help. We can help you conceive your project, give feedback on a draft of your application, help you find a scholar or other expert, connect you with an evaluator, help you identify community partners, and so much more.
Gigi Naglak, Director of Grants & Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-695-4838 x223