Grants Overview

NJCH funds nonprofit organizations to develop meaningful humanities projects for New Jersey audiences. We welcome applications from libraries, museums, educational institutions, social service organizations, historical societies, cultural organizations, and other community organizations. Larger organizations, such as colleges and universities, will need to demonstrate meaningful public engagement beyond the confines of the institution to have a competitive proposal.

Our grant program includes:

  • Incubation grants up to $5,000 (given two times per year) to experiment, plan, research, prototype, and examine new programs and topics.
  • Action grants up to $20,000 (given once per year) to implement, expand, or continue programs.

Projects should demonstrate an awareness of the needs and interests of audience members in your community. They should involve a strong project team and must include a humanities scholar at some phase of the project. As you begin thinking about your grant proposal, please don’t hesitate to reach out to NJCH staff. We can connect you with resources, help you think through your project, and assist you in preparing a competitive proposal.

Gigi Naglak, Director of Grants & Programs 609.695.4838 x223

The following criteria must be met to apply for a grant from NJCH:

  • Applicant must be a registered nonprofit organization or government entity in New Jersey.
    Applicant may not have another open grant with NJCH during the proposed grant period. There are two exceptions to this rule:
  • Organizations serving as a fiscal sponsor may also apply for a self-directed project.
  • Large organizations, such as universities or municipalities, may submit multiple applications as long as the projects originate in different departments. However, it is unlikely that NJCH will award more than one grant to any institution at one time.
  • Ad-hoc groups may apply with a fiscal sponsor that meets all eligibility requirements.
  • Applicant organizations must have been in public operation for at least one year prior to applying.
  • All proposed projects must have humanities at their core. Applications from non-humanities organizations – such as arts or social service organizations – are welcome. However, projects that do not contain significant humanities components or perspectives will not be competitive. A more detailed definition of the humanities may be found on the Developing Your Application page.

Projects may take any form as long as they meet the grant requirements. NJCH staff can help you determine which grant type is most appropriate for the project you envision.

NJCH does not fund:

  • General operation.
  • Direct social action or political advocacy.
  • Projects that provide academic credit, scholarships, fellowships, or regular course offerings.
  • Scholarly programs directed to a limited audience.
  • The creation, performance, or display of art.
  • Capital projects.
  • Repayment of loans or debts.
  • Fundraising activities.

Incubation 1
Incubation 2
Intent to Apply periodSept. 1 - Oct. 12, 2017Feb. 19 - March 29, 2018May 7 - June 14, 2018
Application deadlineOct. 26, 2017April 12, 2018June 28, 2018
Award notificationBy Dec. 29, 2017 By June 29, 2018By Aug. 31, 2018
Projects beginNo earlier than
Jan. 1, 2018
No earlier than
July 1, 2018
No earlier than
Sep. 1, 2018

Draft applications will be accepted up to two weeks before the final application deadline.

All project costs must be reasonable, necessary to accomplish project objectives, and incurred during the grant period. The budget submitted must include all project costs, not only those charged to NJCH grant funds, but also those that will be supported by the applicant organization or by other funding. Values assigned should be reasonable in relation to rates paid for similar work, current market prices, or fair rental charges.

NJCH re-grants federal funds it receives from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Please consult your organization’s accountant or auditor to determine if you are subject to certain governmental audit requirements as a result of your receipt of these federal funds. The fiscal officer should follow standard accounting procedures. Since all grants may be subject to NJCH and NEH audit, grant recipients must maintain financial records for at least three years following submission of the final report.

Ineligible Costs

  • Capital purchases or acquisitions of major equipment over $4,000.
  • Food and beverages.
  • Costs incurred prior to or after the grant period.

Cost-share Requirement

Cost share is the portion of the project costs not covered by NJCH funds. The Council requires the applicant to provide at least a 100% match for the funds requested of NJCH. Cost share may be from the applicant organization and/or third party sources (individuals, foundations, corporations, etc.) other than the National Endowment for the Humanities. Cost share may be from in-kind contributions (donated goods or services), monetary contributions, or from the applicant’s operating budget. Cost share may be applied to any project expense category.


Any organization that receives a grant from NJCH will be required to have appropriate general liability coverage for their project and to list the Council as an additional insured. We recommend that you check with your insurance carrier to determine what costs may be incurred from these insurance requirements and incorporate those costs into your grant budget.

Indirect Costs

Also known as “administrative costs,” “overhead,” and “general operating expenses,” indirect costs are incurred by organization through the execution of its day-to-day activities but which cannot be attached to a specific activity. They are the expenses that keep the lights on, give everyone a space to work and the equipment they need, pay for insurance, and manage financial transactions. Indirect cost equations will vary depending on the organization; NJCH staff can help you determine an appropriate amount for your project.

Colleges and universities are not eligible to include indirect costs in their proposed budgets.

Upcoming Grant Deadlnes
  • No events
Upcoming Grant Proposal Workshops
  • When scheduled, information about upcoming grants workshops will appear here.
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