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 or expand 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 in New Jersey.
  • Applicants may not have an open grant with NJCH during the proposed grant period. (Exception: organizations serving as a fiscal agent may also have a self-directed project funded.)
  • Ad-hoc groups may apply only as a co-sponsoring organization; an eligible organization must serve as the principal applicant and take fiscal responsibility.
  • Applicant organizations must have been in public operation for at least one year prior to applying.

Any project supported by NJCH must have humanities at its core. 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:

  • Direct social action or political advocacy.
  • Projects that provide academic credit, scholarships, fellowships, or regular course offerings.
  • Scholarly programs directed to a limited audience.
  • Arts projects that do not contain significant humanities component or perspective.
  • Capital projects or the purchase of capital equipment greater than $1000.
  • Repayment of loans or debts.
  • Fundraising activities.

  1. Submit your Intent to Apply registration. NJCH staff will review your registration and schedule a conversation about your project.
  2. Have a site visit or consultation with an NJCH program officer. This is our opportunity to learn about your proposed project and talk about how NJCH funds might be able to support your work.
  3. Submit a draft of your application (optional). We will review your application and provide feedback well in advance of the application deadline.
  4. Submit your application.

Please note: all applications require both an intent to apply registration and conversation or site visit with an NJCH staff member before submission.

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


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 as a grant 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 totaling over $1000 in value.
  • 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 (NEH). 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 costs,” 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.

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