Before You Apply

Before you Apply

Before beginning the application process, please review the following general eligibility guidelines and grant requirements.

So what are the humanities?

The humanities involve the exploration of the human experience by helping people study, tell, interpret, analyze, and document human history and culture—ancient, modern, and everything in-between.

The founding legislation of the National Endowment for the Humanities offers an expansive definition of the humanities: “The term ‘humanities’ includes, but is not limited to, the study of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage, traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life.”

Is my organization eligible?

Any Florida organization constituted for nonprofit purposes may apply for funding. It is not necessary that organizations be incorporated or have tax-exempt status. Proof of nonprofit status will be required of all approved applicants.

Examples of eligible organizations include libraries, historical societies, museums, local arts and humanities councils, civic and service organizations, public radio and television stations, educational institutions, local government agencies, and ad hoc groups. Academic institutions that submit applications are strongly encouraged to collaborate with community groups.

Applicants may not have a currently open Florida Humanities Council grant.

Individuals may not apply for funding at this time.

What types of projects are eligible for funding?

All projects, unless otherwise specified under a special initiative, must be:

  • rooted in one or more of the disciplines of the humanities
  • enlist the participation of humanities scholars and/or experts in the project’s planning and execution, and
  • engage the public in thoughtful and informed activities that explore humanities topics, including those related to Florida topics and/or of interest to Floridians

 

The grants projects that we fund must be designed for and open to a general public audience. Typically all programs are free of charge, however modest fees that do not present a barrier to participation will be considered.

Project formats vary, and multiple formats may be combined in one proposal. Recently funded projects have included: lecture series and panel discussions; interpretive exhibits; walking tours, maps and brochures; oral history projects; book and film discussions; and civic engagement forums or town meetings that encourage public debate and discussion. To complement and extend the reach of public programming, some grants have supported the development of print and/or electronic resources such as reading lists, recordings of scholar presentations, classroom resources, and technology projects.

What types of expenses and activities are NOT funded?

The following expenses and/or activities are currently not eligible for FHC funding:

  • indirect costs
  • political action or advocacy
  • fundraising events or products
  • purchase of real property
  • building construction, maintenance, renovation or preservation
  • major acquisitions that are not essential to the success of the project
  • projects not available to the general public
  • projects or programs with fees that present a barrier to public participation
  • programs designed exclusively for, or created by, children
  • visual or performing-arts programs that do not include opportunities for analysis and interpretation
  • scholarly research projects or academic or professional conferences
  • publications not directly related to humanities programming
  • refreshments or entertainment
  • expenses incurred or paid out before a grant award is made
  • scholarships and awards

Additional eligibility requirements or restrictions may be noted for special initiative grants.

 

How are grants reviewed?

All proposals are reviewed by our staff and members of our board of directors. Notification of funding decisions is made in writing by the date specified. Unfortunately, we always receive more applications than we can fund. Approved projects may receive full or partial funding, are awarded on a competitive basis, and are dependent on the availability of federal funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. If you do not receive funding, you may request copies of the evaluators’ comments.

Is help available with the application process?

If you are uncertain about any phase of the application process, please contact us. We are happy to provide guidance via phone about completing an application, determining eligibility, discussing project ideas, addressing budgetary questions, and troubleshooting technical difficulties with electronic forms. Staff comments and suggestions are based solely on prior experience with grant-review sessions that have included board members. Adherence to staff suggestions does not guarantee approval.

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