Museum Grants for African American History and Culture – FY12 Guidelines
Application Deadline: January 17, 2012
(Projects must begin August 1, September 1 or October 1, 2012)
Date Posted: October 28, 2012
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 45. 309
Questions? See the Museum Grants for African American History and Culture for IMLS contact info.
Teletype (TTY/TDD) (for persons with hearing difficulty): 202/653-4614
Upon request, IMLS will provide an audio recording of this or any other publication.
Web Conferencing with Program Staff
IMLS staff are available by phone and through e-mail to discuss general issues relating to Museum Grants for African American History and Culture. We also invite you to participate in one of two pre-application Web conferences to learn more about the program, ask questions, and listen to the questions and comments of other participants. See the Museum Grants for African American History and Culture Web page for date/time information.
IMLS-funded programs do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age. For further information, write to the Civil Rights Officer, Institute of Museum and Library Services, 1800 M Street, NW, 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20036-5802.
Office of Management and Budget Clearance Numbers
Guidelines: OMB No. 3137-0029; Expiration Date: August 31, 2013.
Forms: OMB No. 3137-0071; Expiration Date: August 31, 2013.
How long should it take me to complete this application?
We estimate the average amount of time needed for one applicant to complete the narrative portion of this application to be 9 hours. This includes the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and writing and reviewing the answers.
We estimate that, in addition to the time needed for you to answer the narrative questions, it will take you an average of 15 minutes per response for the Program information Sheet, 3 hours per response for the Detailed Budget and Summary Budget, and 10 minutes per response for the Partnership Statement.
Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to the Institute of Museum and Library Services at 1800 M Street, NW, 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20036-5802 , and to the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project (3137- 0029), Washington, DC 20503.
1. Program Information
What are Museum Grants for African American History and Culture?
Museum Grants for African American History and Culture (AAHC) are intended to enhance institutional capacity and sustainability through professional training, technical assistance, internships, outside expertise, and other tools. Successful proposals will focus on one or more of the following three goals: (1) developing or strengthening knowledge, skills, and other expertise of current staff at African American museums; (2) attracting and retaining professionals with the skills needed to strengthen African American museums; and (3) attracting new staff to African American museum practice and providing them with the expertise needed to sustain them in the museum field.
What is the deadline for applying for a Museum Grant for African American History and Culture?
The FY2012 deadline for an AAHC grant is January 17, 2012.
What is the period of time in which my organization can conduct activities funded by a FY12 AAHC grant?
Projects must begin on August 1, September 1, or October 1, 2012. Projects must begin on the first day of the month and end on the last day of the final month of the project. Generally, project activities supported by AAHC grants may be carried out for up to two years.
How much money can my institution apply for?
AAHC grant awards range from $5,000 to $150,000.
Do we have to provide funds from other sources in order to be eligible for an AAHC grant?
In order to receive an AAHC grant, you must provide funds from non-federal sources in an amount that is equal to or greater than the amount of the grant. Click here for further information on cost sharing.
What types of activities can be funded with an AAHC grant?
Examples of some of the types of activities that can be funded with an AAHC include: staff mentoring, education or training, or other strategies that increase the skills needed to improve African American museum services; attendance at museum conferences and other professional meetings; enrollment in courses or workshops; technical assistance or consultation with museum or business professionals from outside the institution; and organizational support for the development and implementation of internship and fellowship programs.
How many applications can we submit to this program?
A museum may apply for and receive one AAHC grant in a fiscal year.
Acknowledgement and Copyright/Work Products
Read more about Acknowledgement and Copyright/Work Products.
What requirements govern the use of IMLS funds?
You may only use IMLS funds for allowable costs as found in IMLS and government-wide cost principle rules , including OMB Circulars and regulations.
Allowable and Unallowable Expenses
Examples of allowable expenses for AAHC grants include:
- staff training
- participant support costs for training volunteers, docents or interns (non-employees)
- project personnel, contract, or in-house staff time necessary for the proper and efficient execution of the project
- project consultants and their travel
- purchase of equipment, materials, supplies, or services
- integration of technology into museum operations
- costs associated with evaluation of grant programs or activities
- indirect or overhead costs (read more about Indirect Costs).
You must justify all proposed expenses in your application budget.
Examples of unallowable expenses for AAHC grants include:
- general museum fundraising costs, such as development office expenditures or other staff time devoted to general fundraising
- general advertising or public relations costs designed solely for promotional activities other than those related to the specific project
- contributions to endowments
- acquisition of collections
- social activities, ceremonies, receptions, or entertainment
- construction and renovation of museum facilities
- collection conservation activities, including installation of collections, HVAC systems, creation of collections storage facilities, object treatment , collections surveys , or historic structure renovation(Note: For these activities, please review the IMLS Conservation Project Support Guidelines regarding possible eligibility .)
- exhibit fabrication that includes creation of large-scale permanent structures for animals or objects that would involve contract labor of the construction trades
- pre-award costs
(Note: Applicants with questions about the allowability or unallowability of specific activities should call IMLS staff for guidance.)
Partnerships and the Partnership Statement
Partnerships may strengthen an AAHC application, if they are appropriate to the project, but they are not required. An application may include one or more partners. The lead applicant in a partnership must be eligible to apply as an individual entity, and all members of a partnership should be active contributors to project activities. Read more about partnerships.
To be eligible for an AAHC grant, you must:
- be either a unit of State or local government or a private nonprofit organization that has tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code;
- be located in one of the 50 States of the United States of America, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau; and
- qualify as one of the following:
a museum1whose primary purpose, as reflected in its mission, is African American life, art, history, and/or culture, encompassing: the period of slavery; the era of Reconstruction; the Harlem renaissance; the civil rights movement; and other periods of the African American diaspora; and using a professional staff,2 is organized on a permanent basis for essentially educational or aesthetic purposes; owns or uses tangible objects, either animate or inanimate; cares for these objects; and exhibits these objects to the general public on a regular basis through facilities that it owns or operates.3
a museum service organization or association whose primary purpose, as reflected in its mission, is to support museums with a primary purpose of African American life, art, history and/or culture;
a historically black college or university, as defined by the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, 20 U.S.C. Section 1061, and pursuant to Executive Order 13256, dated February 12, 2002.
Please note that a museum located within a parent organization that is a State or local government or multipurpose not-for-profit entity, such as a municipality, university, historical society, foundation, or cultural center, may apply on its own behalf if the museum: (1) is able to independently fulfill all the eligibility requirements listed above; (2) functions as a discrete unit within the parent organization; (3) has its own fully segregated and itemized operating budget; and (4) has the authority to make the application on its own. When any of the last three conditions cannot be met, a museum may only apply through its parent organization. A parent organization that controls multiple museums that are not autonomous but which are otherwise eligible may submit only one application per grant program; this single application may be submitted by the parent organization on behalf of one or more of the eligible museums.
A private or public nonprofit agency which is responsible for the operation of a museum may apply on behalf of the museum. IMLS may determine that a non-profit organization that is affiliated with a museum is eligible for this program where the organization can demonstrate that it has the ability to administer the project and can ensure compliance with the terms of these guidelines and the applicable law, including the Assurances and Certifications. The applicant organization must submit an agreement from the museum that details the activities that the applicant and museum will perform and binds the museum to the statements and assurances made in the grant application.
1. Museums include, but are not limited to, aquariums, arboretums, art museums, botanical gardens, children/youth museums, general museums (those having two or more significant disciplines), historic houses/sites, history museums, natural history/anthropology museums, nature centers, planetariums, science/technology centers, specialized museums (limited to a single distinct subject), and zoological parks.
2. An institution uses a professional staff if it employs at least one professional staff member, or the full-time equivalent, whether paid or unpaid, primarily engaged in the acquisition, care, or exhibition to the public of objects owned or used by the institution.
3. An institution exhibits objects to the general public if such exhibition is a primary purpose of the institution. An institution that exhibits objects to the general public for at least 120 days a year is deemed to exhibit objects to the general public on a regular basis.
An institution that exhibits objects by appointment may meet the requirement to exhibit objects to the general public on a regular basis if it can establish, in light of the facts under all the relevant circumstances, that this method of exhibition does not unreasonably restrict the accessibility of the institution’s exhibits to the general public.
An institution that does not have as a primary purpose the exhibition of objects to the general public but that can demonstrate that it exhibits objects to the general public on a regular basis as a significant, separate, distinct, and continuing portion of its activities, and that it otherwise meets the museum eligibility requirements, may be determined to be eligible as a museum under these guidelines. For more information, please see 45 C.F.R. Chapter XI, Subchapter E (Institute of Museum and Library Services).
3. Registration Requirements
Getting a D-U-N-S® Number
Read more about Getting a D-U-N-S® Number.
Read more about CCR Registration.
Read more about Grants.gov Registration and Tips for Using Grants.gov.
4. Preparing and Submitting an Application
PLEASE REVIEW THESE GUIDELINES AND THE GRANTS.GOV REQUIREMENTS CAREFULLY. WE MAKE GRANTS ONLY TO ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS THAT SUBMIT COMPLETE APPLICATIONS, INCLUDING ATTACHMENTS, ON OR BEFORE THE DEADLINE.
For the FY12 AAHC grants, Grants.gov will accept applications through 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday, January 17, 2012.
We strongly recommend that you REGISTER EARLY and COMPLETE AND SUBMIT THE APPLICATION EARLY.
Apply for Grants: www.grants.gov/applicants/apply_for_grants.jsp
Use one of the following identifiers to locate the AAHC grants package in Grants.gov:
CFDA No: 45. 309.
Funding Opportunity Number: AAHC-FY12
What documents are required and how should they be completed, formatted, named, and sequenced?
Please see the Table of Application Components below. Links to more information and instructions for completing forms are provided in the table. Applications missing any Required Documents or applicable Conditionally Required Documents from this list will be considered incomplete and will be rejected from further consideration. You should also use this table to determine the format of each document, the name it must be given, and the sequence in which the documents should be attached.
Please note that, aside from the first two documents listed, all documents must be submitted as PDF documents, regardless of how they were created. Documents listed as IMLS forms are available in both Microsoft® Word document and fill-in PDF formats, and are located on the IMLS Web site. If you do not have Adobe® Pro, we suggest using the Word document to complete the forms. Remember, the Word version must later be converted to and submitted as a PDF.
Be sure to note the maximum page limits for certain components. We will remove any pages above the limit, and we will not send them to reviewers as part of your application.
Append all the documents to the attachments form in the sequence used in the Table of Application Components. Use all the available spaces in the "Mandatory Documents for Submission" box first. If there are more attachments than will fit there, use the "Optional Documents for Submission" box for the remaining ones, following the same naming convention and submitting them one at a time.
You may use this table as a checklist to ensure that you have created and attached all the documents that may be necessary for a complete application. We suggest assembling and uploading your documents in this sequence to assist you in confirming the inclusion of all required materials.
Table of Application Components
A project abstract should be no more than one page. Insert the text, which you generate through a word processing program and save as a PDF, into the Abstract field in Grants.gov.
Information in the abstract should cover the following areas as related to the proposed project:
- Who is the lead applicant and, if applicable, who are the formal partners?
- What is the time frame for the project?
- What will be the specific project’s activities, outcomes, and tangible products (if applicable)?
- What are the intended outcomes for museum professionals in terms of measurable changes in knowledge, skills, attitudes, or behavior?
This abstract may be used for public information purposes, so it should be informative to other persons working in the same or related fields, as well as to the lay reader. The abstract must not include any proprietary or confidential information.
Program Information Sheet
1. Applicant Information
a. Legal Name: Enter the legal name of the applicant.
b. and c. Organizational Unit and Address:
If the eligible entity cannot apply for grants on its own behalf, then enter the name and address of the entity in these spaces. For example, if a museum that is applying is part of a parent organization, such as a university, then the university would be the legal applicant, and the museum would be entered as the organizational unit. Be sure to include the four-digit extension on the ZIP code.
d. Web Address: If an organizational unit is listed, enter its Web address here. If not, enter the Web site of the entity listed under Legal Name in Section 1a above.
e. Type of Institution: Select the one that most accurately describes your organization.
2. Grant Program or Grant Program Category
Select g. Museum Grants for African American History and Culture
3. Request Information
a. IMLS Funds Requested: Enter the amount in dollars sought from IMLS.
b. Cost Share Amount: Enter the amount of non-federal funding you are providing, which must be at least one-half of the total project cost. Read more about cost share.
4. Museum Profile (Museum applicants only)
Museum applicants must answer all questions (a - g) in this section.
If you indicate a budget surplus or deficit for one or both of the two previous fiscal years on the Program Information Sheet, you should provide an explanation in the application narrative, Section 4: Project Resources. This explanation is intended to assist reviewers in evaluating the financial capacity of your institution to complete the project activities.
5. Project Partners
In the space provided, list all organizations that are partners for the project. Note: Each partner listed in this section is required to complete and submit a Partnership Statement form to the lead applicant for submission with the application.
Applicants for Museum Grants for African American History and Culture should skip these sections.
Download Program Information Sheet:
Adobe® PDF (318 KB)
Microsoft® Word Document (118 KB)
Write a narrative that addresses the four components listed and explained below. Limit the narrative to seven single-spaced, numbered pages. We will remove any pages above the seven-page limit, and we will not send them to reviewers as part of your application.
Make sure your organization’s name appears at the top of each page. Use at least 0.5-inch margins on all sides and a font size of at least twelve point. Use Supporting Documents to provide supplementary material.
Reviewers with a variety of professional backgrounds will read these applications and advise us on their merits. They will base their evaluations on the information presented in the application. Your project narrative should therefore be clear, concise, and well-organized with a minimum of technical jargon.
Review criteria are listed below for each section of the narrative. These criteria describe what the reviewers are instructed to consider as they evaluate proposals. Keep these application review criteria in mind when writing your narrative. Be certain to address the bullet points under each of the four narrative sections as you write. Address the four sections of the narrative separately and in the same order in which they are listed below.
Please be advised that reviewers may also choose to visit your organization’s Web site, as listed on the SF-424S form provided with this application.
1. Statement of Need
Provide a justification for the proposed project as it relates to the museum , its audience, or the African American museum. Include information such as the following:
- How the proposed project will improve museum staff knowledge, skills and/or abilities
- How the project will improve museum services to your community
- What audiences will be served , including area demographics and/or audience characteristics
- What are the past successes and/or future challenges in meeting the needs of the audiences served by the applicant organization
- How the project will improve the overall African American museum community (required for proposals that are designed to benefit multiple African American museums)
- Evidence that the applicant is familiar with the community it serves and has performed a formal or informal assessment of museum and/or community needs
- Evidence that the project is designed to improve staff expertise in a manner that will enhance institutional capacity and sustainability
Describe the benefits of this project for the targeted museum professionals, the organization and /or community. Address issues such as the following:
- Specific outcomes that will result from the project
- Plans and methodology to measure the achievement of the project’s goals and objectives
- How the project’s accomplishments, benefits, and changes will continue beyond the grant period
- How the project activities and results will be shared with various audiences
- How the project results will be disseminated to benefit the African American museum community (required for proposals that are designed to benefit multiple African American museums)
- Evidence that the project will create specific changes and benefits for the museum professionals involved in the project, the organization itself, and/or the community served
- Evidence that the applicant has plans to sustain those changes and benefits beyond the grant period
- Evidence of specific outcomes that will be used to evaluate the impact and success of the project
3. Project Design
Describe the proposed project’s design. Include information such as the following:
- Project goals and objectives
- Specific skills, knowledge, and experiences that will build staff or institutional capacities
- Action steps and activities to implement the project
- A description of the institution’s collections, if impacted by the proposed activities
- Evidence that the project proposes efficient, effective, and reasonable approaches to accomplish clear goals and objectives
- Evidence that the methodology and design are appropriate to the scope of the project.
- Evidence that the project will meet IMLS program goals
- If the project includes digitization, evidence that appropriate procedures will be followed
4. Project Resources: Personnel, Time, Budget
Describe the resources, including those funded by the grant and those funded by the organization’s cost share, required to implement and complete the project. Include information such as the following:
- The timeline for specific activities to implement the project and its justification
- Identification of key project staff, their duties, and their qualifications for successfully completing their project tasks
- The amount of time that key project staff will devote to the project and how they will balance project responsibilities with other ongoing duties
- Qualifications of personnel assigned to manage project finances
- Identification of consultants and service providers involved in project activities, the process for selecting them, and how they will work with project staff
- Source(s) of matching funds and/or in-kind contributions;
- Contributions to and benefits from the project for both the applicant and the partner organization(s), if applicable
If a budget surplus or deficit for one or both of the two previous fiscal years is shown on the Program Information Sheet, provide an explanation as part of this section of the narrative.
- Evidence that the applicant will effectively complete the project activities in the time allocated through the effective deployment and management of resources, including money, facilities, equipment, and supplies
- Evidence of sound financial management, coupled with an appropriate and cost-efficient budget
- Evidence that the applicant has the ability to meet the cost share requirement.
- Evidence that the project personnel demonstrate appropriate experience and expertise and will commit adequate time to accomplish project activities
For this section of the application, reviewers will consider information provided in the Narrative, Budget Forms, Budget Justification, and Resumes.
Conditionally Required Documents for AAHC Grant Applications
Proof of Nonprofit Status
If your organization is a private, nonprofit organization, you must submit a copy of the IRS letter indicating your eligibility for nonprofit status under the applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended. We will not accept a letter of state sales tax exemption as proof of nonprofit status.
Please consult the table below to determine if any additional documents are required. If any of the conditions in the left column apply to your project, then the documents described in the right column are required. If you do not provide them, your application will be considered incomplete and will be rejected from further consideration.
Please note that if you are choosing the IMLS option of claiming a rate of 15% of indirect costs, you do not need to provide any documentation.
You may submit other attachments of your choosing as part of your application package, but do not overload the reviewers with too much information. These attachments should include only information that will supplement the narrative and support the project description provided in the application. They should help reviewers envision your project, but they should not be used to answer narrative questions. You may wish to consider the following:
- Letters of commitment from consultants, partners or other groups that will work closely with the applicant on this project
- Letters of support from subject-matter experts who are familiar with your proposed project
- Needs assessments (i.e. formal or informal documentation used to justify, evaluate, and plan projects)
- Reports from planning activities
- Products or evaluations from previously completed or ongoing projects of a similar nature
- Web links to relevant online materials
Note: When attaching these documents, give each one a specific title for clear identification. All Supporting Documents must include dates of creation and authorship.
Assurances and Certifications
What Federal Laws Do I Agree to Comply With When I Submit My Application?
As an applicant for Federal funds, you must certify that you are responsible for complying with certain nondiscrimination, debarment and suspension, drug-free workplace, and lobbying laws. These are outlined below and are set out in more detail, along with other requirements, in the Assurances and Certifications. By signing the application form, which includes the Assurances and Certifications, you certify that you are in compliance with these requirements and that you will maintain records and submit any reports that are necessary to ensure compliance. Your failure to comply with these statutory and regulatory requirements may result in the suspension or termination of your grant and require you to return funds to the government.
1. Nondiscrimination Statutes: You certify that you do not discriminate:
- on the grounds of race, color, or national origin (including limited English proficiency), in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. §2000d et seq.);
- on the grounds of disability, in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. §701 et seq., including §794);
- on the basis of age, in accordance with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1975, as amended (42 U.S.C. §6101 et seq.); and
- on the basis of sex, in any education program or activity, in accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. §1681 et seq.)
2. Debarment and Suspension (2 C.F.R. Part 180 and 2 C.F.R. Part 3185):
You certify that neither you nor your principals: (a) are presently excluded or disqualified; (b) have been convicted within the preceding three years of offenses listed in 2 C.F.R. §180.800 (including but not limited to: fraud, antitrust, embezzlement, or offense indicating lack of business integrity) or have had a civil judgment rendered again you or them for one of such offenses within that time period; (c) are presently indicted for or otherwise criminally or civilly charged by a governmental entity (Federal, State, or local) with commission of any of such offenses; or (d) have had one or more public transactions (Federal, State, or local) terminated within the preceding three years for cause or default. Where you are unable to certify to any of the above, you must attach an explanation to this application. You must also comply with applicable sections of the OMB guidance in 2 C.F.R. Part 180, and include a term or condition in lower-tier transactions requiring lower-tier participants to comply with subpart C of the OMB guidance in 2 C.F.R. Part 180.
3. Federal Debt Status:
You certify that you are not delinquent in the repayment of any Federal debt. Examples include delinquent payroll or other taxes, audit disallowances, and benefit overpayments.
4. Drug-Free Workplace:
You must provide a drug-free workplace by complying with the requirements of 2 C.F.R. Part 3186. This includes: making a good faith effort to maintain a drug-free workplace; publishing a drug-free workplace statement; establishing a drug-free awareness program for your employees; taking actions concerning employees who are convicted of violating drug statutes in the workplace; and identifying (either at the time of your application or upon award, or in documents that you keep on file in your offices) all known workplaces under your Federal awards.
5. Lobbying Activities (31 U.S.C. §1352):
You are subject to various restrictions against lobbying or attempting to influence a Federal employee or a Member of Congress or congressional employees, in connection with legislation, appropriations, or the award or modification of a Federal contract, grant, cooperative agreement, or loan. Certain additional restrictions apply if you are requesting over $100,000 in Federal assistance. The Assurances and Certifications contain other general requirements that may apply depending on the nature of your grant activity (for example, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990 and the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966).
5. After You Apply
What is the application review process?
We use a two-tiered peer review process that includes individual field review and/or panel review to evaluate all eligible and complete applications. Reviewers and panelists are professionals in the field with relevant knowledge and expertise in the types of project activities identified in the applications. They are instructed to evaluate proposed projects according to the criteria identified in the program guidelines. The Director takes into account the advice provided by the review process and makes final funding decisions consistent with the purposes of the agency’s programs.
How can I serve as a reviewer?
All competitive awards are reviewed by library and museum professionals who know the needs of communities, can share best practices, and are well versed in the issues and concerns of museums and libraries today.
If you are interested in serving as a reviewer, you may submit your information through our online reviewer application at www.imls.gov/reviewers/become.aspx. Please remember to attach your resume. Your information will be considered, and if accepted, your name will be entered into our reviewer database. You will be contacted prior to the next deadline regarding your availability to serve as a reviewer.
There are many benefits to reviewing applications, including enhancing your professional knowledge and serving the museum and library communities. If you are selected to serve, you will be helping IMLS and strengthening our grant review process.
When will we find out if we have been selected to receive a grant?
No information about the status of an application will be released until the applications have been reviewed and all deliberations are concluded. IMLS expects to notify both funded and unfunded applicants of final decisions by late July 2012. Funded projects may not begin earlier than August 1, 2012.