The Notice of Funding Opportunity (Grant Program Guidelines) for the current fiscal year is not yet available. It will be made available 60-90 days before the program deadline. Until then, last year’s Grant Program Guidelines are available as a reference.
Access last year’s Grant Program Guidelines online.
Read more about the National Leadership Grants program on the IMLS website.
National Leadership Grants (NLG) for Museums support projects that address critical needs of the museum field and that have the potential to advance practice in the profession so that museums can improve services for the American public. Successful proposals will generate results such as models, new tools, research findings, services, practices, and/or alliances that can be widely used, adapted, scaled, or replicated to extend and leverage the benefits of federal investment.
Distinguishing features of all National Leadership Grants for Museums projects are:
Broad Impact: Your project should show the potential for far-reaching impact beyond your institution and influencing practice across one or more disciplines or specific fields within the museum profession.
In-depth Knowledge: Your proposalshould reflect a thorough understanding of current practice and knowledge about the subject matterand an awareness and support of current strategic initiatives and agendas in the field.
Innovative Approach: Your proposalshould employ novelapproaches or techniques new to your project area to strengthen and improve museum services to benefit the audiences and communities being served.
Collaborative Process: Your project should incorporate audience, stakeholders and/or other partners to demonstrate broad need, field-wide buy-in and input, access to appropriate expertise, and sharing of resources.
Shared Results: Your project should generate results such as models, new tools, research findings, services, practices, and/or alliances that can be widely used, adapted, scaled, or replicated to extend and leverage the benefits of federal investment.
Your application should align with one of the following three funding categories:
IMLS places the learner at the center and supports engaging experiences in museums that prepare people to be full participants in their local communities and our global society. Projects should advance the museum field’s ability to provide high-quality, inclusive, accessible and audience-focused learning opportunities; provide access to collections, information, and educational resources; encourage the use of technologies; and develop programs for specific segments of the public.
IMLS promotes museums as strong community anchors that enhance civic engagement, cultural opportunities, and economic vitality. Projects should advance the museum field’s ability to harness the expertise, knowledge, space, and/or other resources of museums in order to address specific community needs.
IMLS supports exemplary stewardship of museum collections and promotes the use of technology to facilitate discovery of knowledge and cultural heritage. Projects should advance the museum field’s ability to identify new solutions that address high priority and widespread collections care or conservation issues.
Museums that fulfill the general criteria for museums may apply. Public or private nonprofit agencies, organizations, or associations that engage in activities designed to advance museums and the museum profession may also apply. In addition, institutions of higher education, including public and non-profit universities, are eligible.
If you have questions, please contact any of the staff listed under the category that best fits your project.
Helen Wechsler, Supervisory Grants Management Specialist
Sandra Narva, Senior Program Officer
Jill Connors-Joyner, Museum Program Specialist
Reagan Moore, Museum Program Specialist
Mary Sellers, Museum Program Specialist
Community Anchors or Collections Stewardship
Connie Bodner, Supervisory Grants Management Specialist
Mark Isaksen, Senior Program Officer
Steve Shwartzman, Senior Program Officer
Sarah Glass, Museum Program Specialist
Mark Feitl, Museum Program Specialist