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Apply for a Grant

Organizations and institutions that utilize third-party software to submit applications via Grants.gov may encounter old or outdated forms. IMLS cannot provide technical assistance for any issues applicants encounter with proprietary software. The final and correct versions of all IMLS application packages can be found on the Grants.gov portal directly.

The Application Process

1. Search for available grants
Grant programs and deadlines can be searched by name, by eligible institution type, and by project type.

2. Check eligibility requirements
Eligibility criteria will vary by program. Checking the program-specific criteria will help you ensure you're applying for the right grant for your institution. Read more.

3. Read application Notice of Funding Opportunities
Read through the application Notice of Funding Opportunities carefully to get all the information you need on the grant program. Read more.

4. Compose your application
Use the following Applicant Tools & Materials links to help you compose a stronger, more competitive application.

a. Sample Applications - Examples of successful applications from previous years

b. Outcome Based Evaluations - Introduction to and resources for successful program evaluation

c. Shaping Outcomes - An IMLS-funded online course on outcomes-based planning and evaluation, which will help participants improve program designs and evaluations.

d. Grantee Requirements - Administration and dissemination requirements for all grantees

e. Reviewer Materials - Guidelines and handbooks used during application review

5. Contact an IMLS Staff Member
We welcome calls from applicants and are happy to answer any questions about the grant application and review process. Conversations with staff can provide useful guidance and help you to explore how your idea may match the goals of a grant program. To reach an IMLS staff member please click on a link below for the grant program in which you are interested.

6. Submit your application via Grants.gov
Consult our Grants.gov guidelines to ensure we will receive your application, complete and on-time. Read more.

7. What happens next?
Learn how applications are reviewed and when grant announcements are made. Read more.

 

National Medal for Museum and Library Service
Deadline:
November 02, 2020

FY 2021 Nomination Form
Program Overview: The National Medals are designed to recognize outstanding libraries and museums that contribute significantly to the wellbeing of their communities.

Inspire! Grants for Small Museums
Deadline:
November 16, 2020

Application: The FY 2021 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) (PDF, 510KB) is now available.
Grant Amount: $5,000–$50,000
Program Overview: Inspire! Grants for Small Museums is a special initiative of the Museums for America program. It is designed to help small museums implement projects that address priorities identified in their strategic plans.

Museums Empowered: Professional Development Opportunities for Museum Staff
Deadline:
November 16, 2020

Application: The FY 2021 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) (PDF, 433KB) is now available.
Grant Amount: $5,000–$250,000
Program Overview: Museums Empowered: Professional Development Opportunities for Museum Staff, a special initiative of the Museums for America grant program, supports staff capacity building projects that use professional development to generate systemic change within a museum.

Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services Program
Deadline:
November 16, 2020

Application: The FY 2021 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) (PDF, 477KB) is now available.
Grant Amount: $5,000–$100,000
Program Overview: Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services grants support Indian tribes and organizations that primarily serve and represent Native Hawaiians.

National Leadership Grants for Museums
Deadline:
November 16, 2020

Application: The FY 2021 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) (PDF, 452KB) is now available.
Grant Amount: $5,000–$1,000,000
Program Overview: National Leadership Grants 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.

Museums for America
Deadline:
November 16, 2020

Application: The FY 2021 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) (PDF 420KB) is now available. 
Grant Amount: $5,000–$250,000
Program Overview: The Museums for America program supports projects that strengthen the ability of an individual museum to serve its public.

Museum Grants for African American History and Culture
Deadline:
November 16, 2020

Application: The FY 2021 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) (PDF, 407KB) is now available
Grant Amount: $5,000–$250,000
Program Overview: The goals of the Museum Grants for African American History and Culture program (AAHC program) are to build the capacity of African American museums and support the growth and development of museum professionals at African American museums.

Museum Assessment Program (MAP)
Deadline:
February 01, 2021

Application: Please visit Museum Assessment Program for more information.
Program Overview: The Museum Assessment Program (MAP) is designed to help museums assess their strengths and weaknesses, and plan for the future.