The grant cycle for the Heritage Investment Grant is now open. Applications are due on May 9.
Below is more information on the program and the application process. Please note that grants will be submitted through an online grant system; physical copies of the grant application will not be accepted.
The Baltimore Heritage Area Association, the management entity of the Baltimore National Heritage Area, manages the Heritage Investment Grant program. This grant is a source of funding designed to provide small, but strategic investments in cultural heritage tourism projects and organizations within the boundaries of the heritage area. The Heritage Investment Grant provides funds for non-capital projects. Eligible projects must address or complete a priority activity identified in and consistent with the goals, objectives, strategies, and actions outlined in the 2013 Baltimore National Heritage Area Comprehensive Management Plan.
The following non-capital projects or activities within the BNHA may be assisted.
Research, field investigation, data recovery, feasibility and planning studies, design documents, and other planning activities that support the heritage area.
Interpretive exhibits, interpretive signage, pedestrian way-finding signage, interpretive brochures, educational programs and materials, other interpretive activities that support the heritage area. Interpretation projects must comply and support the Interpretive Framework for the heritage area as outlined in the 2013 Comprehensive Management Plan.
Please review BNHA's recommended guidelines for interpretive signage projects. The National Park Service has also created a comprehensive guide for creating wayside exhibits and interpretive signage. The guide is available for free from the NPS Harper's Ferry Center.
Seminars, conferences, performances, reenactments, commemorations, festivals
Grants to fund operating expenses of established organizations operating in the Baltimore National Heritage Area
To be eligible for the Heritage Investment Grant, applicant organizations must meet each of the following criteria:
- Be a nonprofit organization in good standing with the State of Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation,
- Be qualified to do business in Maryland,
- Have the legal capacity and authority to incur obligations involved under the grant program, and
- Be located within the boundary of the heritage area (or the program/activity will happen within the boundary of the heritage area).
Getting Started with the Application Process
- The application and guidelines are available on a new online system on April 4, 2018. Click here to access the system.
- Create a user account. This will allow you to save your application before submitting by the deadline.
- A budget worksheet template (Excel document) has been created. Grant applications must use this form. Click here to download the budget worksheet template.
- A PDF version of the 2018 guidelines is available as a reference. Click here to download the PDF.
- First-time applicants are required to contact BNHA Grants Administrator Danielle Walter-Davis before submitting an application. All applicants are invited to a grant information session (NOTE NEW DATE AND LOCATION) on Monday, April 23 from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm at the St. Mary's Spiritual Center (600 N. Paca Street; limited onsite parking is available, overflow parking on street). To reserve your space, contact BNHA Grants Coordinator Danielle Walter-Davis.
- The new online process has strict word limits. Take a look at this primer on tips for writing with brevity and clarity.
Frequently Asked Questions
When does the grant round open? When are applications due?
The next grant round will open on April 4, 2018. Applications are due on May 9, 2018. The best way to keep informed about the grant round is to sign up for the heritage area’s e-blast newsletters. The heritage area will also post information on this website and our Facebook page.
Can I meet with heritage area staff to discuss my project?
Certainly! We’re happy to talk with you about your project. First-time applicants are usually required to contact the heritage area before submitting an application.
How much grant funding can I request?
The maximum request may vary from year to year. For the 2018 grant round, the maximum dollar amount is $15,000 for programmatic support and $10,000 for operational support.
Is there a match requirement?
Yes. All BHAA Heritage Investment Grants must be matched by a minimum 75 percent cash match. The grant guidelines (link above under "Getting Started...") provide additional information on the match requirement.
Are there specific priorities for the next round of the Heritage Investment Grant?
The heritage area's Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP) details goals and actions seen as critical to accomplish the heritage area's mission. Proposed projects should align with these goals and actions. For priorities, please refer to the CMP's Management Actions section on interpretation, stewardship, heritage tourism, and neighborhoods. All categories are valid, though we are encouraging applicants to include any appropriate connections to the heritage tourism priorities in this year’s grant cycle.
May we apply, as the match, the money raised for a master plan that we are now seeking Heritage Investment funds to implement?
We use the date that the funds are expended to determine match eligibility. Only funds expended after the grant agreement signature date are eligible as matching funds.
What if my organization falls under the “Who May Not Apply” section?
If your organization falls under the list of restricted entities, you may be able to receive funding by collaborating with a partner or a friends group that is an eligible 501(c)(3) organization.
May I hand deliver my grant?
No. In 2015, the heritage area switched to an online grant application system. Grants will only be accepted through BNHA’s online portal through Submittable.com
Is restoration/cleanup of a nature path considered a non-capital program or a capital improvement?
Trail clean ups are non-capital and could include staff time if it is a large scale project organized by a nonprofit (as opposed to an all-volunteer group).
Costs for a clean-up project might include: bags, gloves, tools (like garden tools for pruning, removing invasive plants, or grabbers to remove bags from trees, shovels for scraping years of dirt and debris from an impervious path, lawn mowers or weed whackers), equipment (back hoe or lift to move heavy furniture or appliances from a hillside). If it’s in the water, waders could be required. If there is a planting, you may ask for plant material like trees, plants, soil amendments, or mulch. Food is sometimes requested as are funds for advertising.