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BHAA Small Capital Grants

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The FY2019 grant cycle for the small capital grant program is now open. Grant applications will be due on October 25, 2018.


The Baltimore Heritage Area Association (BHAA) administers a small capital grant program that makes small, yet strategic, investments in heritage tourism resources within the heritage area.

Eligible projects must be identified in and consistent with the strategies and actions outlined in the heritage area's management plans, and most critically with the strategies and actions detailed in the 2013 Baltimore National Heritage Area Management Plan. The grants are made as one-time awards and not for ongoing projects or activities. Capital projects assisted include acquisition, development, preservation, and restoration. Project activity must conform to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties

The following capital projects or activities within the heritage area’s boundaries may be assisted.

The acquisition of fee title or interest other than fee title of real property. Note: For acquisition projects, BHAA will fund up to 50% of the average of two appraisals of the subject property.

New construction, or repair or alteration of an existing building, structure, or site which makes possible a contemporary use while preserving those features of the property which are significant to its historical, architectural, and cultural values. 

Activities directed to sustain the existing form, integrity, and material of a building, structure, or site.

Activities directed to accurately recovering the form and details of a property and its setting as it appeared at a particular period of time by means of the removal of later work or by the replacement of missing earlier work.

Eligible applicants are non-profit organizations in good standing with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation, qualified to do business in Maryland, and have the legal capacity and authority to incur obligations involved under the grant program.

NEW FOR FY2019: Grants over $5,001 must be matched in cash in an amount at least equal to the grant. Funding requests of $5,000 or less will not require a cash match, but the match can be entirely with in-kind services (donated time, donated goods etc.).

The grants are funded through Baltimore City CIP funds or voter-approved bonds. Since 2004, more than $1 million in funds have been awarded more than 90 projects.

NOTE: Small Capital Grant funds may be used for the creation of interpretive signage. 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. 

Getting Started with the Application Process

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the grant round open? When are applications due?
With the introduction of the non-capital heritage investment grants and the formation of a new grant review committee, the heritage area has revamped cycles for grant programs. The next grant round for the BHAA Small Capital grants will open on September 7, 2018. Applications are due October 25, 2018. The best way to keep informed about future grant cycle dates is to sign up for the heritage area’s e-blast newsletters. The heritage area will 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. Also, all new applicants are required to attend a grant application workshop.

How much grant funding can I request?
The maximum request varies from year to year. In recent years, the maximum dollar amount was $15,000. The grant application will specifically note the maximum requires.

Is there a match requirement?
Yes. All BHAA Small Cap grants must be matched in cash (requests over $5,001) or in-kind (requests $5,000 or less) in an amount as least equal to the grant.

Does a project, such as the design and installation of a permanent exhibit, qualify as a capital project?
The general rule of thumb is that a resource must have a lifespan of more the 15 years to qualify as a capital expenditure. A permanent exhibit for a museum or historic attraction could qualify. Other projects, such as the redevelopment of a public space, could also qualify as a capital project. BHAA staff can help you with this determination.

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